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Donnelly looking to continue fine form

First meets third in the FA Women’s National League Northern Premier Division

10 November 2018

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Rovers Ladies travel to Derby County Ladies on Sunday afternoon, with the Blues in formidable early season form.

Prolific on the road, Rovers have scored 19 goals away from home this season – more than any other team in the top three tiers of women’s football.

Gemma Donnelly’s side have also won their last four away outings, the joint longest current away winning streak.

However, it has been at home where the team have been in imperious form of late, beating Stoke City Ladies 6-1 before thrashing Nottingham Forest Ladies 7-0 in their last two league games.

Donnelly said: “We have performed well so far this season. It’s important to be realistic but also have that momentum which is building every game we have a successful performance and a positive result.”

She is hoping nothing will change as they turn their attention to an away fixture: “We’ve had a really good away record for the last two seasons, so I’d like to think we do travel well.”

They face a Derby team who are yet to lose on their own ground in the league this season, and sit third in the table. The Ewe Rams came from behind to beat Guiseley Vixens 2-1 last time out.

“Derby seem to be a force to be reckoned with. Sam (Griffiths) has done a great job organising her team.

“As with every other game we’ll be respectful of the opposition, but we’ve worked hard in training during the week on how we intend to play and how to cause problems for Derby.

Travelling to the East Midlands brings back happy memories for Donnelly, having seen her side edge closer to last season’s league title thanks to a 1-0 win at Derby in May.

“It was a midweek game that came right in the middle of a hectic schedule for us. A corner flew in at the back post to win it but apart from that it was evenly contested.”

And the Rovers manager is expecting a different County team to the one that finished seventh in the league last campaign.

“They’ve started really well and had a couple of interesting results. I know they’ll be for up for it as every team is. But we’ll be as prepared as we can be and we look forward to a tough contest.”

In terms of team news, Bethany Donoghue trained this week and is expected to return to the squad after a lengthy injury lay-off.

Watch Rovers Ladies in action at Mickleover Sports Stadium on Sunday, (kick off 2pm). Or follow the game on Twitter (@RoversLadies).

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