A general view of the Coventry United Ladies Butts Park Arena Coventry United Ladies v Aston Villa Ladies, FA Women's Championship football match, The Butts Park Arena, Coventry, UK - 17 Nov 2019 Photo: Robin Parker for The FA

Hughes penalty sees Blackburn Rovers edge out Coventry United

Blackburn Rovers are up to fifth position in the FA Women’s Championship after defeating Coventry United 1-0 at the Butts Park Arena this afternoon.

The Lancashire side recorded a narrow victory in a match of fine margins and resolute defences in Warwickshire.

Rovers looked certain to take the lead early on in the match when an in-swinging corner wasn’t properly dealt with and Saffron Jordan tried to stab the ball into the net. Yet, in the ensuing goalmouth scramble, United were somehow able to hoof the ball clear before the Rovers captain could convert.

Despite it being quite a quiet first period, the second 45 minutes was anything but. The half began with exhilarating pace with Amber Hughes forcing a great double save from Rovers goalkeeper Alex Brooks before the defence were able to clear the ball away from danger. In the subsequent Rovers attack, Jordan was brought down in the area and the assistant referee was in no doubt and a penalty was awarded.

On-loan Everton attacker Elise Hughes stepped up a blasted her penalty kick into the roof of the net, giving Sue Wood no chance in the Coventry United goal.

Jay Bradford’s side almost came back with an immediate response. Katy Morris whipped in a corner from the left and Chelsea Weston was first to meet it. Her header looked to be heading for the corner of the net but the ball was cleared off the line at the last and Rovers maintained their advantage.

That Hughes penalty proved to be the difference as despite the best efforts of Bradford’s side, they couldn’t break down the Rovers defence and the match finished 1-0.

Rovers have now kept four consecutive clean sheets in the FA Women’s Championship with Gemma Donnelly’s side becoming renowned for their tough defence. The victory means that they now overtake Lewes and move up to fifth place in the table, just two points behind Liverpool.

As for Coventry United, despite it being a much-improved performance than their recent outings, they fell to their fifth defeat in a row in all competitions and they will certainly be looking over their shoulder towards the relegation zone right now.

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