Derby County Ladies Football Club

Deja Vu Strikes as Ewe Rams Dumped Out of WPL Cup

Two goals in the final five minutes dumped Derby County Ladies out of the WPL Cup as lower league Brighouse Town Ladies inflicted a 3-2 defeat at the Yorkshire Payments Stadium.

Having taken a two goal lead into half-time, Derby County Ladies were pegged back early in the second-half, before two late controversial decisions went against the Ewe Rams that ultimately saw them exit at the second-round stage. 

Manager John Bennett was left to rue a missed opportunity and felt his side were lacking in their approach to game management.

“It was a game of two halves and we’ve seen the confident and higher league side dominate and look comfortable in the first-half and then second-half we’ve allowed them to battle their way into the game and we’ve again panicked.

“We warned against complacency at the break and we’ve not took a couple of great chances to extend the lead and you can’t allow that against a team with the quality they have. Our decision making process and game management were lacking today.

“We’re an honest bunch, everyone from the players to the coaches and we all have to look at ourselves. The onus is on us to work this out, ultimately i’m the manager and I put the team out there but the players also have to look at it and we’ll collectively work harder to iron out these problems.”

A bright start by the Ewe Rams seemed to banish the previous encounter with Brighouse as they took the game to their opponents with Molly Johnson going close with a couple of long range efforts. 

Slick passing in the Brighouse half, saw the visitors take the lead when Johnson, Amy Sims and Lauren Cresswell linked up well to provide Karagh Tait with the space to plant one into the top corner from 20-yards.

Within five minutes, the Ewe Rams had doubled the lead when a half-clearance fell to skipper Hannah Ward and her 30-yard goal-bound effort took a decisive deflection to wrong-foot the Brighouse Town Ladies goalkeeper for 2-0.

With the clock winding down towards the break, Brighouse’s goalkeeper was lucky to stay on the field as she collected the ball outside her area, with no action taken, a decision that looked crucial, come the end of the match.

Brighouse got themselves back into the game within five minutes of the re-start as Jodie Redgrave found space in the box to lash home and cut the deficit in half and giving the hosts a big boost in confidence.

The home side were now on top though the best two chances fell to the Ewe Rams with Cresswell’s shot blocked after good work on the left from Andi Bell, before Nikki Ledgister ran clear but was denied by a header on the line.

With Brighouse in the ascendency, the visitors were battling to maintain their lead and held out until the 87th minute when Chloe Hutsby was adjudged to have felled Brighouse in the box with Aimi Beresford making no mistake from the spot.

With the clock ticking down, the Ewe Rams seemed to have settled for extra-time but Brighouse had other ideas and launched another attack in injury time. Redgrave again found space in the box with suspicions of offside waved away, to fire home the winner and take the home side through to a quarter-final tie with Blackburn Rovers Ladies.

The Ewe Rams will next be in action on Sunday as they return to league action with a home tie against Bradford City Women with kick-off 2pm at Mickleover Sports FC. 

Manager John Bennett’s full post-match interview, coming soon!