A well-taken first-half finish from Serena Fletcher and a late pile-driver from Natasha Flint handed Rovers Ladies a first home victory of the season against Crystal Palace.

Rovers' unbeaten Championship run was extended to three games as they put Thursday's Continental Cup defeat to Liverpool firmly behind them.

Goalscorer Fletcher admits she was ‘shocked’ to find the back of the net, but was happy with the way her side responded to the heavy cup defeat with three points in the Championship.

"It was a really uplifting victory for the team. After Thursday's defeat I think we all knew we had to get the three points,” she said.

"We all stuck together throughout the 90 minutes and dug deep.

"We all knew what we had to do to combat Palace. We knew our jobs and it was vital we had to win.

"I'm really looking forward to going to Leicester now. That's my old team of course, so hopefully we can carry on what we've being doing.”

"We're all buzzing in the dressing room after that result."

It proved to be a hugely entertaining opening 45 minutes at Bamber Bridge.

The hosts almost struck early on when Natasha Fenton crossed in for Saffron Jordan, only for the Rovers skipper to glance a header just off target.

Palace were making inroads too, and they were thwarted by the woodwork in the 17th minute.

Aoife Hurley crashed a 20-yard strike against the crossbar after she pounced on an error from Rovers midfielder Flint.

Flint almost made amends minutes later as she darted on to Ellie Stewart's through-ball before being denied by a smart save from Emma Gibson.

Gemma Donnelly's Rovers grabbed the opening goal they had been threatening two minutes before the interval.

Flint clipped a pass through to Fletcher, and she fired home under Gibson from an acute angle.

Rovers maintained a good tempo into the second period, and they went close in the 56th minute when Fenton fizzed a 22-yard free-kick inches over the top.

Palace replied with Ella Rutherford seeing her free-kick from even further out saved by Rovers' on-loan 'keeper Fran Stenson.

Bianca Baptiste then forced Stenson into a fine stop as the visitors pressed hard for a leveller.

Rovers almost made it two in the 89th minute as Jordan's pile-driver was superbly tipped onto the crossbar by Gibson.

Flint made no mistake seconds later, however, as she smashed home superbly from 25 yards to wrap up victory as Rovers chalked up a second win of the season, and first at home since promotion.

Rovers: Fran Stenson; Serena Fletcher, Kayleigh McDonald, Ellie Stewart, Chelsey Jukes; Kelsie Burrows, Jess Holbrook, Natasha Fenton, Alex Taylor (Lauren Thomas, 90); Saffron Jordan, Natasha Flint.

Not used: Lauren Perry, Levi Chambers-Cook.

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