• Andy Moore

Ewe Rams Extend Lead in Northern Division after Boro Win

Derby County Women extended their lead in the FA Women’s National League Northern Division to six points with a 2-0 win at Middlesbrough Women, bringing an end to the first half of the season.

First-half goals from Sophie Domingo and Emily Joyce, saw a dominant Ewe Rams side comfortably take the points in a feisty encounter against a spirited young Middlesbrough side, leaving 1st Team Coach Kiran Savage delighted to end 2021 with a win.

Savage said “We were really pleased with the intensity of the first-half, we we’d have probably have liked more goals, it was all us but you never want to leave it at 2-0 as one goal can swing it completely but we’ve got to be pleased especially on a tough pitch like that.

“The character and the attitude of this side has been top class, it’s been like that all season and really shows the spirit and we work hard and we do it together and now we can go and enjoy our Christmas.

“We’ll recharge our batteries and be ready to go in the New Year against Brighouse in the League Cup. We’re top of the league, six points clear and the pressure is now on other teams. They can’t afford to slip up and its always great to have those points on the board.”

The Ewe Rams were forced into two changes from last time out as Development Team Goalkeeper Zoe Millington and new signing Emelia Wilson came into the side in place of Sarah Morgan (illness) and Sherry McCue (Injury).

A blistering start from the visitors saw the ball in the net inside the opening 4 minutes as Ellie Gilliatt was adjudged to have handled the ball moments before firing into the net.

That didn’t deter the Ewe Rams as Amy Sims and Precious Hamilton went close before the deadlock was broken after 17 minutes when the hosts failed to clear with Domingo slotting the ball beyond Todd in the Boro goal.

A mistake from Todd allowed the Ewes to extend their lead on 23 minutes where her clearance went straight to Gilliatt, with her shot cannoning against the post, into the path of Joyce who slotted into an empty net.

With their tales up, Derby went in search of more goals but found a brick wall in an inspired display from the Boro Goalkeeper Todd, who thwarted the visitors in their quest to extend their lead.

As half-time approached, the home side had the ball in the net as Maxwell hooked home, but she was adjudged to have produced a foul with the goal chalked off and the Ewes ahead at the break.

The second-half continued in much the same vein as the first with committed tackles flying in from both sides as that crucial this goal was sought that could swing the game either way.

A huge chance for the home side just after the hour, had Ewe Rams hearts in their mouths as Maxwell was put through in goal but put her shot wide in a let off for the visitors.

More chances came for Derby too as Hamilton, Gilliatt and Domingo had further chances to take the points but it proved immaterial in the end as the Ewes secured the 2-0 win to move them six points clear at the top of the FA Women’s National League Northern Division.

Line-up: Millington, Sims (c), Tinsley, Miles, Jackson, Formaston, Joyce, Wilson, Domingo, Gilliatt, Hamilton (May) Subs Not Used: Edwards, Wragg

Goals: Domingo 17mins, Joyce 23mins

Player of the Match: Sophie Domingo

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