Rovers Ladies got up and running in the Championship with a superb 1-0 away win at top of the table Durham.
Ellie Stewart’s penalty just before the break proved to be the difference between the two sides on a cold and wet afternoon at New Ferens Park.
Rovers handed a debut to Northern Ireland international Kelsie Burrows, while fellow new signing Lauren Perry was on the bench.
Durham piled on some early pressure and Stewart was forced to head an effort off the line in the opening stages.
Fran Stenson then pulled off a superb one-on-one save to deny Iris Achterhof.
Rovers had their own chances and went close when Natasha Fenton’s header cannoned off the crossbar from Jess Holbrook’s corner.
Back at the other end, Stenson was on hand to deny Achterhof again from point blank range after some tidy build up play from the home side.
Gemma Donnelly’s side started to up the temp – Holbrook’s powerful strike was palmed away by Hannah Reid, who also tipped Danielle Whitham’s low drive behind.
And it would be the visitors who took the lead when Saffron Jordan was upended in the box. Stewart calmly slotted the ball into the bottom corner to score her second spot-kick in as many games.
Stenson would be called upon again in the second-half and the Arsenal loanee kept Rovers in front when she got down to palm away Megan Bell’s close range strike.
The Blues almost grabbed a second in the closing stages. Whitham’s cross found substitute Lauren Davies at the back post but she couldn’t get a clean connection on the ball.
A resilient Rovers saw out a nervy last few minutes to secure a first three points of the season and lift them off the bottom of the table.
Rovers turn their attention back to the Continental Cup next Sunday for the visit of Durham to Bamber Bridge, 2pm.
ROVERS: Stenson, Pearson, Holbrook, Fenton, Jordan (c), Flint (Taylor 86), Lord-Mears (Davies 67), McDonald, Burrows, Whitham, Stewart.
Unused Subs: Perry, Jukes, McDaniel, Fletcher.
Referee: Adam Williamson
Photo: George Ledger/Durham Women FC