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A disjointed performance, says Donnelly

“We weren’t good enough today and the second part of the season that’s been the constant message”

25 April 2021

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Gemma Donnelly praised the opposition but believes Rovers could have been much better at both ends of the pitch during Sunday’s 3-2 defeat to London Bees.

Maria Edwards handed the Blues a perfect start with her second goal in as many games early on, but it was the home side who took all three FA Women’s Championship points at The Hive.

The Rovers boss reflected on what proved to be a disappointing afternoon for her side and felt it was an all too familiar story with the way the game developed.

“Well done to Bees, I thought they were good today, they caused us huge problems,” Donnelly said in her post-match interview.

“The pace up front, the way they set up, the determination that they exhibited, wanting to win every ball and if not that it was the second balls.

“Whilst we went 1-0 up, they always looked threatening. They got a goal back just before half-time and I don’t want to take anything away from the opposition, they made us look poor.

“We’ve had to mix up the team a little bit today just to consider a few knocks that we’ve taken but anybody who takes a spot in the team should be fully prepared and ready to take that opportunity.

“We weren’t good enough today and the second part of the season that’s been the constant message. I’m just grateful that we’ve picked up sufficient points before Christmas.

“We’ve underperformed across the pitch, we’ve not been able to score enough goals and whilst we’ve been able to score two today, we could have had two or three more and we haven’t done - and we’re leaking goals at the back.

“I’m disappointed for us but I think Bees were good today and they deserve credit given they know their fate already. Potentially the burden has been lifted off their shoulders and they’ve played freely.”

Saffron Jordan levelled the scores, scoring her fourth goal of the season in all competitions to make it 2-2 10 minutes after the break.

Rovers were unable to find a third and conceded what proved to be the winner on 72 minutes as Bonnie Horwood managed to bundle the ball home for the hosts.

“You’ve always got to be hopeful that you can go on and nick it,” Donnelly continued. “We tinkered with the team to try and put more pressure on, and I think we did that.

“But they were always a threat in behind, playing two quick girls up front and we looked really shaky at the back at times.

“We were disjointed, not just in our units but in terms of the distances between them and midfield.

“I still think we created opportunities going forward and we’ve hit the crossbar, we’ve got it into the right areas, we’ve just not got it into the most important area, which is in the net.

“The girls have got to start taking responsibility for the performances. I say it week in, week out, you can’t just go from a good team to the team that we’re currently playing like.

“There’s got to be that light switch moment and we haven’t quite found it yet. We can’t play one week against Liverpool and be outstanding in terms of resilience and then play the next week and be below average.”

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