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Donnelly: We should have won the game

"It's definitely not the result we were anticipating today and based on the performance overall I thought we were excellent and we deserved more so it's disappointing"

13 September 2020

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Manager Gemma Donnelly couldn't hide her frustration after Rovers Ladies lost 1-0 to Charlton Athletic thanks to an injury time winner from the visitors.

The Blues dominated the game but were unable to find a way through, before the Addicks pounced via Jessica King's 92nd minute goal. 

"I'm very disappointed," Donnelly said post-match. "I thought we did enough today to warrant the three points, let alone coming away with a draw. 

"First-half we were brilliant, we created more than enough chances, we hit the crossbar a couple of times and we were really knocking on the door. 

"I thought it was only a matter of time before we converted one of those chances, but that wasn't to be and of course as the time went on, the pressure rose.

"And to be fair to Charlton, they've come out second-half and given us more of a game, I thought it became quite stretched second-half.

"Fran (Bentley) has pulled off a couple of good saves, but likewise so has their keeper at the other end and then there's been a penalty appeal for us, not given. 

"Then of course in the last 30 seconds of the game we've urged Fran to go forward to get in behind and try to capitalise at 0-0 and her kicking and distribution, which has been fantastic in both games, but just this once she's not got the distance we would have liked on it. 

"Charlton have picked it up after a possible foul on Emma (Doyle), I know there were shouts for it, it's played on, of course which we have to, and then it's a tremendous finish in the top bins from Charlton to seal the victory and three points. 

"So yeah, it's definitely not the result we were anticipating today and based on the performance overall I thought we were excellent and we deserved more so it's disappointing."

Despite another defeat, Donnelly felt that her team were deserving of more from the game and will take the international break to pick her players up to go again. 

"I've got to pick the girls up and all the staff now," she continued. I am disappointed but that said, there are positives. 

"We've had to makeshift a bit of a team today and listen I'm not making excuses, it is what it is and I still thought we performed really well enough to warrant a victory, but that touch of luck has fallen on Charlton for that last 30 seconds. 

"We should know better, all it takes is one switch off or one mistake and things can change. We shouldn't have allowed it to get to that stage if we had capitalised on our chances early doors."

The Rovers boss reserved praise for young midfielder Aimee Hodgson, who picked up the Peter Jackson the Jeweller Player of the Match award, as well as new signing Elise Hughes, but could not fault the effort of any of her players.

Donnelly added: "I thought Aimee (Hodgson) again was fantastic, Elise (Hughes) looked lively today, I thought the midfield did a great job. 

"We have a week off next week and then we're back in against Crystal Palace away and it allows me to look at the squad.

"We'll have the two suspended players back available and probably a couple of the injured players as well so things are starting to look a little bit brighter on the squad front. 

"But taking nothing from the girls today, I thought they did enough to warrant three points, but as a consequence of the late goal, we haven't got any. We need to work on that and that's what we'll do. 

"We're stronger than that, it doesn't define our season, it just challenges us that little bit more, we're used to it, so we'll reflect on it today and then we'll pick it up with the girls and go again stronger and tougher on Tuesday."

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