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Report: Rovers Ladies 0-1 Charlton Athletic Women

An injury-time winner from Jess King handed the visitors all three points

13 September 2020

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Rovers Ladies were denied a first point of the FA Women's Championship season by an injury-time goal from Charlton Athletic Women's Jess King on Sunday afternoon.

The game, Rovers' first at Bamber Bridge this campaign, looked to be heading towards a goalless stalemate, before Jess King popped up to net with virtually the last kick of the contest, cruelly denying the Blues at least a draw. 

Manager Gemma Donnelly handed a debut to new loan signing Elise Hughes, who started as a lone forward after joining from Everton on deadline day. 

She was one of two changes to the team, with defender Jade Richards also coming in, in place of forward Georgia Walters. 

It was a cagey opening quarter with neither side wanting to give anything away. The visitors fashioned the first shot on target, though it was a tame effort from Jess King that was comfortable for Fran Bentley to deal with. 

At the other end, debutant Hughes saw two efforts go narrowly wide - firstly from Emma Doyle's corner and then a header from Meg Boydell's cross. 

Rovers went even closer to taking the lead when Natasha Fenton's turn and shot from the edge of the area crashed against the bar. 

The home side created from set pieces too and Richards was inches away from connecting with Boydell's free-kick. 

Hughes then latched onto Fenton's through ball and her strike crashed against the post and back into play, as Rovers continued to dominate. 

Clear cut chances were at a premium after the break, although Ellie Fletcher did force Katie Startup into a save, before Hughes' header was blocked in the box.

A brilliant double save then denied Charlton an opener, with Jenna Legg's long-range strike and King's follow up both parried away. 

Rovers did have the ball in the net just after the hour mark, when Walters finished on the turn, but it was adjudged to already be out of play in the build up. 

Walters turned provider soon after, playing in Fletcher, but Startup was equal to her low strike once again. 

The away side could have taken the lead as Lois Heuchan's floated cross forced the back peddling Bentley to tip the ball over the bar. 

After Fenton had hit a half-volley just wide of goal at the other end, Rovers loanee Bentley would also produce a diving save to keep out Rea Laudat's strike and Ciara Watling's deflected effort, as both sides pushed for the winner. 

The goal came for Charlton, in the 92nd minute, when King beat the offside trap and chipped the ball into the net, handing the Addicks all three points. 

Next up for Rovers following the international break is a trip to Hayes Lane to face Crystal Palace on Sunday 27 September. 

ROVERS: Bentley, Dean, Richards, Stewart (C), Newsham, Hodgson, Fletcher, Fenton, Boydell (Walters 59), Doyle, Hughes. 

Unused subs: Brooks (GK), Bradley (GK), Dykes, Embley. 

Referee: Magdalena Golba

HT: 0-0


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