Individual errors proved costly as Rovers Ladies’ 10-match unbeaten run came to an end in their top-of-the-table clash with Coventry City, who won 5-0.
Coventry opened the scoring on 12 minutes when Sophia Riccio was caught on the ball at left-back and Marie Gauntlett finished into the bottom corner.
Four minutes later, Lynda Shepherd didn’t put enough power on her header to Nicky Twohig, who was muscled off the ball and Gauntlett grabbed her second of the game.
Danielle Sheen saw a shot from a narrow angle gathered by the Coventry keeper, whilst Jo Hutcheson make a smart save at the other end, before the hosts added a third on 38 minutes. A free-kick into the box was cleared by a Rovers defender, but the ball ricocheted off Helen Dermody straight into the back of the net.
Katie Anderton scuffed a shot from the edge of the area at the start of the second half, before Coventry extended their lead on 53 minutes. A Rovers corner was cleared straight to Samantha Quayle close to the halfway line and the Welsh midfielder raced all the way through on goal, before picking out the bottom left-hand corner.
Dermody doubled her tally for the afternoon on 74 minutes, slotting a through ball past Hutcheson, before Kaz Boyle had a goal disallowed late on to compound a disappointing day for Gemma Donnelly’s side.
“Coventry were deserved winners,” she said. “It’s disappointing because they played a style of football we haven’t come up against so far this season and we didn’t adapt to it.
“We struggled to keep possession of the ball, because they pressed us very quickly and didn’t allow us any time on the ball, and we have gifted them four goals.
“We’ve not conceded as many goals all season as we did in this one game, so I hope it’s a wake-up call for the players, who perhaps became complacent and expected this league to be easy. I’ll be looking for a reaction in training this week and for the players to step up to the plate and show how good they can be in another big game against Stoke this weekend.”
ROVERS: Hutcheson, Shaw, Shepherd, Twohig, Riccio (Westerman 67), Holbrook, Flynn, Fleming, Sheen, Anderton, Boyle.
Subs not used: Taylor, Chandarana.