Derby County Ladies Football Club

Foxes Setback Won’t Stop Development Team Progression

Derby County Ladies Development Team Manager Tommy Booth believes that despite an agonising 4-3 loss to local rivals Leicester City Women Reserves, his side are still battling for a place in the FA WPL Midlands Reserve Division top two.

Sunday’s loss was just their third this season and Booth says he saw enough from his side to know that results don’t always come with performances and that the development of the squad is still the number one priority across the club.

“The loss to Leicester was very hard to take when there was only one team trying to play football. Ultimately though, we are a development team, and results are somewhat irrelevant as long as we are learning and improving (not that it doesn’t hurt).

“I’m constantly reminding the girls that we will make mistakes, and it doesn’t bother me in the slightest how many we make, as long as were learning from them, and that is key from today.

“We have a very young team, and we need to remember that. Grinding out results once you get yourselves in front is something that you learn from experience.

“That is something that we were maybe guilty of today, however I’m very proud of the girls, especially having gone behind to a team that are currently sat at the top of the division.”

The Ewe Rams brought in 1st team striker Kirsty Allen for the clash with the Foxes with the former Notts County star looking to add more minutes in her comeback from injury. However, it was the visitors that took an early lead, slotting home from 30 yards after a long ball over the top.

The lead didn’t last long as the impressive Anita Gaspar’s deflected shot got the Ewe Rams back on level terms at the break before a nasty looking injury to goalkeeper Zoe Millington forced her off the field with striker Danni Oxley having to go into the net for the home side.

That injury stunned Derby County Ladies, allowing the Foxes to retake the lead before their never say die attitude again saw them equalise through Emily Gillott as she raced clear before slotting the ball home to make it 2-2.

That seemed to galvanise the home side and they went in front for the first time as Kira Rai’s jinking run and shot was only parried, allowing Allen to make sure for a 3-2 lead. That lead however lasted just minutes as the Foxes equalised with a 30-yard effort in what was proving to be a thrilling game.

Both sides went in search of the winner in the final ten minutes but it was the visitors that nicked all three points as another long ball over the top saw Oxley race from her line to clear, only for the ball to bounce off a Foxes player and loop agonisingly into the net and seal a 4-3 win. 

Booth said “ There are many positives to take out of the situation. We lost in my opinion, one of the best defenders in the league, through injury, and then had to put a huge attacking threat in Danni, in goal after losing our goalkeeper early in the second half, and yet we still took the game to the league leaders and are all surprised how we didn’t come away with all three points, never mind losing.”

The Development Team are back in action this Sunday as they travel to The New Saints LFC Reserves hoping to come away with all three points from their trip to Wales.