• Andy Moore

Derby Fall to Defeat at Promotion Rivals

Derby County Women suffered a 3-2 defeat away to Wolves Women on a chilly Sunday afternoon in the FA Women's National League Northern Division.

The hosts held on for the three points after a dis-jointed first-half performance left the Ewe Rams with too much to do in the second-half and left Wolves in pole position in the fight for promotion.

The Rams jumped out of the blocks, catching their hosts off guard and took the lead after 42 seconds, with Emilia Wilson tapping home a Meg Tinsley cross from close range. Derby continued to dominate the opening exchanges.

Wilson nearly added her second after six minutes, but Shan Turner was equal to it to keep Wolves only one down. Ellie Gilliatt fired a free-kick just over the bar after nine minutes played, leaving Turner rooted to the spot, but the hosts remained in the game as they began to find their feet.

That persistence paid off as Wolves equalised through Amber Hughes, who latched onto a free-kick and poked home from close range, which proved to be the turning point in the match, after just 13 minutes. Sarah Morgan made a smart save just two minutes later, as she caught a Wolves effort from 40 yards out to keep the scores level.

Ellie Gilliatt nearly added another for the visitors, after a mix-up at the back from Wolves nearly gifted Derby a goal, but the ball rolled across the box and was eventually cleared.

The hosts were now in control halfway through the first half and started to pile more pressure onto Derby. Sarah Morgan was faced with a number of efforts that she was equal to, keeping the score line equal.

Gilliatt had another chance after half an hour, after a great run down the wing from Sophie Domingo, who cut her cross back into the box, but Gilliatt’s effort was blasted over the bar.

The Ewe Rams were made to pay for that miss, as they found themselves behind just two minutes later, as Wolves hit the counter-attack and after some confusion at the back, Tammi George tapped home to give her side the lead for the first time in the match and the lead heading into the break.

The hosts extended their lead minutes after the resumption, Derby caught out again from a set-piece after confusion at the back allowed the ball to hit the back of the net, giving the Ewe Rams work to do.

Domingo nearly replied instantly as the Ewe Rams started to pile on their own pressure with substitute Precious Hamilton making her presence known straight away. The Ewes moved to a 4-3-3, and Wolves struggled to contain them and were rewarded when Hamilton won a penalty for her side just 10 minutes after coming on, the spot kick was duly converted by Sherry McCue.

Hamilton continued to cause Wolves problems, but Turner was in incredible form, to deny the forward from point blank range with a stunning save. The Wolves keeper denied Derby an equaliser on a number of occasions late-on with, the Rams even hitting the bar in the last minute with the last kick of the game from a 30-yard Sarah Jackson free-kick that ultimately was in vain as defeat left the hosts in control of their own destiny.

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

Goals: Wilson (1min), McCue (Pen 65mins)

Player of the Match: Sherry McCue

Match Report by University of Derby Football Journalism Student Joshua Fletcher

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