Rovers Ladies produced another strong performance to beat Coventry United Ladies 1-0 in a close encounter at Butts Park Arena on Sunday afternoon.
Elise Hughes’ well taken 53rd minute penalty proved to be the difference between the two sides, as Rovers battled to a third win in four and extended their unbeaten run to four matches.
The Blues remained unchanged for the third game running and started brightly as Maria Edwards’ shot deflected out for a corner. A goalmouth scramble ensued from the resulting set piece, with Coventry eventually clearing the ball.
At the other end, United's returning striker Shannon O’Brien forced Alex Brooks into a low save, after creating an opportunity for herself.
Ellie Fletcher then had to head away Amber Hughes’ powerful strike, in what was an open start to the game.
Brooks was called into action again to pounce on Katy Morris’ through ball and prevent O’Brien getting a shot away.
Back at the other end, Aimee Hodgson got through down the left but Coventry ‘keeper Sue Wood held on to her low, left-footed effort.
Rovers had a goal disallowed when Saffron Jordan’s well taken finish was brought back for offside and it continued to be an open encounter with Becky Anderson finding Amber Hughes, who saw her effort hit the side netting, before O’Brien headed over soon after.
The lively Hodgson also created an opening just before the break, cutting onto her left and seeing a curling effort tipped behind by Wood.
Both sides created further chances after half-time, firstly Jordan found space for a shot on the edge of the area that Wood was equal to.
Brooks was called into action twice, saving Amber Hughes’ low shot from a tight angle, before the rebound was cleared off the line. And Brooks also denied O’Brien, who had created space for a shot.
Then came the game’s big moment as Jordan made a run into the box and was brought down, with Hughes stepping up and emphatically smashing the spot-kick into the roof of the net.
The hosts searched for a leveller, again O’Brien was the creator, firing wide of target after evading a couple of challenges in the box.
Rovers were on the hunt for another goal themselves and when Jordan did well to get to the byline, Hodgson came close to getting on the end of her cross, while Fenton went for goal with her left and found Wood in the way.
Amber Hughes’ low shot deflected wide and Alice Hassall’s header was caught by the ever-dependable Brooks, keeping her fourth straight clean sheet in the process, as the home side kept pushing for the equaliser.
However, they were forced back in the closing stages and some good build-up play from Hodgson created an opening for Ali Johnson to find Hughes in the middle, but her shot was blocked, as the Blues controlled the final minutes.
And Rovers held out to move up to fifth in the FA Women’s Championship table ahead of facing Durham at Maiden Castle on Sunday 6 December (12pm kick-off).
ROVERS: Brooks, Fletcher (Newsham 64), McDonald, Richards, Johnson, Fenton, Doyle, Edwards (Jukes 57), Hughes, Hodgson (Walters 83), Jordan (C).
Unused subs: Bentley, Dean, Embley, Boydell, Stewart.
Referee: Jack Bloxham