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WBA FC Women suffer stoppage time defeat

13 March 2017

Baggies beaten by league leaders

ALBION suffered late heartbreak thanks to Jess Holbrook's injury time winner giving Blackburn the edge in a five-goal thriller at Dale's Lane.

The Baggies fought back heroically from two-goals down to cancel out Ellie Stewart and Ella Toone's earlier strikes, but it was not enough as Holbrook's last gasp effort gave Rovers all three points.

Olivia Mitcham and Trina Greaves were on target for Albion who were missing at least three regular first-team players through injury and absence.

One player who was available after missing the reverse fixture was goalkeeper Bec Thomas and the Baggies stopper was forced into action almost immediately, tipping over a Taylor shot from distance.

Just moments later though Stewart gave Rovers the lead when a looping shot from just outside the box was too hot to handle for Albion keeper Thomas who let the ball slip through her hands and over the goaline.

Jordan almost made it two, but Thomas was on hand to pull off a fine point-blank save after a mistake at the back had gifted the opportunity to the Blackburn forward.

Albion could have gone in level right on the stroke of Half-time when Walker headed a left-wing corner across the face of goal, but Rovers cleared the danger just before Darby could poke the ball home.

Yet it was Rovers who doubled their lead ten minutes into the Second period when Toone was played in down the left before clipping the ball over Thomas into the far corner from a tight angle.

With the Baggies two-goals down, Nicholls threw on substitute Shannon Stamps who made an immediate introduction when she fired in a goalbound effort which Mitcham flicked past Rovers keeper Hill to give Albion a lifeline.

And just six minutes later Albion deservedly drew level when Stewart's curling free-kick evaded everybody but Greaves who was on hand to bundle the ball in from close-range.

Parnell could have completed an incredible comeback for the Baggies, but headed wide a Cottam corner before Holbrook had the final say in stoppage time when she found space to fire past keeper Thomas.

Assistant Manager Paul O'Brien remained positive despite defeat to the league leaders.

"It obviously does not feel great at the moment, but when we sit down and gather our thoughts, there will be plenty of positives to take.

"I thought probably on the balance of things we deserved a point.

"The players reaction was fantastic to going 2-0 down and showed real character to come back into the game, it certainly shows how we are moving forwards as a group."

Albion Ladies visit Birmingham City Ladies FC in the FA Women's Cup Fifth Round next Sunday 19th March 2017 at Solihull Moors FC (ko 2pm).

WBA FC Women: Thomas, Highman, Sargent, Stewart (Butler 84), Darby (c), Hull, Parnell, Greaves, Mitcham, Walker (Stamps 62), Cottam.

Subs: Butcher, Price, Warner

Blackburn Rovers Ladies: Hill, Whitham, Cook (McCoy 56), Stewart, Pearson, Shepherd (c), Fenton, Holbrook, Toone, Taylor (Montgomery 89), Jordan.

Subs: Size, Fryer



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