Katie Anderton got one over her old club, as Rovers Ladies picked up their first points of the new Northern Premier League campaign with a 1-0 win over Preston.
Anderton, who rejoined Rovers from her hometown team in the summer, scored the only goal of a completely one-sided game on the stroke of half-time.
Following their opening day defeat to Huddersfield, it’s now back-to-back wins in league and cup for Gemma Donnelly’s side, who dominated from start to finish against their local rivals.
Rovers set the tone from the off and almost took the lead inside 30 seconds when Anderton’s flick forced a smart save from Danielle Brown in the Preston goal. Three consecutive corners followed, with Sophie Jones’ top corner-bound header tipped over the bar, before Anderton’s low drive was well saved.
On eight minutes, Jess Holbrook played the ball through to Jones, who lacked composure when one-on-one and fired over.
At the midway point in the half, Anderton collected Danielle Sheen’s cut-back inside the box, but failed to get her shot away and when the ball eventually came out to Holbrook, she blazed over the bar.
On 25 minutes, Amie Fleming played a pass through to Anderton, who rolled the ball square, only to see her effort cleared off the line. Either side of the half-hour mark, Sophie Flynn failed to hit the target after a neat passing move, before Anderton turned her marker inside out, only to be denied by Brown at her near post.
As Rovers continued to pile on the pressure, Flynn fired inches wide from the edge of the area, before the hosts eventually made the breakthrough deep into stoppage time. A superb passing move saw Fleming play the ball round the corner to Flynn, who played a pass through to Sheen on the right. Her drilled centre was parried by Brown and Anderton was on hand to gobble up the rebound.
It was a similar story after the interval, with Rovers in complete control, but without being able to be the contest to bed. On 52 minutes, Flynn fired just past the upright from the edge of the box and moments later, Anderton volleyed straight at the keeper from 20 yards.
On 57 minutes, a poor clearance fell into the path of Anderton, who saw her shot smothered behind. From the resultant corner, Jones swung over a superb cross and Holbrook headed inches wide.
Rovers had penalty appeals waved away just past the hour mark when Jones looked to be brought down inside the box and moments later, an Anderton piledriver whistled just past the post.
Naveen Kirby made her first real save of the match on 66 minutes, saving well at her near post, before Rovers quickly regained the upper hand. Preston played themselves into trouble on 72 minutes when Flynn robbed the last defender of the ball, before inexplicably firing wide with just the keeper to beat.
Anderton then missed two chances in quick succession – denied by the keeper at her near post, before flicking Flynn’s centre just wide the goal at her mercy – as Rovers saw the game out to claim a deserved three points.
ROVERS: Kirby, Westerman, Taylor, Shepherd, Shaw, Holbrook, Fleming, Flynn, Sheen, Jones (Emery 87), Anderton.
Subs not used: Barratt, Hallows.