Rovers Ladies manager Gemma Donnelly praised her side’s efforts in the 3-0 reverse against Leicester City Women.
Ex-Blue Natasha Flint scored twice to see the Foxes take all three points, but Rovers, who played the majority of the second-half with 10 players and were missing several key players, made City work hard for their victory.
Donnelly recognised the way her side played as a promising start to the season performance wise, albeit without the result they wanted.
Donnelly said: “It’s disappointing to lose any game, but we came here as realists and it was going to be a tough challenge to travel away to Leicester for the opening game of the season.
“I thought we were unbelievable in the first-half, I know we conceded a goal from our own mistake, but we were incredibly difficult to break down and I thought Leicester found it really tough.
“Of course the sending off changed the game and when you’re playing a well organised and experienced team, they were always going to find those gaps when you go down to 10 players, so the goals were going to come.
“I’m incredibly proud of the girls today, they’ve shown heart and they’ve shown guts and determination and we’ve had to rely on some of the younger ones but they haven’t looked out of place and they’ve given everything.
“Of course I’m disappointed with the loss, but I’m really pleased with the overall performance despite the result.”
Rovers had six debutants in the starting 11 and the boss was pleased with how they fitted into the side, seeing positive signs for the games ahead.
“I’m really pleased with the performances of the girls today,” Donnelly continued. “I can’t really single anyone out, but if I was to, I thought Issy (Dean) was outstanding.
“Aimee (Hodgson) from the RTC, I thought she was incredible too, she never stopped running, she never stopped challenging and applying pressure. She’s been shifted around the park today.
“There were some standout performances, from Charlotte Newsham as well. Generally across the whole team, everyone put an absolute shift in, so I can’t praise them enough despite the result.”
Donnelly says the team aren’t too down about the scoreline and know there are huge fixtures on the horizon, starting with next Sunday’s home game against Charlton Athletic.
She added: “We’ll reflect on today and speak about it as a team with the staff, but it’s gone now, we can’t change it. We move forwards now to next week.
“We’ve got Charlton at home and then we’ve got a run of games over the next couple of months that we want to be setting our sights on picking points up and scoring goals, so there are more positives than negatives from today.
“We hit training on Tuesday, go again and our focus will be all on next week.”