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Ladies

Report: Sunderland Ladies 3 Rovers Ladies 0

Gemma Donnelly’s side fell to a first defeat of the season

17 March 2019

Rovers Ladies were defeated 3-0 by Sunderland Ladies following an uncharacteristic display in their top of the table encounter.

It was the Blues’ first defeat of the season - and the first time they have failed to score in a game - but they still hold a seven point lead over Sunderland, with three games in hand on the Black Cats. 

Three quick-fire goals from Maria Farrugia, Niamh McLaughlin and Keira Ramshaw did the damage in the first-half.  

Donnelly made one change from the team that beat Loughborough two weeks ago, with Natasha Flint returning from injury to replace Kayleigh McDonald.

And the Rovers striker had an early chance when Jess Holbrook played her in on goal, but Flint dragged her shot wide. 

After that Rovers looked off the pace having not played in 14 days, and Sunderland took advantage on their own patch. 

The home side broke the deadlock on 13 minutes, Farrugia turning home the rebound after Amelia Size had saved Charlotte Potts’ initial effort.

Sunderland soon had their second when Niamh McLaughlin scored from inside the area.  

And it was three before the half hour mark. Ramshaw poking the ball into the top of the net from close range. 

There was a brief spell of Rovers pressure when Jordan’s header was saved by Alison Cowling. 

Back at the other end, Mollie Lambert was through on goal and forced Size into a diving save. 

Into the second-half Rovers pressed to try and get back into the game. Top scorer Flint sliced a shot wide from inside the area. 

The hosts were still a threat on the break and goalscorer Farrugia should have done better when the ball fell to her on the edge of the box, blazing her effort over the bar.

But in the end Rovers just couldn’t find a way through a stubborn Sunderland back line. 

Jordan almost found Lynda Shepherd, who had made a lung-busting run into the box, but Cowling was out to save. 

Taylor’s shot on the turn was then saved by Cowling before Davies’ effort was claimed in the air.

Elsewhere, there was better news for the Development team, who beat Newcastle United 1-0 away from home to remain top of the table by five points.  

Rovers are back in action on Tuesday night, away to Guiseley Vixens, (7:45pm). 

ROVERS: Size, Jukes, Shepherd (C), Stuart (McDonald 77), Holbrook, Davies, Fenton, Jordan, Flint, Makin (Taylor 62), Fletcher. 

Unused sub: Walsh. 


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