Ewe Rams celebrate second with dominant display
Derby County Women celebrated the final day of the season with a 2-0 away victory at Sheffield FC Women, in what also served as a final appearance for both Sherry McCue and Ellie Gilliatt.
The Ewe Rams started extremely brightly, with Sophie Domingo on the right wing causing immediate problems for the Sheffield defence, and her cross found Ellie Gilliatt, whose shot was blocked.
Domingo again was proving tricky, as she nutmegged her marker and found herself deep in the Sheffield box, but the hosts goalkeeper Megeary saved well at her near post to deny the winger.
Derby took the game to their hosts, with a dominant display looking as if they would score with every attack. Gilliatt fired an audacious 20-yard volley after 13 minutes, which looked like it would loop over the goalkeeper, but the impressive Megeary was equal to it and tipped it over her crossbar to keep the scores level.
The tie began to get quite frustrating for the visitors, despite overriding Sheffield across the park, Derby couldn’t find the final ball or finish to give them the deserved lead.
Ellie Gilliatt looked determined as usual to find the net, especially being her final appearance before retirement, and she hit an audacious 25-yard volley to beat Megeary, but the Sheffield FC goalkeeper was equal to it again.
An impressive display from Ellie May, as she sent a dangerous cross into the box, but despite some good control, Domingo couldn’t beat the keeper. Gilliatt hit another volley over the bar in the closing stages of the first half, and the teams went into the break level.
Sam Griffiths made three half-time changes, with Imogen Maguire, Jess Camwell and Emilia Wilson all departing, and replaced by Sarah Morgan, Emily Joyce, and Jade Formaston to make their final appearances of the season.
The Rams made the breakthrough early into the second half, with Ellie Gilliatt curling her effort into the far-left hand corner, on her 50th and final appearance for Derby County.
After taking the lead, the Rams continued in the ascendancy, and dominated the affair, doubling their lead just before the hour mark.
Ellie May’s effort from long range was deflected past Megeary to give Derby a well deserved 2-0 lead.
Precious Hamilton and Amy Sims entered the field after the goal, replacing Kira Rai and Megan Tinsley, with Hamilton almost having an immediate impact, but her shot was blocked her follow up went wide.
Derby saw out the game well, as they looked comfortable in possession, with limited efforts on goal, Hamilton, Gilliatt, and Domingo all had chances in the final exchanges but couldn’t add a third to the tally.
A second-place finish was secured before the game on Sunday, but a dominant performance ensured a four-point gap between the Ewe Rams and Fylde. This was the highest finish and points tally for the club, in an extremely impressive season, despite multiple challenges the club have faced during the campaign.
Line-Up: Maguire (Morgan), Ward (c), Jackson, McCue, Tinsley (Sims), Rai (Hamilton), May, Camwell (Formation), Domingo, Gilliatt, Wilson (Joyce). Subs Not Used: N/A
Goals: Gilliatt 49mins & Own Goal 59mins
Match Report by University of Derby Football Journalism Student Joshua Fletcher