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Ladies in seventh heaven

8 February 2016

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Lynda Shepherd scored a hat-trick as Rovers Ladies thrashed West Ham United 7-0 to book their place in the fourth round of the Women’s FA Cup.

Gemma Donnelly’s side dominated from start to finish, scoring four times in the first half and three in the second.

Ainsley Strickland forced a smart low save from the Hammers keeper and Ellie Cook rattled the crossbar inside the opening quarter of an hour, before Rovers took the lead moments later when Sophie Jones headed home from a free-kick.

Rovers added two more headed goals from set-plays midway through the half, as first Saffron Jordan and then Shepherd converted Jess Holbrook corners.

Strickland was again denied by another low save from the Hammers keeper just before the break, before Jordan scored her second of the game on the stroke of half-time with a superb volley from 15 yards out.

The goal of the game arrived 10 minutes into the second half when Shepherd ran onto a loose ball 35 yards out and smashed an unstoppable first-time shot right into the top corner.

The midfielder completed her hat-trick nine minutes from time, heading home another Holbrook set-piece, before substitute Ali Johnson’s cross-shot found the back of the net to round off the emphatic Rovers win.  

Donnelly said: “We absolutely dominated from start to finish. I could sense that the opening goal was coming and once we got the first, we were in our element. We took charge, we dominated and we dictated play.

“The girls performed well and were clinical, but I know they have more to give. We played Liverpool in a behind-closed-doors friendly and only lost 1-0 to a world-class free-kick, so I know what they can do and Sunday was nowhere near our best.

“Credit to Lynda Shepherd on her hat-trick and our assistant manager Amanda Goodwin was delighted with the number of goals scored from set-pieces, because that’s something we have worked on.”

ROVERS: Hill, Kinvig, Bickett, Cook, Taylor, Shepherd, Fleming, Holbrook (Foster 82), Jordan, Strickland (Johnson 58), Jones (Fenton 67).

Subs not used: Maher, Flynn.

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