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Preview: Burnley Women v Rovers Ladies

It’s an East Lancashire derby with a lot on the line this weekend

20 January 2019

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Rovers Ladies face Burnley Women on Sunday in the Lancashire FA Challenge Cup Semi-Final.

The winner of Sunday’s clash at Padiham FC will take on either Fylde Ladies or Blackburn Community Sports Club in the final. 

Manager Gemma Donnelly is looking forward to the opportunity to take on Rovers’ rivals. 

“I’m relishing the local derby match. It’s an exciting prospect as the crowd is expected to be a little bigger than usual. 

“The girls are well rehearsed in performing under pressure and in big occasions and so I have full confidence in my team that they will get the job done on Sunday.”

The Blues have won the Cup a record 12 times and are the holders having beaten Chorley Women 6-1 in last year’s final. 

“We’ve enjoyed being involved in this competition and been successful at for a number of years.

“I hope that will be enough as well as the quality within the team to push us on to the final from Sunday’s game. 

“I can’t remember the last time we played Burnley. They are known for how they have progressed up the ladder, so congratulations to them for that.”

The Clarets sit comfortably top of the National League Division One North, eight points above the pack below them. 

Rovers are in the same position - top of the table, in the Northern Premier Division. 

Gemma Donnelly’s side have already beaten lower league opposition in previous rounds this season, having saw off Morecambe Ladies 14-0 before a 6-1 victory over Fleetwood Town Wrens. 

And there are plenty of former Rovers players in the current Burnley squad, including Clarets captain Justine Wallace.

“We know a little bit about Burnley in terms of intelligence but in terms of our approach I don’t see why we should be changing anything that we do irrespective of the historic rivalry between our male counterparts. 

“We approach it as any other game.”

Serena Fletcher is ineligible but Rovers welcome back Lagan Makin and Charlotte Stuart from injury. Jess Holbrook, who came off the bench to score the winner last weekend, trained all week. 

Development players Eve Clarkson and Issy Pacitto are expected to gain more valuable experience with the group. 

The Blues showed their character once again last weekend, scoring two late goals to win 4-3 away to title rivals Huddersfield.

“I think they’ll take great confidence in their own ability. it was a tough game in tough conditions but  I thought it was going to be another easy game at two nil. Credit has to go to Huddersfield for their comeback. 

“We were a little careless in our approach. Huddersfield deserved a goal but to give three away in the manner we did was sloppy. 

“That’s been worked on this week and we’ll look for a better performance from the squad on Sunday.”

Tickets for Sunday’s game (2pm) are priced at £3 for adults and £1 for concessions. 

If you can’t make the game, follow @RoversLadies on Twitter for live updates. 

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