Derby County Ladies Football Club

Stoke City LFC v Derby County LFC

FA Women’s Premier League North Division – Sunday February 12th

Attendance – 102


Derby County Ladies – 1

Ward 6mins


Stoke City Ladies – 2

Gibson 10mins

Atherton – 50mins


Disappointment as Ewe Rams lose at Stoke

Derby County Ladies Manager John Bennett told the club that this was arguably the toughest loss in his time at the club, after a 2-1 defeat at Stoke City Ladies, saw the Ewe Rams go away empty handed in their first FA Premier League Northern Division game of 2017.

An early goal via a 30-yard effort from Hannah Ward, had put the Ewe Rams ahead before the home team responded quickly to level the match. An evenly matched contest saw Stoke take the lead, early in the second-half, before a missed penalty from Sam Griffiths, and a clutch of chances for the visitors, failed to pay dividend.

Manager Bennett told the club “This was probably the toughest result to take in my time at the club, not through a lack of effort as ever, but because we dominated a large majority of the game, but we were unable to take not just chance, but gilt-edged chances.

“The team have done everything that we have asked of them, apart from be ruthless in front of goal and it has cost us at least something from the game, and probably the win. It’s deflating and puzzling at the same time but we can take heart that we again played a lot of good football and at some point the luck will turn.”

Derby County were forced into a change in the back-line as Vanessa Nicholson left the club this week due to a commitment back home in London, with Sam Griffiths moving into the back line from midfield, alongside Emily Jeffrey, with both players beginning their partnership with good effect, despite the result.

There was also a place on the bench for new signing Lauren Cresswell, a former Ewe Rams player who was making her return to the club from WSL side Doncaster Rovers Belles.

An evenly matched open period allowed for a good contest between the sides, before Ward’s long range effort could only be tipped into the back of the net, to give the Ewe Rams the lead.

The home side responded quickly with a neat move to leave goalkeeper Sarah Morgan with no chance and the visitors were dealt a blow on 25 minutes when midfielder Lisa Giampalma was forced off, allowing Cresswell to make her return.

Chances came for both sides with Stoke City hitting the post twice, whilst both Melissa Johnson and Cam Newton had good efforts saved as the half-ended level at 1-1.

Within moments of the re-start, the home side took the lead in a carbon copy of their first goal, with a simple tap-in that was harsh on the visitors.

From here the Ewe Rams honed in on an equaliser, with chances for Mel Johnson, Nicole Dale and Cresswell, well saved by the Stoke goalkeeper, with further chances hitting the post as Derby searched for the leveller.

Molly Johnson continued her impressive form of late, hitting the bar with a rasping 25 yard curler before winning a penalty with a sinking run, that was halted by a trip. The penalty was taken by Sam Griffiths and was well struck, but was equally well saved by the Stoke goalkeeper, who was making amends for the error for the earlier goal.

More chances came for the visitors as they pressed to earn themselves a deserved point but they were unable to find the target, and went away disappointed and empty handed.

Player of the Match – Molly Johnson