Rovers Ladies were beaten 1-0 by Coventry United Ladies on Sunday afternoon as the visitors secured their safety in the FA Women’s Championship.
Keeley Davies’ 38th-minute strike proved to be the difference between the two sides at Bamber Bridge with Rovers slipping to a third straight home loss.
The Blues made one change from the side that drew 1-1 at Liverpool as Georgia Walters replaced Maria Edwards in the starting XI.
It was a fast-paced start to the game and Rovers created the first real opportunities from two Walters corners.
Firstly, Jade Richards flicked the ball on for Elise Hughes, who couldn’t find the target, before Hannah Coan’s header deflected wide from another out-swinging delivery.
Aimee Hodgson then went for goal from the edge of the area and found Sue Wood there to claim the ball.
Coventry fashioned their own chance when Davies got past Kayleigh McDonald and fed Fran Orthodoxou, who sliced her effort past the post.
The crucial breakthrough came on 38 minutes from a lofted ball that Richards headed back towards Alex Brooks, but Davies was able to nip in and lob it over the Rovers stopper.
The home side tried to respond after the break when Walters’ free kick fell for Kayleigh McDonald to volley towards goal, but Becky Anderson was there to get a block in.
Chelsey Jukes then found Wood in the way, making a smart diving save to deny her first-time effort, with Richards heading the resulting corner narrowly over.
The visitors remained a threat on the break and Davies looked for her second when Beth Merrick and Phoebe Warner both found her in quick succession, but she was unable to hit the target on either occasion.
An even better opportunity fell to Warner, who met Anna Wilcox’s centre six yards out but managed to send her header wide.
Back at the other end Wood was down quickly to hold onto a low strike from Saffron Jordan, while Alex Brooks was called into action, denying Destiney Toussaint from close range with her feet.
Jukes cut inside and struck from distance as Rovers continued to hunt for an equaliser, but the Coventry ‘keeper stood firm, determined to claim a clean sheet for her side.
In the final minute Natasha Fenton’s long-range effort sailed over the bar as Rovers were unable to find the net for the third straight home game.
Next up in the FA Women’s Championship after the international break, Rovers travel to face already-relegated London Bees at The Hive Stadium on Sunday 25 April, (2pm kick-off).
ROVERS: Brooks; Jukes, McDonald, Richards (Edwards 84), Coan; Fenton, Hughes; Fletcher (Embley 69), Walters, Hodgson (Doyle 46); Jordan (c).
Unused subs: Bradley, Newsham, Dean, Boydell, Montgomery.
Referee: Lauren Impey