Derby County Ladies Football Club

Ewe Rams Development Progress to Knockout Stages of League Cup

Match Report by Derby University Football Journalism Student James McCormick

Last weekend Derby County LFC Development and Stoke City WFC drew 0-0 in a close-fought stalemate that ensured the Ewe Rams passage into the knockout stages of the FAWNL Reserve Cup.

They will play Nottingham Forest WFC Reserves in the next round as they look to make the quarter-finals.

Stoke’s forward line had two clear cut chances for the game to be put to bed, with the one-on-ones first being put wide, and the next called back for an offside in the build-up.

From these Derby countered well, using width in their setup to find spaces in the final third. However, the Ewes couldn’t find the final pass, as they faced a solid Stoke defence.

It was a close start between the both sides, neither team making the most of any openings. Derby had gone into the match with a change in set up, playing a 3-5-2 from the off. This change provided more defensive cover and allowed for a counter-attacking style which saw the team move up the field together.

Stoke had employed a structured 4-2-3-1 which focused on pressing the wings, where Derby only had a wingback and a midfielder drawing outside. This led to Stoke’s biggest chance of the first half, when a wide ball was drawn back for their number nine, whose shot from 18 yards skimmed just wide of the post.

The second half was very much the same, but Derby had recognised Stoke’s emphasis on wing play and managed to cut out any pressure coming from it. Neither team found their footing after the restart and changed their styles to something more direct in an effort to grab a win.

Derby’s draw sees them confident in and around the top of their group in the National Reserves League Cup and will hopefully see them through to the next round with games still to play for other sides. If that’s the case Derby will be back on the pitch in two weeks to put in another hard-fought effort, and hopefully come away with the win.