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Report: Leicester City Women 5-2 Rovers Ladies

Elise Hughes and Charlotte Newsham were on the scoresheet for Rovers

4 November 2020

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Rovers Ladies' Continental Tyres League Cup campaign came to a close with a 5-2 defeat at Leicester City Women on Wednesday evening.

Elise Hughes and Charlotte Newsham both scored their first goals for the Club to level the tie early in the second period, but it wasn't enough for Rovers to take anything out of the game at Farley Way Stadium. 

Gemma Donnelly made six changes to the team that beat London City Lionesses last time out, including a debut for new signing Ali Johnson. 

Leicester fielded a strong line-up and went ahead inside six minutes when Natasha Flint tapped home after Alex Brooks had made two fine saves to initially keep the hosts at bay. 

In a frantic start to the game, Annabel Blanchard nodded Libby Smith's cross over the bar, before Millie Farrow sent a powerful drive narrowly wide of target. 

The offside flag denied the Foxes a second, when Sam Tierney turned in Ashley Plumptre's cross. 

Two efforts from Smith then failed to find the target, while Rovers had their own chances at the other end. The lively Maria Edwards took aim and saw her shot deflected out for a corner. 

But just as Rovers were getting a foot hold in the game, Flint doubled her and Leicester's tally, on 32 minutes, hitting an unstoppable strike into the top corner. 

Despite that setback, the visitors also finished the half strongly, with a series of free-kicks, before Edwards dragged a shot wide on the cusp of the break. 

Donnelly's side came out for the second-half with renewed confidence and once Smith hit the side netting early on, it was all Rovers. 

And five minutes past the break, they got their reward. After some great work from debutant Johnson down the right wing, she picked out Hughes, whose sweetly struck shot found the net. 

It was to get even better for Rovers when Newsham equalised on 57 minutes. After firing over the bar moments earlier, she then made no mistake when played through by Edwards, drawing the Blues level via a low effort. 

In a great spell of pressure following the goal, Georgia Walters then forced a smart out of Kirstie Levell, while Kayleigh McDonald's free-kick caused problems for the Leicester defence. 

But a double City change turned the game back in their favour as substitutes Charlie Devlin and Paige Bailey-Gayle restored their two goal advantage. 

Firstly on 78 minutes, Devlin's composed finish made it 3-2 and then four minutes later Bailey-Gayle's curled effort went in off the crossbar. 

A late fifth goal - that came deep into stoppage time when the ball bounced in off Kayleigh McDonald - was harsh on Rovers, who had battled hard to get back into the game. 

The Blues are back in league action on Sunday, hosting London Bees at Bamber Bridge (2pm kick-off). 

ROVERS: Brooks, Johnson, McDonald, Stewart, Newsham, Boydell (Doyle 45'), Hodgson (Fletcher 72'), Embley (Montgomery 72'), Hughes (Jordan 84'), Edwards, Walters (Fenton 84'). 

Unused sub: Richards. 

HT: 2-0

Goals: Hughes 50', Newsham 57'. 

Referee: Georgia Ball. 

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