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Impressive Coventry stay on top
 Women's Football News 27 Oct 2014
 
Coventry City 5 Blackburn Rovers 0
Coventry City gave a sparkling display to see off Blackburn Rovers by five goals nil at the Ricoh Arena and remain at the top of the FAWPL Northern Division, three points ahead of current champions Sheffield FC who have a game in hand. 
 
Taking full advantage of defensive errors by the visitors, the Sky Blues were three goals to the good at the break and had made sure of the win by adding two more with twenty minutes left. Rovers had plenty of the ball but were unable to convert their pressure into clear cut chances unlike their hosts.
 
The tone was set by Maz Gauntlett with two excellent finishes early on which left Blackburn with an uphill struggle. Both came from Rovers defenders being caught in possession, the first when Sami Quayle won the ball on the right and cut an inviting ball back for Gauntlett to finish with a crisp first time effort across Jo Hutcheson. The second was pure Gauntlett, chasing down and robbing a defender then firing a perfect 30-yard lob over the stranded keeper on 16 minutes.
 
Blackburn responded with their first attempt on Sue Wood's goal, but Amie Fleming's effort was high and wide. A much more testing moment on 28 minutes when Katie Anderton played in Danielle Sheen but Wood was down well to hold at her near post.
 
Blackburn continued to press and a scramble in front of goal led to a blocked Nicola Twohig effort from a corner but immediately Coventry broke upfield and Amber Hughes crossed perfectly for Gauntlett who missed the ball, only for Quayle bring a good save from Hutcheson at the far post.
 
The crucial third goal came on 39 minutes and again the hosts outpaced the Rovers defence down the right and another good cross saw Amber Hughes square the ball for Helen Dermody to finish.
 
Coventry's day simply got better after the break when a through ball was missed by a Rovers defender, leaving Quayle with a free run on goal from the halfway line. The finish was low and true to the keepers right on 53 minutes. Hughes nearly added another on the hour but her cross shot was inches wide. It was Dermody who notched the fifth. Played in cleverly by Callan Barber, she bravely chipped the ball home as she collided with the onrushing Hutcheson on 75 minutes having to leave the field as a result.
 
To their credit, Blackburn kept pressing forward and created some chances for a consolation. A weak clearance by Wood almost let in Anderton, then a mix up in defence allowed Kaz Boyle to score only for the offside flag to sum up a miserable day for the Lancashire team. These moments aside the Coventry back four of Ashleigh Neville, Destiney Toussaint, Nikki Miles and Annabel Johnson had an excellent day, being strong in the tackle and constructive in their use of the ball.
 
Blackburn, still third in the table, have had an excellent start to the season and this was hopefully just an off day. However, the Southern Division champions of 2013-14, five months to the day since they claimed the title at Portsmouth, are now making a strong bid to add the Northern version to their honours.
 
Coventry City: Sue Wood, Ashleigh Neville, Annabel Johnson, Destiney Toussaint, Nikki Miles, Jade Formaston, Callan Barber, Sami Quayle, Maz Gauntlett, Helen Dermody, Amber Hughes. Sub: Katie Lowder.

Blackburn Rovers: Jo Hutcheson, Millie Shaw, Sophia Riccio, Lynda Shepherd, Jess Holbrook, Nikki Twohig, Sophie Flynn, Amie Fleming, Katie Anderton, Danielle Sheen, Kaz Boyle. Sub: Vicky Westerman.
 
 
(Report by Patrick Higgins)

 
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