Rovers Ladies beat Nottingham Forest 3-2 to keep pace with the teams at the top of the Premier League table.
After Jess Holbrook’s double was cancelled out by Katie Lowder’s quick-fire brace before the break, Danielle Sheen won it for the hosts late on to ensure Rovers remain in the hunt for the title.
In blustery conditions at the JMO Sports Park in Skelmersdale, Rovers started the stronger of the two teams.
Holbrook showed her intentions early on, with a 25-yard drive which the Forest keeper saved at the second time of asking, but she was powerless to prevent Rovers from taking the lead at the midway point in the half.
Sheen danced inside, before laying the ball off to Holbrook, who took a touch before smashing a shot into the bottom corner, past the goalkeeper’s despairing dive.
The midfielder doubled Rovers’ lead shortly after the half-hour mark, picking out the top corner with a shot from a similar position.
However, Forest battled back and were level by the break. On 38 minutes, Lowder’s 25-yard free-kick beat Gemma Jackson and moments later, the same player’s cross-shot found the back of the Rovers net.
With the wind in their favour, Rovers regained the upper hand after the interval.
Centre of Excellence graduate Georgia Stanway came close to a debut goal, before Sophie Flynn fired wide from a corner.
The winner eventually arrived 17 minutes from time, when Kelly Bourne forced a corner, which was played to the back post, where Sheen was waiting to fire into the roof of the net.
Manager Gemma Donnelly said: “The conditions made it difficult for both teams. We played against the wind in the first half, which was tough for us, because Forest played direct football, so playing with the wind suited their style of play.
“It was good to go 2-0 up and I think we deserved it, but two silly free-kicks gave them the chance to get back into the game.
“In the second half, I never felt that they’d score in open play. We were camped in their half and they were content to try and play on the break, but when we got the goal, it meant that the game became more stretched, as they went in search of an equaliser.
“On paper, it was a game we would have expected to win, but given the conditions, it was one in which we could have dropped points. Overall, it’s been a very pleasing week, to have reached a cup final and got three points in the league, which keeps us in the hunt for the title.
“We have also had to cope with two contrasting styles of play. On Wednesday, we played in boggy conditions and on Sunday we played on a 3G surface but with a wind that impacted massively on the game. It shows that we’re adapting well and are prepared to battle for victories, which highlights the togetherness within the team.”
ROVERS: Jackson, Bourne, Twohig, A. Taylor, Westerman (Shaw 74), Shepherd, Flynn, Holbrook, Sheen, Boyle, Stanway.
Subs not used: Hutchinson.