Rovers Ladies’ Development team manager Ellie Cash was proud of her players after a dramatic penalty shootout win over Charlton Athletic in the League Cup Final.
They followed up the success of retaining the Reserve league title by being crowned FA Women’s National League Cup champions for the first time since 2015/16.
“We started off really well, obviously it was an outstanding free-kick from Ebony (Stinson) and then we kept that up within the first-half,” Cash said post-match.
“Second-half, I think nerves got to us a little bit and they managed to get back into the game, equalised and we let it drop a little bit. But fair play to Charlton, they were our toughest opposition this season.”
Rovers took an early lead before Charlton equalised and took the game to penalties, where it was the Blues who triumphed 3-1, scoring all three of their spot kicks.
“In extra-time it was about keeping that resilience. Legs were cramping up, I think it was the same for them and it was through to the penalties.
“We practised them in training on Thursday and let’s say we weren’t too confident, but the girls were obviously having laugh and joke with us because they’ve shown us something different. And well done to Millsey (Amelia Size) for the saves.”
Cash’s side have been able to maintain their high standards, despite already wrapping up the league title.
“We’ve been fortunate with our run of games in the league, playing Sheffield, who are a great opposition.
“The first-team have helped us prepare as well, they’ve thought about us at training, not just what they’ve got to do building up towards the end of the season.
“So we had a lot of preparation against them. They were supporting us all the way and I think that helped.”
Assistant manager Tom Perris added: “In the Semi-Final we travelled up to Newcastle and won convincingly really.
“The girls knew this was going to be a challenge, but playing Sheffield in the league last week and getting a positive result which ultimately helped us win the league was the perfect preparation.”
A delighted Gemma Donnelly also praised the Development team’s spirit.
“It’s amazing. It’s just so fantastic, I’m absolutely buzzing for them. They won the league the other week, they’ve gone and won the League Cup and now they’re at the Dallas International Cup.
“They’ve gone up against Charlton as the away team and set off super early for an 11am kick-off.
“To score first and then stick it out through extra-time and then to be so dominant in the penalties, a massive well done to them.”
Rovers’ first-team have their own League Cup final next Sunday, against Crawley Wasps at the Pirelli Stadium, (2pm).