Rovers Ladies kicked off their Continental Cup campaign with a 1-1 draw against Coventry United, but lost on penalties to miss out on a bonus Group Stage point.
Ellie Stewart’s penalty had Rovers in front before Amy Hughes levelled for the home side.
With nothing to choose between the two sides after 90 minutes, the game went to penalties. Coventry won the shootout to take two points from the game.
It was an open start with both keepers tested early on. Becky Anderson’s effort was well held by Danielle Hill on her 100th Rovers appearance, and she was also called into action to deny Jodie Bartle heading in from a corner.
Rovers had chances of their own. Jess Holbrook forced Sue Wood into a diving save before Wood also kept out Lauren Davies, who was played in by a neat flick from Saffron Jordan.
Kayleigh McDonald then tested the Coventry stopper with a fierce strike from distance as Rovers started to get on top in the game.
And there were more chances to come – Rhema Lord-Mears did well down the left and her cross almost found the onrushing Alex Taylor, but she couldn’t quite get on the end of it.
Holbrook then played in Jordan, who worked an opening in the box only for Wood to smother her shot.
Natasha Fenton came close the opening the scoring when she saw Wood off her line and went for goal from the half-way line, but the ball clipped the bar and went over.
Rovers’ relentless pressure would pay off 10 minutes before the break. Jordan was brought down in the box and Stewart stepped up to calmly slot the spot-kick into the bottom corner.
The home side tried to fight back before the break through Amber Hughes and then Shannon O’Brien – who struck the post after capitalising on a defensive error.
The lively Hughes twice went close soon after the interval, once again testing Hill, who saved her powerful drives.
Coventry came even closer to an equaliser on the hour mark but a combination of Hill and the post kept them out.
However, they wouldn’t have to wait long for a goal as Hughes finally got on the scoresheet with a stunning strike to beat Hill in the Rovers goal.
Clear cut chances were few and far between for Rovers in the second period. Jordan did go close when she directed Fenton’s flick towards goal, but Wood was in the way to prevent her putting the Blues back ahead.
And it was Coventry who were pushing for a winner in the closing stages, forcing Hill into two brilliant diving saves in quick succession to keep the scores level.
The visitors did come back alive in stoppage time as substitute Natasha Flint almost lobbed Wood, only for the ball to drop the wrong side of the post.
And Charlotte Redman found Jordan in the box but the Rovers captain headed over.
Hill then pulled off two saves in the shootout and scored one herself to take it to sudden death.
But after Kayleigh McDonald missed Rovers’ sixth spot-kick, Jade Formiston scored hers to hand Coventry a bonus point.
It’s back to Championship action on Sunday when Charlton Athletic are the visitors to Bamber Bridge, (2pm). Click here to buy tickets for the game!
ROVERS: Hill (GK), Jukes, Taylor, Holbrook, Davies (Flint 52), Fenton, Jordan, Lord-Mears (Montgomery 64), McDonald, Redman, Stewart.
Unused sub: McDaniel.
Referee: Amy Fearn