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Donnelly takes heart from spirited performance

“If it was down to work rate and effort we deserved something”

8 September 2019

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Rovers Ladies boss Gemma Donnelly felt her side gave everything they had as they were defeated 2-1 by Aston Villa at Villa Park.

The home side raced into a two-goal lead before Alex Taylor reduced the arrears in the second-half.

Kayleigh McDonald almost drew Rovers level at the death, when her header was saved in injury time.

But Rovers left empty handed for the third time this season.

“If it was down to work rate and effort and heart we deserved something,” Donnelly said post-match.

“But if it was down to dominance on the ball, probably not. Villa controlled it nicely from start to end.

“The chances we did have we made use of. Alex (Taylor) has scored immediately after they scored their second goal which has just given us that little bit of impetus and momentum.

“But quite quickly Villa took back control again. They are a class act and are going to be right up there this season.

“They dominated in terms of possession and creating lots of half-chances. They’ve got some class players.”

Donnelly was full of praise for the effort and determination of her players, from start to end. And she believes there is plenty to take from the game, despite defeat.

“What we did today, we were solid defensively and we played with everything we had again. The girls gave a really good account of themselves.

“The players will take a lot from this. They’re frustrated because we’re used to seeing a lot more of the ball.

“They’re also aware that having been promoted and particular playing good teams, that’s how it is this season.

“We’ve got to be prepared to concede possession but make the most of it when we do have it."

“It’s the first opportunity today that we’ve fielded almost the starting 11, apart from Tash Flint. We’ve been in a position to bring a relatively big squad so we’ve had choices to make.

“I thought it showed on the pitch with the energy and heart. It just wasn’t quite enough. We might have nicked a point at the very last kick of the game from the set piece but it wasn’t to be.”

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