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Ladies suffer play-off heartbreak

Disappointment in Sheffield for Gemma Donnelly's side against Charlton Athletic

28 May 2018

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Rovers Ladies tasted defeat on as they lost 2-1 to Charlton Athletic in the Championship play-off Final at Sheffield United’s Bramall Lane.

Lynda Shepherd had put Rovers ahead but two late first half goals from Kit Graham and Georgia Griffin reversed the score shortly before the break in the Steel City.

Rovers were the better team in the first half and it only took five minutes for Gemma Donnelly’s side to take the lead as Saffron Jordan was hacked down in the box and up stepped Shepherd to cooly convert and break the deadlock.

Soon after, Jordan was fouled again as she ran in on goal before the resulting free kick being tipped over by the ‘keeper as Rovers searched for a second goal.

Bust four minutes before the break, the Addicks’ Graham found space between Kayleigh McDonald and Ellie Cook before heading home to bring Charlton level.

But there was worse to come for Donnelly’s girls as Charlton scored for a second time in four minutes and it was another header, this time from Griffin, who planted the ball past Rovers goalkeeper Danielle Hill.

It was a bitter blow, but after half time Rovers showed more urgency, with Jordan flicking goalwards but seeing her attempt blocked for a corner.

Tim was running out for Rovers to find an equaliser and heading into the final 10 minutes, Natasha Flint drilled an attempt over the bar before Natasha Fenton’s cross was tipped onto the bar and away with only four minutes remaining.

Rovers were throwing caution to the wind and opponents Charlton had a great chance to make it 3-1 with just a minute of normal time left but Hill did brilliantly to save a Graham penalty after the taker was hauled down in the box.

The result meant Rovers miss out on promotion via the play-off and will now have to wait to find out if they have been successful in the application process. 

Rovers: Hill, Jukes (Montgomery, 82), McDonald, Cook, Taylor, Fenton, Shepherd, Holbrook, Flint, Jordan, Makin.

Unused substitutes: Size, Walsh, Clarkson, Cunliffe.

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