Lynda Shepherd scored a late winner, as Roves Ladies kicked off the new FA Women’s Premier League season with a 1-0 victory over Loughborough Foxes.
In a contest which Rovers completely dominated from start to finish, the only goal of the game arrived 20 minutes from time when Shepherd fired a low shot into the bottom corner.
It was the very least Rovers’ display deserved against the newly-promoted Foxes, who were content to keep 11 players camped behind the ball.
In a goalless first half, Shepherd forced a smart save from the Loughborough keeper with a shot from distance, whilst Jess Holbrook fired over when well placed.
After the break, Sophie Flynn flicked on to Danielle Sheen, who shot just wide, before Rovers twice went close from two dangerous Holbrook deliveries.
The breakthrough finally arrived on 70 minutes when, after good combination play around the edge of the box, Shepherd’s sweetly-struck half volley found the bottom right-hand corner.
Manager Gemma Donnelly said: “We’re obviously delighted with the three points, despite the time it took us to make the breakthrough.
“The scoreline would suggest not the most convincing of performances, but the stats would suggest otherwise. It is by far a better start than last season and demonstrates our intentions for the season ahead.
“I’d like to give special mentions to Centre of Excellence graduate Ali Johnson, who came on for her debut, and Lynda Shepherd, who was absolutely outstanding in the middle of the park.”
ROVERS: Hutcheson, Westerman, Kinvig, Chandarana, Bickett, Flynn, Shepherd, Holbrook, Sheen, Boyle (Johnson 60), Jones.
Subs not used: Maher, Fenton, Hope.