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Donnelly: Lack of a clinical edge cost us

The Rovers Ladies manager gives her reaction to the home defeat against Durham

7 March 2021

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Gemma Donnelly felt missed chances came back to haunt Rovers as Durham picked up a 2-0 win in Sunday’s FA Women’s Championship clash.

The Blues had created the better of the opportunities whilst the scores remained level, with Georgia Walters and Leah Embley both going close twice, either side of half-time.

The visitors seized the initiative, however, netting twice in the final 20 minutes to snatch victory at Bamber Bridge, courtesy of goals from Bridget Galloway and Sarah Robson.

“We’ve created a number of chances today and I feel like a broken record saying that,” Donnelly reflected in her post-match interview.

“At half-time it’s 0-0 and had we converted half of the chances that we’ve created, it’s a completely game, a completed different story.

“We’ve worked so hard on it over the last few weeks given that we’ve not had a competitive game, to work on the final third entries, what it looks like, how we’re committing bodies forward and being more clinical in the goalmouth.

“You need to pick that up and bring it into a matchday and we’re firing balls anywhere but at the goal and it became more and more pressurised and more and more stretched.

“Durham have scored one minute after a one-on-one chance that we’ve created. They’ve gone down the other end and put the ball in the back of the net.

“I could probably count on one finger how many saves Alex (Brooks) has had to make from open play but we’ve gifted them with two sloppy goals.

“They’ve finished them, they’ve scored the two goals from minimal chances. We’ve had loads of chances and scored nothing and that’s the difference.”

The result was a tough one to take for Donnelly given the positive performance, particularly in the first 45 minutes, when Rovers were on top for large spells.

They were punished by a Durham side who remain second in the Championship standings, with only goal difference separating them from the league leaders.

“It’s just really disappointing because I thought in the first half we out battled Durham,” she added. “We showed some moments of absolute excellence.

“The way in which we built up play and created opportunities in their final third was really positive, but then we can’t get the ball in the back of the net, which is obviously the aim of the game.

“There are positives, it’s hard to find those at the minute because we’re all disappointed and looking at what we could have done better.

“There were a number of changes made in the second half, I thought a few looked a little bit leggy.

“It’s important to take time to reflect. I’ll reflect on my performance on as a manager and whether I selected the right 11 and did I make the right changes, but players have to be held accountable as well.”

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