• Andy Moore

Ewes Disappointed after Second-Half Lightning Strike

Derby County Women had to settle for a point in their promotion push after a 1-1 draw with Loughborough Lightning in the FA Women's National League Northern Division in torrential conditions at the Don Amott Arena.

A first-half strike from Ellie Gilliatt was canceled out in the second-half by Lightning's Abbie Benstead and her stunning 30-yard strike with the game marred late on by a potential injury to Ewes star Gilliatt.

The Ewe Rams gave a debut to dual-signed Jess Camwell and dominated the early exchanges, Sophie Domingo proved to be a nuisance for the Lightning defence, and the winger made her pressure pay, providing the assist for Ellie Gilliatt, who fired the ball past the visitors goalkeeper to open the scoring.

The hosts continued to pile the pressure on, with Jess Camwell, Gilliatt, Emilia Wilson and Precious Hamilton all creating first half opportunities, but ultimately the Derby pressure amounted to nothing, and they went into the break with a 1-0 lead.

The weather continued to cause havoc during the game, as Derby’s route-one system was beaten by the heavy Derbyshire weather, which cost Derby their lead, as a strike from Loughborough forward Benstead looped over Sarah Morgan from distance.

Derby found themselves struggling at times during the game, the Ewe Rams were often caught offside, and a barrage of Lightning fouls meant the game struggled to get into full flow.

Academy graduate Marli Rhodes-Andrews made her debut for the Rams, as she replaced Sophie Domingo late into the second half, but her impact on the game was limited, as Ellie Gilliatt’s injury became the centre of attention late in the second half.

The lethal forward had to be stretchered off, to applause from the Derby faithful and was replaced by Kira Rai. Late chances for Derby could have won the game, Amy Sims going closest in the 90th minute, but Webb in goal tipped it behind to deny the captain and condemned the Ewe Rams to a disappointing draw in their chase for promotion.

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

Goal: Gilliatt (6mins)

Player of the Match: Amy Sims

Match Report by University of Derby Football Journalism Student Joshua Fletcher

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