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Report: Rovers Ladies 3 Derby County Ladies 0

Gemma Donnelly’s side clinched the league title with five games to spare

31 March 2019

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Rovers Ladies were crowned FA Women’s National League Northern Premier Division champions for the third season running after a 3-0 victory over Derby County Ladies.

It was a day to remember for the Ladies, who secured victory, and the title, thanks to goals from Saffron Jordan, Sophie Charlton and Jess Holbrook.

Rovers took just eight minutes to open the scoring. Natasha Fenton’s vicious strike cannoned back off the bar, and Jordan was in the right place to tap home the rebound to score her 36th goal of the season. 

But Derby were well in the game and should have levelled when former Rovers striker Andi Bell hit a sweet strike on the volley that was heading for goal until Danielle Gibbons pulled off a brilliant fingertip save on her return from injury. 

And there was further cause for concern when Bell pounced on a defensive error from Rovers, but couldn’t capitalise. 

Jordan was inches away from a second when Lynda Shepherd played her in, and again when Holbrook found a gap in the Derby defence, only for Leah Kellogg to save with her feet.

It took just six second-half minutes for Rovers to double their advantage. Fenton made a strong run into the box and the ball eventually fell for Charlton, whose clinical first-time finish found the bottom corner. 

Twice more Redgrave tried her luck from distance, but failed to hit the target as the visitors continued to make a game of it. 

But the day was all about Rovers, who pushed for a third via Shepherd, who acrobatically flicked Fenton’s free-kick goalwards only to see the offside flag up. 

Lagan Makin then met Natasha Flint’s cross at the back post but couldn’t quite direct her effort on target. 

Makin and Flint both had further efforts saved before the third goal came. It was a classy finish from Holbrook, sliding the ball into the far corner from a tight angle for a fitting end to the game. 

Rovers Ladies. League champions. 

ROVERS: Gibbons, Jukes, Taylor, Shepherd (C), Holbrook, Davies (Makin 66), Fenton, Jordan, McDonald, Fletcher (Walsh 90), Charlton (Flint 55). 

Unused subs: Size, Stuart. 

Goals: Jordan (8’), Charlton (51’), Holbrook (89’).

Attendance: 436. 

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