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Preview: Rovers Ladies v Derby County Ladies

Rovers will be crowned league champions once again if they win

29 March 2019

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Rovers Ladies go into their home game against Derby County Ladies knowing that a win will see them crowned FA Women’s National League Northern Premier Division champions.

Last weekend’s win over Hull has put Gemma Donnelly’s side just three points away from confirming that the title will remain in East Lancashire, with five games to spare. 

Manager Gemma Donnelly commented: “Before we reach that momentous occasion, the players’ mentality has to be on their performance first and foremost. 

“But I’m confident that the quality in this squad will clinch the title for the third consecutive year. And that is quite some achievement.

“I have nothing but praise for this group of players that have stuck together through thick and thin. We have experienced unbelievable highs and the lowest of lows. 

“I hope we can celebrate a great performance and feel proud of our success.”

Rovers ran out 7-0 winners in the reverse fixture away at Derby, in what Donnelly described as a “comfortably and convincing performance”.

And although she is aiming for another victory on Sunday, the boss is expecting a much tougher game.

“Derby have crept up the table and albeit they cannot catch us, they have demonstrated their ability and are probably one to watch for next season. 

“Sam Griffiths has done a fabulous job in her short tenure as their Ladies manager.” 

The Blues come into the game off the back of a 2-1 win away at Hull, a third away game in seven days. 

“Albeit it was a tight scoreline, it was a comfortable victory, but we had to be exceptionally patient to score the winning goal. 

“Hull had vastly improved from our first encounter in terms of their tactics, and play to their strengths. 

“But it was just a matter of time before we were able to break them down and I was much more pleased with our second-half performance.” 

Donnelly also praised two debutants, who made their mark in last week’s win.

“I was really pleased to see Sophie Charlton making her full debut against Hull and scoring the two goals.

“I thought her and Saffron (Jordan) worked well together. And Charlotte Redman did well on the flank when she was introduced early in the second-half.”

You can see Rovers Ladies in action at Bamber Bridge on Sunday, (2pm), with free entry for Rovers Season Ticket holders. 

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