Brid Rovers Ladies stun Rotherham in FA Cup

Rovers Ladies goalscorer Chloe Bennett (blue kit) look to close down Rotherham United in Sundays FA Cup clash

Bridlington Rovers Ladies pulled off the biggest shock of the first qualifying round in the SSE Women’s FA Cup, winning 3-1 at Rotherham United on Sunday.

The East Riding County Women’s League side proved too strong for United despite only travelling to South Yorkshire with only 11 players.

The Bridlington side roared into a 3-0 lead against a United team currently playing two tiers above Rovers, after only 34 minutes through goals from Chloe Bennett, Caroline Cloherty and Amy Ward.

Proud boss Mark Womersley said: “We battled hard all game and got everything we deserved from the game.

“We were the much better team on the day and proved what a good side we are.”

Rovers earned £375 for winning the first qualifying round clash.

Womersley added: “We went there to win, not just to turn up and have a fun day out and win we did.

“All 11 players ran themselves into the ground- they did everyone proud.

“This shows what a high standard we play at. We went to a regional premier league side and played them off the park.”

Rovers will be the underdogs again in the second round qualifying match, as they entertain Accrington Ladies & Girls on Sunday September 23.

Accrington ply their trade in the North West Regional Premier League, but Rovers will have no fear after their win against the Millers on Sunday.

The Bridlington-based side had been due to play host to Leeds Medics & Dentists in the preliminary round on Sunday August 26, but the West Yorkshire side had conceded to allow Rovers passage into the first qualifying round.

Rovers started the game at the Regional Premier League and former Women’s Premier League side on the front foot and soon looked comfortable playing against a team two divisions higher.

In the first 10 minutes alone Amy Thompson got in on the right forcing some last-ditch defending for the Rotherham captain.

On the 12-minute mark Bennett put the visitors in front with a superb half-volley which flew into the bottom corner giving the United goalkeeper no chance.

Rovers extended their lead on the half hour mark when Caroline Cloherty got on the end of an Amy Ward cross to make it 2-0.

With the hosts rocking and at this point not forcing a single save from the Rovers keeper Ebony Stewart, Rovers took full advantage and an excellent through ball from

Bennett set Ward free and she coolly slotted past the on rushing keeper to make it 3-0 after 34 minutes.

Rovers nearly made it four soon after with a cross from Beth Taylor finding Ward, who tapped home, only to be flagged offside by the assistant referee.

Rovers had to weather a bit of a storm from Rotherham before half-time but without ever causing Stewart to make any meaningful saves.

The second half once again saw Rovers start well and could have extended there lead further with Bennett and Ward coming close and more great work from Amy Thompson almost set up Ellie Harding for a tap-in and Thompson was also denied be a great save from the Rotherham keeper.

Rovers had to play the last 35 minutes with a strapped- up and hardly mobile Harding who battled through the pain barrier to ensure Rovers kept 11 on the field.

The Brid back four of Hannah Mitchell, Vicky Stonehouse, Danielle Kendrick and Kennedy Elvin stood strong to keep Rotherham at bay.

With around 10 minutes to go the home side got a goal back from a free-kick that had was scrambled into the Rovers net with not much Stewart could do about it.

As the remaining minutes went by Rovers came under more pressure but stood strong and kept Rotherham to shots from distance.

Rovers team: Steward, Mitchell, Stonehouse, Kendrick, Elvin, Thompson, Bennett, Harding, Tayor, Cloherty, Ward.

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