Derby County Ladies Football Club

Clinical Rovers Too Strong for Ewe Rams

Match Report by Derby University Football Journalism Student Joe Lightfoot

Derby County Ladies fell victim to league leaders Blackburn Rovers Ladies who continued to establish their dominance at the top of the FA National League Northern Division with a 7-0 away victory over a battling Ewe Rams side.

An emphatic hat-trick by Saffron Jordan with other goals by Natasha Fenton, Lynda Shepard, Eve Kennerley and Alex Taylor gave the overwhelming favourites the victory at Mickleover Sports FC.

Fenton looked dangerous from the get-go and put the visitors in front just before the 10-minute mark. 20 yards out, her free-kick bent round the wall and nestled into the bottom corner just past the finger tips of a diving Sarah Morgan.

The unbeaten and overwhelming league leaders made it two just a minute later through Jordan as the ball bounced around the area and fell perfectly for her to volley in unchallenged. Lagan Makin hit the post soon after in a dominant opening quarter of an hour from Blackburn.

Lynda Shepard then saw her penalty rocket against the crossbar as she missed the chance to put the visitors out of sight after 23 minutes. The miss seemed to give Derby a timely boost but just as they started to grow into the game, Shepard made amends for her pervious error and scored from open play.

The ball alluded Morgan who had left her line to collect a deep free-kick and the ball was headed into the vacated net after half an hour.

Derby’s first real chance of the game came through Cara Newton as she broke the incredibly high Blackburn line but had her effort well-saved from Danielle Gibbons. Blackburn responded, though as Makin hit the woodwork for the second time in the half.

Making her 10th appearance for the club, Rachel Ball wonderfully stopped the visitors from starting the half even better than they did the first with a last gasp goal line clearance. That was before Eve Kennerley made it 4-0 with a comfortable finish inside the 18-yard box.

Blackburn looked dangerous from set plays and caused Derby problems with them throughout. This proved their undoing again 10 minutes into the second half when Jordan toed the ball past Morgan to make it five. And not before long, Jordan grabbed her hat-trick with a wonderful effort from range to enhance the deficit to six.

For all of Blackburn’s quality, Derby often showed glimpses of quality. A quick counter attack started by substitute Nikki Ledgister, continued by Newton and almost finished by Andi Bell reminded the Rovers defence that Derby intended on reducing the deficit. Jodi Redgrave’s effort was headed off of the line as the Ewe Rams endured their best spell of the match midway through the second half.

As Derby pushed to get on the scoresheet, Substitute Alex Taylor broke free down the right-hand side and slotted it past Morgan with a cool finish at the near post. Derby were left almost defenceless as they went in search of a goal of their own.

Derby’s 7-0 defeat should not be condemned too much as they at times looked dangerous in the final third and will know that working hard on their defensive set-pieces would have seen a much tighter scoreline.

They were beaten by an incredibly talented Blackburn side who look very well set to earn promotion and they will be hoping to amend the result next week as they travel to Sunderland, looking to bounce back.