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Donnelly upbeat despite defeat

“Villa deserved to win tonight but we gave a really good account of ourselves"

11 December 2019

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Rovers Ladies boss Gemma Donnelly felt upbeat despite being on the end of a 5-2 scoreline in their final Continental League Cup Group game away at Aston Villa Women.

The Blues fielded a young side, including call-ups for Development players Carra Jones and Lara Beeley – the latter making her first-team debut.

And in an end-to-end encounter Rovers scored either side of the break via Ellie Stewart and Lauren Thomas, but it wasn’t enough to take anything away from the West Midlands.

“Despite the scoreline, I think we’ve done okay,” Donnelly reflected after the game.

“First-half we created some really good opportunities, we just didn’t finish them off, which is unusual for Saffron.

“Villa scored their two chances, we’ve created four and not scored any of them so there’s the difference.

“It was 2-1 at half-time and I thought we were giving them a reasonable game despite the depleted squad tonight. We’ve got some of the younger girls in and they did okay.

“Villa have come out second-half and shown why they’re doing so well in the league. They’ve been quicker than us, they’ve been sharper than us, they’ve been stronger than us and really made it count in front of goal.”

Lauren Perry was kept busy in the Rovers goal, making a host of saves to keep the scoreline down in the first-half.

The boss was full of praise for the Northern Irish stopper for her display between the sticks.  

“She did brilliant. It’s fantastic competition between Lauren and Fran.

“Lauren’s kept the ball out of the net on several occasions tonight with some incredible saves and stops so it’s credit to her for her attitude and application.

“Villa deserved to win tonight but we gave a really good account of ourselves.”

Rovers return to league action on Sunday, as they travel to face London Bees at The Hive.

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