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Ladies looking to kick on against Boro

“Like us they are a club that wants to play attractive football”

7 October 2018

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Rovers Ladies will look to continue their impressive start to the season away at Middlesbrough Women on Sunday.

The Ladies come into the game with a 100% record having won their opening five league fixtures without conceding a goal.

Manager Gemma Donnelly said: “For me it’s about ensuring that the team turn up, that we put in a performance worthy of title contenders and most of all it’s about getting some form of result.”

The Blues emphatically beat Bradford City Women 10-0 on Tuesday night, with striker Natasha Flint netting five.

Middlesbrough also triumphed over the Yorkshire outfit last week, running out 4-0 winners, and drew 1-1 with Guiseley on Thursday night.

“Teams around us are bombing ahead in terms of games played and it’s important that we stay as close as we can, don’t falter and tick games off as we get to them.

“The players are all aware of this and are fully prepared mentally and physically, having been in this situation before with the pressure on to make up the points. We’ve just got to ensure we do the job on the day.”

Sunday’s opponents have lost two of their opening seven games and currently sit in sixth position. But Donnelly is not taking the Teesiders lightly, with them being strong challengers for the league title in recent years.

“Middlesbrough have been up there and they’ve had a strong introduction into this league having been promoted a couple of seasons ago. They are very organised team and full of energy.

“Like us they are a club that wants to try and play football in an attractive way and keep possession, with Lindsey Stephenson in charge prior to Kelsey (Byrne) taking over. They are both football minded managers and want to encourage the girls to play the right way.

“In spite of a number of changes over the summer we go into the game knowing it will be tough and we need to be at our best.”

League winners Rovers came from two goals down to beat Middlesbrough 3-2 in the final game of last season, as Saffron Jordan, Natasha Fenton and Natasha Flint scored the goals that completed the turnaround.

“The way in which the girls responded that day is exactly why we were crowned champions. It had been a hard last few months trying to cram all the fixtures in after falling behind.

“Travelling away to Boro was a tough ask and it showed in the opening half when we conceded two. But once the girls turned it on, the result doesn’t suggest how dominate we were in the second half.”

Boss Donnelly has a near full squad to pick from for Sunday, but the game comes too soon for striker Bethany Donoghue, who pulled her hamstring in last month’s victory over Fylde Ladies.

Long-term absentees Kelsey Pearson and Sarah Agger are also unavailable.

You can watch the Ladies in action this Sunday at Middlesborugh’s Teeside Park, (kick off 2pm). Or follow the game on Twitter (@RoversLadies).

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