Derby County Ladies Football Club

Ewe Rams Exit Women’s FA Cup in Thriller

Match Report by Derby University Football Journalism Student Luke Thrower

Derby County Ladies fell to a 3-2 defeat at the hands of Nottingham Forest in the Second round of the Women’s FA Cup, despite a spirited fightback.

Olivia Cook and Lyndsey Harkin put the away side ahead, but a spirited fight back from the Ewe Rams gave them a chance in an end to end encounter with Amy Sims and Sophie Domingo offering such lifeline.

However, it wasn’t to be, as a late shot from Precious Hamilton ensured the visitors progressed to the next round of the cup.

Derby struggled to get going in the game, and an early blow certainly didn’t help. Cook got on the end of a Forest corner to hook past Sarah Morgan and put her side a goal up in the opening stages.

Just minutes later Domingo got herself into the game, using some outrageous skill to turn her marker and feed through Hannah Keryakoplis but the striker’s cross managed to evade everyone. It was a chance that proved costly as just minutes later, Forest doubled the lead.

Harkin received the ball before driving into acres of space in the midfield. The centre-back turned goal scorer, as she let fly from 25 yards out and saw her shot nestle into the top right corner.

The two-goal lead only lasted 11 minutes though, as Derby fought their way back into the game. From a corner, Sims picked up a loose ball, set her sights on goal and fired one past Aguirre in the Forest goal to make it the third goal in just the opening 26 minutes of the match.

The game had calmed down in terms of chances after Sims’ goal, but it hadn’t made it any less of a fiery encounter as challenges went flying in all over the park with many stoppages throughout the game.

Just five minutes before half time, Forest set their sights on restoring their two-goal lead. From another set-piece, Forest managed to steer the ball goalward bound until McCue was on hand to head the ball off the line and went into half time just a goal down.

Derby started the second half in an explosive manner. Just three minutes into the half, Domingo was fed through one-on-one, steering her effort past Aguirre to spur the comeback on.

Just ten minutes later, Sarah Morgan was called into action twice in quick succession. The first was a strike from the visitors, that forced the ‘keeper to get a slight touch to rattle the crossbar. Moments after, Morgan denied Fisher from point blank to keep it level.

The game became more frantic as it went on, with chaos in the Derby box heading into the last 15 that managed to be cleared. Down the other end, Tinsley threatened on the left and put in a teasing cross that met Domingo. The goal scorer couldn’t get a second to her name as her header couldn’t quite direct goalward bound.

Fisher had another chance for the visitors, only to be denied by Morgan once again. But then came danger just a moment later.

Hamilton’s shot from the left-hand side of the box managed to beat the outstretched arm of Morgan, giving Forest the lead with just moments left of the game, knocking the Ewe Rams out of the FA Cup.