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Report: Rovers Ladies 5 Middlesbrough Women 0

Alex Taylor netted a quick-fire hat-trick for Rovers

17 February 2019

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Rovers Ladies made it three wins in eight days with a 5-0 victory over Middlesbrough Women.

Goals from Jess Holbrook and Saffron Jordan had Rovers in front before a three-minute hat-trick from Alex Taylor ensured victory for Gemma Donnelly’s side. 

First-half injuries to Natasha Fenton and Danielle Hill put a dampener on the afternoon, with Saffron Jordan donning the gloves when Rovers’ number one was unable to continue. 

The home side showed their intentions earlier on, with Lauren Davies’ shot saved by Boro stopper Ashleigh Trainer after Holbrook played her in on goal. 

And it was Holbrook who opened the scoring after 13 minutes when the midfielder’s in-swinging corner took a deflection and nestled into the bottom corner. 

Trainer then kept Rovers at bay, saving efforts from Taylor and Jordan twice in succession. 

But it was to be third time lucky for the striker, who doubled Rovers’ advantage before the break in spectacular fashion. 

Jordan picked the ball up 25 yards from goal and hit an unstoppable drive off the underside of the bar and into the roof of the net. 

That proved to be her last action as an outfield player and she would soon be doing the business at the other end.

After the break substitute Lagan Makin made an immediate impact, finding Holbrook, whose first-time effort was again saved by Trainer. Holbrook then turned provider for Makin, but Trainer was out again to deny her. 

Taylor, who moved into the number nine position, opened her account when Hannah Walsh closed down the Boro keeper, forcing a mistake and leaving Taylor free to tap into an empty net. 

Rovers’ stand-in striker was now in the groove and took Lynda Shepherd’s through ball in her stride before slotting the ball home for her second goal.  

Taylor saved her best for last, spinning and then striking the ball high and past Trainer to seal her hat-trick a minute later. 

At the other end, makeshift ‘keeper Jordan showed a pair of safe hands in goal, keeping a clean sheet and holding on to everything that came her way. 

It could have been more for Rovers had Holbrook’s free-kick found the net - but Trainer made a great save to tip it out of the box before Taylor’s rebound effort was also saved. 

Walsh then played in Makin, whose strike came back off the bar and Rovers had to settle for five. 

Next up for the Blues is Sunday’s League Cup Quarter-Final away to Huddersfield Town Ladies, (2pm). 

ROVERS: Hill (Makin 45), Jukes, Taylor, Shepherd (C), Stuart, Holbrook, Davies, Fenton (Walsh 29), Jordan, McDonald, Fletcher. 

Unused subs: Gibbons, Flint.

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