PNE Women were defeated by Blackburn 2-1 in the Lancashire Challenge Cup trophy in front of a bumper crowd at the County Ground.
Amie Fleming’s shot from outside the penalty box forced Danielle Brown to clip the ball onto the bar before the ball bounced down over the goal line to give Rovers the lead.
Yasmine Swarbrick followed up from Sunday’s equaliser against Bradford to level the scores after running the ball into an unguarded net but Saffron Jordan’s near post finish brought the trophy back to Blackburn for another year.
There were no changes to the PNE starting XI that won the game against Bradford City at the weekend, including club captain Laura Walker who was on the bench.
Ainsley Strickland created the greatest chance of the opening stages as she worked the ball well down the right flank before cutting the ball back for Jordan but the latter’s shot fell wide of the goal.
North End goalkeeper, Brown made an excellent save to deny Fleming with 15 minutes gone. A direct ball from the Rovers defence played Fleming in one on one but her shot was equalled by the ever-present Brown.
The first chance of the game for Luke Swindlehurst’s side came on the 28th minute with a real chance to open the scoring. Gemma Watson dribbled down the right wing and picked out Swarbrick waiting inside the penalty area but the striker’s angles were all wrong as she skied the ball over the Rovers bar.
It didn't take long for Blackburn to punish North End for their missed opportunity. Some good counter attacking play left North End outnumbered at the back and so Fleming fancied her chances with a shot from outside the penalty area; Brown managed to push the ball onto the bar but could not prevent the ball bouncing into the net.
Swindlehurst’s side were having to defend for their lives again in the second half as Cara Bickett was denied by the legs of Brown following a corner from the left to keep the score at 1-0.
However, Swarbrick pulled the game back for PNE on 65 minutes after rounding Danielle Hill and supplying the finishing touch despite the pressure from the Rovers defence.
Then came the decisive moment of the match; Danielle Young was brought down by Fleming inside the Blackburn penalty area but Natasha Flint stepped up to the penalty and rolled the ball wide of the target.
To rub salt in the wounds even more for North End, Blackburn went up the other end of the pitch just three minutes later and were soon back in front. Jess Holbrook was allowed too much time inside the PNE half and her through ball to Jordan was converted at Brown’s front post to complete the scoreline.
Rovers substitute Leah Foster came close to assisting Fleming for her second of the game but it proved to be in vain with Blackburn going on to seal the win and take the Lancashire Challenge Cup trophy back to Darwen for the second year in a row.
PNE starting line-up: Brown, Stanfield, Forshaw, Carroll, Farrell, H. Forster, Flint (Walker 80), Young, Watson, Makin, Swarbrick
Unused subs: Savage, Turner, Riley, Ball
Blackburn Rovers starting line-up: Hill, Flynn, Pearson, Cook, Bickett, Holbrook, Shepherd, Fleming, Jordan, Strickland (Foster 71), Toone
Unused subs: Maher, Taylor, Fenton, Kinvig