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Ladies clip Magpies' wings

20 February 2017

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Rovers Ladies completed a memorable week to stretch their advantage at the top of the FA Women's Premier League Northern Division.

Having already defeated nearest rivals Middlesbrough the previous Sunday, and a claimed midweek derby triumph over Fylde, they completed a hat-trick of home wins in seven days by putting three past Newcastle United at Bamber Bridge.

Goalless at the break the Ladies were made to work hard for their reward, but a first Rovers goal from Kelsey Pearson and a brace from top scorer Saffron Jordan sealed the points.

Starting confidently, the Rovers were on the front foot from the off, with the visitors having to defend stoutly to keep the league leaders at bay.

Danielle Whitham had two early opportunities, before Ellie Cook and Lynda Shepherd were both denied.

Rovers continued to pepper the Magpies goal, but Saffron Jordan, Fay McCoy and Ella Toone all squandered opportunities as they went in goalless at the break.

The second half continued in the same fashion as the first, Toone and Jordan both going close in the early exchanges.

But under increasing pressure Newcastle keeper Alice Harkness continued to keep out Rovers, making excellent saves to thwart Shepherd and Ellie Stewart.

However on 65 minutes the deadlock was finally broken. Pearson taking aim from distance with the ball taking a deflection as it found the back of the net.

Boosted by the opener and with the Magpies' resolve on the wane, Rovers went in search of more goals. Whitham fired wide before Jordan saw a shot blocked on the line.

14 minutes to go Rovers grabbed the second goal their play deserved. Substitute Natasha Fenton with an excellent cross for Jordan to fire home.

The Ladies made it 3-0 with two minutes remaining as sub Alex Taylor beat the Newcastle offside trap, she raced clear before unselfishly squaring for Jordan to tap home her second of the match to complete the victory.

The Rovers are nine points ahead of second placed Middlesbrough with two games in hand.

ROVERS: Hill, Bickett, Cook, Stewart, Pearson, Shepherd (c), Holbrook (sub Taylor 70 mins), McCoy (sub Fenton 63 mins), Toone, Whitham (sub Rankin 78 mins), Jordan.

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