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Ladies hit Loughborough for six!

3 September 2015

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Rovers Ladies booked their place in the first round of the Premier League Cup courtesy of a convincing 6-0 victory away to Loughborough Foxes.

Rovers recorded a 1-0 win when the two teams met on the opening day of the season only a fortnight earlier, but this was a much more straight forward affair.

The visitors opened the scoring on seven minutes when Lynda Shepherd and Sophie Jones combined to tee up Jess Holbrook, who crossed for Ali Johnson to roll the ball home.

Kaz Boyle flashed a shot just wide of the target moments later, before the Loughborough keeper made a smart save to keep out Jones' goal-bound strike.  

The hosts thought they'd equalised from a corner, but the ball had curled out of play, and Rovers doubled their lead on the half-hour mark when Holbrook's free-kick fell kindly for Jones, whose deflected shot found the corner of the net. 

Rovers added a third five minutes later when Shepherd picked out Johnson, who fired home her second of the game high past the keeper and it was almost 4-0 moments later, but Boyle headed wide from Jones' cross.

It was a similar story after the break, as Loughborough again had a goal disallowed, this time for a push on the keeper, before Rovers extended their advantage.

After Boyle fired straight at the keeper on the counter, Rovers grabbed their fourth goal of the game on 52 minutes when Holbrook's corner was headed home by Jones from close range.

Natasha Fenton replaced skipper Amie Fleming with 20 minutes remaining and the substitute would play a major part in Rovers' final two goals.

On 78 minutes, Fenton did brilliantly to play in Holbrook, who finished with aplomb when one-on-one with the keeper and shortly before full-time, Fenton was again involved, as she played in Johnson, who crossed for Boyle, who rattled the bar, but Shepherd was on hand to smash home the rebound. 

Manager Gemma Donnelly said: "It was a fantastic run-out for us and very pleasing that, given we only played them two weeks ago, this time round we were able to find the back of the net more frequently.

"It was an impressive performance by the team and in particular the midfield trio of Jess, Amie and Lynda, who were playing in those positions together for the first time.

"Kaz will be disappointed not to have got on the scoresheet, as she had plenty of chances, but I fear for the team she does open her account against, as she will take no prisoners once she has got her first.

"Finally, I want to give a special mention to Centre of Excellence graduates Ali Johnson and Katie Maher, who both played the full 90 minutes - Ali for scoring two and Katie for keeping a clean sheet - which is testament to the calibre of young players Rovers are producing."

ROVERS: Maher, Taylor, Westerman (Hope 75), Chandarana, Shepherd, Holbrook, Jones (Mallett 79), Fleming (Fenton 70), Bickett, Boyle, Johnson.

Subs not used: Lambe, Pope.

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