Derby County Women were defeated by Stoke City Women 3-2 on penalties, despite two brilliant saves by goalkeeper Sarah Morgan, to bow out of the Vitality Women’s FA Cup on Remembrance Sunday.
Extra-time and penalties were needed to separate the fifth and sixth placed Women’s National League teams in the cup with the game tied at 1-1 after 90 minutes.
A late equaliser from Anita Gaspar cancelled out Ali Hall’s early opener to send the game the distance.
A bright start for the hosts saw Derby go behind early on, as Stoke took the lead with just four minutes on the clock.
The ball was drilled into the area by Naomi Bedeau towards Morgan’s goal before Hall diverted it into the Derby net to put Stoke ahead.
Jess Camwell looked to provide the equaliser in the tenth minute, but her effort was tame and caused no problems for Elizabeth Hobson in the Stoke net.
Another good opportunity came for the Ewe Rams in the 26th minute. Amy Sims drove through the middle of the park before laying the ball off to Becky McGrother, but her fizzing low cross was not met by a teammate.
Moments later, Derby had a penalty shout waved away by the referee as Camwell was seemingly brought down in the penalty area.
Brave goalkeeping by the onrushing Hobson denied Sims the opportunity to equalise before Gaspar’s effort was blocked on the rebound.
Camwell did have the ball in the back of the net after rounding Hobson before tapping home into the empty net, however, her goal was disallowed for a foul in the build-up.
Derby won a free-kick in a dangerous position after Sims was brought down by the edge of the area. The ball was delivered in to meet the head of Ella Hilliard, but her effort was straight into the hands of Hobson.
The Ewes did find an equaliser in the 90th minute through Gaspar. A corner was whipped into the area causing a goal-line scramble before the ball narrowly crossed the line to level and send the game to extra-time.
Stoke had a chance to go ahead in extra-time as Molly Holder’s curling effort was just wide of the scrambling Morgan’s goal.
Despite two fine penalty stops by Morgan, Sarah Jackson’s miss saw the Ewes fall to a 3-2 defeat in the penalty shootout.
Derby County Women
Morgan; Jenkins (105), Jackson, Hilliard; Gaspar, Joyce, Sutherland, McGrother (68); Camwell, Sims, Wilson.
Subs: Maguire, Rai (68), Clarkson, Ward, Rhodes-Andrews (105).
Stoke City Women
Hobson; Thompson, Roberts, Bedeau, Bowyer; Gibson (39), Holder, Barber; Richardson (63), Hall (73), Kivel.
Subs: Woodbyrne (63), Craven, Axten (39), Jones (73), Delle.
MITCH BARWELL, UOD JOURNALIST