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Preview: Rovers Ladies v Loughborough Foxes

Rovers host the Foxes in the League Cup Semi-Final

1 March 2019

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Rovers Ladies are bidding to reach a second consecutive League Cup Final – and go all the way in the competition again.

The Blues triumphed over Leicester in last season’s showpiece event to lift the trophy for the first time in the club’s history. Now they are looking to repeat the feat. 

But standing in Rovers’ way are Southern Premier Division side Loughborough Foxes, who breezed through their Quarter-Final with a 3-0 win over AFC Wimbledon. 

Rovers boss Gemma Donnelly said: “It will be a tough game. They’ve not progressed to the Semi-Final for no particular reason. Like every team, we won’t underestimate them. 

“Their manager likes to have them well organised and they have some good players. We’ll make sure we’ve done our homework and prepare accordingly.”

Facing Loughborough at home in the League Cup brings back fond memories for Rovers, who won 5-0 in November 2016. Ella Toone, Ria Montgomery and Alex Taylor were all on the scoresheet that day

“The last time that we met they were a difficult opposition to play against. And I expect the same this time around.

“We will take nothing for granted. With it being a Cup game, anything can happen.”

Donnelly’s charges overcome a stubborn Huddersfield side last weekend to reach this stage of the competition. Goals from Lagan Makin and Saffron Jordan helped Rovers record a 3-1 away victory against their league rivals. 

“It was a determined display. In the first-half it was a relatively even match but I thought we showed our quality in the second-half. 

“The players stuck to the task and are deserving of a place in the Semi-Final.”

It was an assured debut between the sticks from Fran Stenson, who joined on loan from Manchester City just hours before making her bow for the Blues. 

The 17-year-old made a crucial save late in the piece, denying the Terriers a potential route back into the game – but is ineligible to face the Foxes this time around. 

That means Development team goalkeeper Amelia Size is in line to make her first appearance of the season. 

And while Rovers Ladies fans be dreaming of another domestic double, Donnelly insists their full focus in on this game.

“Being current holders of the League Cup will always put us under pressure and teams want to beat us. 

“But the players are determined to reach the Final. It was a memorable occasion last season achieving our first ever League Cup Final place and ultimately winning it.”

It’s a 2pm kick-off at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium on Sunday, with tickets priced at £4 for adults, £2 for concessions and free entry for Rovers Season Ticket holders and One Club members. 

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