DARREN Fraser was full of praise for his Bowers & Pitsea Ladies side after bouncing back from their Isthmian League Cup exit by coming out on top in an 11-goal thriller.

Having been knocked out of the Isthmian League Cup after suffering a 7-1 defeat to Charlton Athletic at the quarter-final stage, Bowers secured a 6-5 victory over Stevenage Ladies Reserves as they returned to Eastern Region Women’s Football League Division One action three days later.

And Fraser insisted Bowers did not deserve to lose by such a convincing scoreline against the second-tier Addicks.

“I don’t think the scoreline truly reflects how well we played,” said the Bowers boss.

“We performed well, but they are a good side who are top of the FA Women’s Championship having played seven and won all seven.

“They train three times a week as well and you could tell that’s paying off for them.

“We knew we would be up against it and went into the game as underdogs, but we created chances and just couldn’t take them.

“We hit the crossbar and the post and only scored one goal when we deserved more.

“Charlton were young, fit and organised. When they scored, they went on a roll.

“But we didn’t give up and gave 100 per cent.

“I was proud of my players and the club because we get an attendance of 115, which is great for a midweek ladies match.”

Natalie Strange bagged the Bowers goal at the Len Salmon Stadium, which levelled matters at 1-1, but Charlton - who compete in English women’s football’s second tier - were able to score goals at regular intervals in the second half.

However, Bowers bounced back and claimed an impressive 6-5 win over Stevenage three days later.

Stevenage made the trip to the Len Salmon Stadium as the league leaders and, although they remain at the summit, Bowers were able to strengthen their hopes of leapfrogging the visitors into top spot by bagging all three points.

Danielle Styles notched four goals in the victory, while Georgia Fraser and Taylor Parrish were also on target.

And the Bowers boss was pleased to see his side react to their midweek defeat in a positive manner.

“We went 3-1 down inside the opening 15 minutes, but the ladies’ heads didn’t drop and we were by far the most dominant team on the pitch,” added Fraser.

“Having only played three days earlier against a fantastic side like Charlton, the girls demonstrated their fitness levels.

“It was a perfect game for us until I made a couple of changes which didn’t work out how I would have liked. I take responsibility for that and I won’t make that mistake again.

“They scored two goals in the last 10 minutes after those substitutions, but we fully deserved the win.

“I want to finish top of the table so it was an important win.”