Derby County Women recorded their fourth successive victory as they beat AFC Fylde Women 3-0 at Kellamergh Park.
The Ewe Rams were triumphant in the third meeting of the season with Fylde having lost the reverse league fixture but winning the clash in the FA Women’s National League Cup.
Amy Sims’ 15th league goal of the season gave Derby the lead early in the first-half, before Kira Rai’s excellent play forcing an own-goal and Jess Camwell’s curling effort secured the three points.
Just 12 minutes into the game, the Ewe Rams’ top scorer Sims opened the scoring with a well-placed effort from the edge of the area.
In the 21st minute, Emily Joyce looked to add to her tally with another emphatic effort from range. She caught the ball well with her right-foot on the volley but her effort was excellently clawed off the line by Megan Hunter.
Minutes later, Imogen Maguire was called into action to ensure Derby did not concede from a well worked free-kick by Fylde.
Derby doubled their lead in the 42nd minute when Rai, who made her first start of 2023, worked the ball down the left flank before drilling a low cross into the area which was bundled over the line by a Fylde defender.
The Ewe Rams continued the second-half in similar fashion as Camwell added the third goal of the game in the 55th minute.
Rai again was instrumental in the goal as she fed the ball to Camwell who confidently looped the ball with finesse over Hunter and into the centre of the goal to put Derby in a commanding position.
Anita Gaspar was denied a much deserved goal in the 60th minute, as her curling effort from outside the area was palmed away by the outstretched Hunter.
Moments later, Emilia Wilson was unfortunate to not add a fourth for the Ewe Rams as she found herself open in the penalty area only to see her venomous effort rattle back off the crossbar.
Derby’s clean sheet was in danger when substitute Sarah Jackson was deemed to have handled the ball inside the area despite it hitting her face from close range.
However, Faye McCoy could not capitalise on the opportunity to score a consolation goal as she dragged the penalty wide of Maguire’s goal.
The last chance of the game fell to Keira Barry who also found herself one on one with Hunter following a counter-attack. However, her effort was saved by the Fylde keeper to deny Derby a fourth goal.
Victory sees the Ewe Rams continue their unbeaten start to 2023, taking their tally to four wins out of four.
Sam Griffiths’ side will travel to Stoke City Women on Sunday, February 19, as they look to continue their impressive run on the road.
AFC Fylde Women
Hunter; Fryer, Young, Bickett, Merrin; Forster (C), Rowe, Binks, McCoy, Beresford, Highnett.
Derby County Women
Maguire; Jenkins, Hilliard, Ward; Gaspar, Joyce, Sutherland, Rai; Wilson, Sims, Camwell.
Subs: Morgan, Jackson, McGrother, Barry.
MITCH BARWELL - UOD JOURNALIST