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Report: London City Lionesses 3-0 Rovers Ladies

Rovers were defeated in their first Championship fixture of 2021

24 January 2021

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Rovers Ladies fell to a 3-0 defeat against London City Lionesses at Princes Park on Sunday afternoon.

With Alex Brooks out of action, Emma Bradley was handed her debut in goal, while new signings Annabel Blanchard and Hannah Coan were named on the bench.  

Rovers created the first opening of the game when Elise Hughes saw her shot from the edge of the box saved by Shae Yanez.

London City also looked dangerous going forward and might have taken the lead when Kallie Balfour struck the crossbar, before Poppy Wilson fired the rebound wide of goal.

Back at the other end, Saffron Jordan’s free-kick was inches away from nestling into the bottom corner and she also had another attempt held by Yanez soon after.

Opportunities continued to flow for both sides, with Charlotte Newsham forced to clear the ball off the line to prevent a Lionesses opener.

Georgia Walters then struck a sweetly hit free-kick from all of 30 yards out, which Yanez was forced to tip wide.

More chances came and went as Jordan’s in-swinging cross was headed wide by Hughes and Natasha Fenton’s free-kick went off target, while Walters forced another save from Yanez, who got down to block the strike.

London City started to apply more pressure as the half wore on. Lily Agg fired high and wide on the edge of the area, while Bradley was called into action to save from Alli Murphy, who was free at the back post.

Two goals from the hosts just before half-time saw them go in at the break with the lead.

Elizabeth Ejupi broke the deadlock with a low finish past Bradley after breaking through the middle and Atlanta Primus doubled their advantage in first half stoppage time, snipping in at the back post.

The hosts started the second half on the front foot as Bradley tipped Agg’s strike wide of target.

Rovers also went close, with Jordan striking wide after patient build-up on the edge of the area.

But it was the Lionesses who struck again, with Ejupi on target for the second time, striking low past Bradley at the near post.

Balfour’s strike was then held by Bradley as London City looked to assert their dominance on the game.

The Blues kept going, however, and Jordan broke clear and pulled the trigger, only for Yanez to be in the right position to claim it.

Hughes then saw the Lionesses’ ‘keeper off her line and went for goal from distance, but she got back to claim.  

Annabel Blanchard came off the bench for her Rovers debut and almost had an assist when her corner was met by Jade Richards, whose header was saved.

With Rovers pushing more bodies forward in an attempt to get back into the game, Murphy’s corner was headed off target by Harley Bennett for the Lionesses. 

In the closing stages, Jordan cut inside onto her right and curled an effort narrowly over the bar, while Hughes also saw a shot saved.

London City went close to a fourth late on, but settled for three goals and the three points.

Next up for Rovers is a trip to The Oakwood to face Charlton Athletic on Sunday 31 January (12pm kick-off).

ROVERS: Bradley; Dean, Stewart, Richards, Newsham; Fenton, Doyle; Hodgson (Johnson 53), Hughes, Jordan (c); Walters (Blanchard 64).

Unused subs: Fletcher, Edwards, Embley, Boydell, Coan, Montgomery.

Referee: Simon Finnigan

HT: 2-0

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