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Ladies rally to progress in Premier League Cup

5 October 2015

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Rovers Ladies booked their place in the second round of the FA Women's Premier League Cup courtesy of an extra-time victory over Huddersfield Town.

Gemma Donnelly's side twice came from behind in normal time, benefitting from two own goals, before Sophie Jones bagged an extra-time brace to secure a 4-2 win.

With the midweek match against Preston clearly taking its toll early on, Rovers were slow starters at AFC Darwen and Huddersfield took a deserved lead through Jeneyah Webb on 16 minutes.

The goal spurred Rovers into life and they equalised shortly before the break when Huddersfield keeper Laura Carter parried Natasha Fenton's corner into her own net.

The visitors regained the lead on 57 minutes through Emily Heckler, but were pegged back for a second time when Fenton's free-kick struck a defender and bounced over the line.

Rovers twice came close to winning it late on, but Saffron Jordan headed Jones' cross against the bar, before Jones herself struck the bar with a shot on the run.

The hosts were by far the better team in extra-time, as Lynda Shepherd saw a header saved and a shot blocked, before Jones fired Rovers in front with a neat shot into the bottom corner.

Rovers were denied by the woodwork for a third time in the second period, as Westerman released Jones, whose superb strike cannoned against the crossbar, but the striker secured the win five minutes from the end, slotting home her second of the game after some nice skill from Jordan.

Donnelly said: "We were poor for the opening half an hour and were lucky to be only one behind, although their opening goal should have been ruled out for offside.

"However, we were much the stronger team for the last 10-15 minutes of the first half and for large proportions of the second and despite conceding again early on, I always felt that we would get back into the game. In extra-time, our fitness and quality prevailed, and we were by far the more dominant force.

"We had a number of players missing in midfield and had quite a few youngsters on, so it was a good result given that we weren't at full strength and that can only work in our favour when we meet Huddersfield again in the league later this month."

ROVERS: Hutcheson, Kinvig, Bickett, Hope, Taylor (Westerman 65), Flynn, Shepherd, Fenton, Jordan, Sheen (Johnson 78), Jones.

Subs not used: Maher.

• Rovers Ladies Reserves thrashed Bradford City 6-0 to make it three league wins on the spin, which keeps them second in the Northern Division table.

Manager Craig Malley said: "It was a clinical and fine footballing display and to keep a second successive clean sheet was also very pleasing."

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