Stourbridge Stun as Ewe Rams Crash out of FA Cup
A last-minute goal knocked the Ewe Rams out of the Vitality Women's FA Cup and ended their 10-game winning streak as West Midlands Premier League side Stourbridge Ladies stunned the hosts.
Sam Griffiths named a rotated side, and the Ewes started brightly, scoring after two minutes as Emily Joyce's direct corner looped over everyone into the far corner for the perfect start for the hosts.
The Rams continued their early pressure, but struggled to convert their chances, Ellie Gilliatt and Nikki Miles both had efforts in the opening exchanges but the unusually off-key Ewes finishing was to prove costly, as the visitors pulled level with a looping shot from Millie Rogers nestling over Sarah Morgan just shy of the half-hour mark.
Further chances following the equaliser came but the hosts couldn’t find a way past Amie Preston in the Stourbridge goal and their mistakes proved costly yet again, as a defensive mistake allowed Stourbridge an opportunity, which Alex Nicklin converted to again lob Morgan in the Derby goal.
Griffiths looked to change things at half-time, with Sophie Domingo and Oliva Edwards adding some experience into the side, and the Rams looked sharper for it.
Chasing the game, the Ewes piled on the pressure with Formaston going close twice, including rattling the bar but Stourbridge were restricting chance to long distance shots that frustrated the hosts.
Domingo’s pace was proving a problem for the visitors, and she carved out a great opportunity for Kira Rai, after some great link up play with Precious Hamilton, but her effort was saved by the impressive Stourbridge keeper.
The Ewes kept their attacking pressure up and would have been out of sight if not for the impressive Preston, though she could do little about the Ewe Rams equaliser as Precious Hamilton continued her great form, netting another header to equalise with 20 minutes to play.
At that point their looked only one winner, only to be denied again and again as the combination of the goalkeeper and the Stourbridge defensive unit, thwarted further attacks.
Edwards glanced a header wide with five minutes to play, and the miss proved costly, as a long ball over the top put the visitors in on goal, and from 40-yards, Courteney Murphy lobbed the stranded Morgan to send the Glassgirls wild.
Griffiths sides were persistent throughout, and pressed right till the end, but the goalkeeper saved again a last opportunity for the hosts, as Derby crashed out of the FA Cup in the first round.
Attention now is back on the league, with a home tie against Sheffield FC on Wednesday night. Tickets are available via this link - https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/derby-county-women
Line-Up: Morgan, Sims (c), Miles, McCue, Jenkins (Domingo), Joyce, Formaston, Fisher (Edwards) Rai, Gilliatt, Hamilton. Subs Not Used: Clarke, Otter, May.
Goals: Joyce 2mins, Hamilton 71mins
Punjabi Rams Player of the Match: Jade Formaston
Match Report by Univerity of Derby Football Journalism Student Joshua Fletcher