Derby County Ladies Football Club

Black Cats Tame Sloppy Ewe Rams

Derby County Ladies rued sloppy mistakes as they fell to a 5-2 defeat at Sunderland in the FA Women National League Northern Division, their first back-to-back defeats of the season.

Having beaten the Black Cat Ladies 1-0 earlier in the season, the Ewe Rams went into the game looking to do the double over their hosts but despite goals from Emily Joyce and Cara Newton, boss Sam Griffiths was disappointed with the performance.

Griffiths said “I’m really disappointed today, last week we could hold our hands up and say we were beaten by the better team but today Sunderland moved the ball better than we did, got runners into higher areas and their was a lot of individual sloppiness that cost us today.

“Conceding straight after we’ve scored is not ideal and we switched off after giving ourselves a lifeline and we also had chances, particularly when we’d been put through on goal and we all have to take collective responsibility, both players and staff.

“We changed it up in the second-half, we didn’t feel that we were getting what we needed in our full-back area so we chose to sacrifice one of them and get an extra player up top. We work a lot on our play in the final third but I think we are lacking a bit of confidence in that area at the minute.

“Having said that, we’ve scored again and we’ve only failed to do so once in games this season so that is a positive but frustratingly our defending had been a strength in the first few months of the season but the last couple of weeks, the back line seem to have wobbled a bit.

The Ewe Rams made 4 changes after defeat last weekend with Leah Kellogg returning in goal ahead of Sarah Morgan who dropped to the bench, whilst their was a return from injury for Amy Sims with Nikki Ledgister and Karagh Tait restored to the line-up.

In the opening 20 minutes, the hosts struggled to break the Derby County Ladies back-line but in the 23rd minute, Bridget Galloway powered home a free header from a corner to give Sunderland the lead.

Derby responded quickly as a Cara Newton effort forced a corner with Hannah Ward’s ball into the 6-yard box headed home by Joyce to draw the visitors level.

Having given themselves a lifeline, the Ewes switched off almost immediately allowing Mollie Lambert to restore Sunderland’s lead with an unstoppable shot past Kellogg in the Derby goal.

With the game in the balance heading into half-time, the Ewes were dealt a killer blow on the stroke of half-time as sloppiness in their own half allowed Galloway to get her second after Kellogg had saved the initial effort, going in with a two goal deficit at the break.

Derby County Ladies Boss Griffiths made two changes at the break with Callan Barber and Monique Watson coming on but almost immediately they were a further goal behind as Galloway got her hat-trick as her powerful shot could only be parried by Kellogg.

Despite falling three goals behind, the Ewe Rams change in formation began to take effect with the visitors enjoying the better exchanges and they carved open the Sunderland defence to add their second as a through ball from Jodie Redgrave found Cara Newton who fired into the bottom of the corner with 2o minutes remaining.

For the second time in the game, Derby switched off almost immediately with Georgia Gibson afforded too much time on the edge of the area to fire a fifth for the hosts and end any chance of the Ewe Rams coming back to get something from the game.

With a second defeat in two games, Griffiths goes into next week’s game with Huddersfield Town looking to arrest their slide in a testing month for Derby County Ladies and said “We knew these set of three games would be massive for us and I said that if we got four points I’d be happy but we can’t get that now and so we need to get as close as possible and get a win up there.”