• Andy Moore

Below-Par Ewe Rams Disappoint at The Hawthorns

A historic day at The Hawthorns, saw Derby County Women come away empty handed after a disappointing 2-0 defeat against West Bromwich Albion Women in the first-ever game staged at the home of the West Midlands side.

Boss Sam Griffiths made changes to the side that won 3-1 against Hull City Ladies last week, with Ellie Gilliatt absent through illness. Jade Formaston, Sherry McCue and Sophie Domingo returned to the line-up.

The sides were evenly matched in the opening exchanges, Sarah Morgan made a smart save after three minutes, and Amy Sims had a good effort five minutes later.

Derby started to grow into the game more, as a great bit of play found Emilia Wilson, who played Jess Camwell in, but her shot was tipped over by Poppy Bastock.

Precious Hamilton and Megan Tinsley both had first half efforts, that caused Bastock no real problems in goal, and Sophie Domingo was the most dangerous threat to the Albion backline, her pace caught the Baggies out on a number of occasions, but she couldn’t find the finish required.

Bastock continued to impress with a number of saves to keep the scores level, which would have been greatly appreciated by her teammates, as the hosts took the lead after 33 minutes.

Miscommunication at the back, and a loose ball from Morgan left Leigh Dugmore an open net, and she slotted home the easiest chance she’ll ever get, on one of the biggest stages.

Despite Domingo’s best efforts, coming close again before the break, the Ewe Rams went into half time a goal behind and with work to do in a lack-lustre half that failed to set the encounter alight.

Sam Griffith’s team talk seemed to have had an effect, the Rams took control of the play and creating a flurry of opportunities, the best falling to Domingo after 58 minutes, but Bastock again denied her with a smart save with her feet.

Minutes later and Domingo had another opportunity, an error at the back for West Brom left space for Domingo, and her effort was well held by Bastock, much to the disappointment of Hamilton, who had lost her marker and had space alone in the middle of the area.

Derby’s finishing ultimately proved costly, as the first spell of Albion pressure since the start of the second half, resulted in the hosts doubling their lead. Substitute Evie Gallop netted with her first touch, drilling her shot towards the far-hand post and into the bottom corner.

Amy Sims saw her header rise over the bar from close range, after a dangerous cross from Domingo, with just over five minutes left to play but the game fizzled out with the hosts taking the 2-0 win, a disappointing afternoon all round for the Ewes, as the promotion hunt took what looks to be a permanent dent.

Line-Up: Morgan, Sims (c), Jackson, McCue, Tinsley, Joyce, Wilson (Miles), Camwell (Rai), Formaston, Hamilton (May), Domingo. Subs Not Used: Ward

Player of the Match: Sherry McCue

Match Report by University of Derby Football Journalism Student Joshua Fletcher

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