Derby County Ladies Football Club

FA Cup Progress for Ewe Rams

Derby County Ladies progressed to the Third Round of the Women’s FA Cup with a 2-0 victory over Guiseley Vixens to end a run of three straight defeats and earn a place in the hat for this afternoon’s draw.

Goals from Nikki Ledgister and Stephanie Smith ensured the Ewe Rams got their season back on track in a battling performance which again was a tale of two halves but left Manager Sam Griffiths pleased to arrest their slump in form.

Griffiths said “It was really important today that we got back to winning ways and in the circumstances for both teams on whether we played the game or not this morning, we kept the girls focused and they turned up with the right mind-set which was pleasing.

“It was important to get the first goal and it settled the nerves I think a little and we dominated the first half I thought and was probably a bit disappointed we didn’t go into the break with more goals and we knew that only a goal ahead, the opposition were still in the game.

“Second-half we knew they would come out and want it a little more than they did in the first-half so to get the second goal when we hadn’t had the best of it, was pleasing from my point of view and though the pressure is always on to win games, we did the job today.”

The Ewes made changes to the line-up with Karagh Tait and Stephanie Smith coming in after last weeks defeat at Huddersfield. In Previous weeks, the Ewes had started slowly but from the off their looked to be more intensity in an opening 25 minutes dominated by Derby.

An early goal settled the nerves as Nikki Ledgister capped off a fine all-round team move, heading home unmarked at the back post, a pin-point cross from Cara Newton to score her 30th goal of her Ewe Rams career for a 1-0 lead.

The Ewes continued to press with Andi Bell going close only to be thwarted by the Guiseley goalkeeper, whilst Newton was causing problems down the right for Derby, with the in-form striker linking up well with Amy Sims on a number of occasions.

Guiseley had half-chances in an opening 45 minutes but a resolute defensive performance limited the hosts to long-range efforts as the Ewe Rams went into the break with a crucial 1-0 lead but with more work still needed.

As expected, the second-half saw Guiseley start to build the pressure but as in the first-half they could only create half-chances with the Derby back-line continuing to hold their own and keep goalkeeper Sarah Morgan protected.

The hosts best chance fell to former WSL star Sophie Walton who latched onto a mix-up deep in the Derby half to fire a goal-bound shot leaving Morgan stranded but thankful for the bar to keep the Ewe ahead.

With time running down, the Ewes began to find their feet in the second period of the half as Guiseley tired and after the home team failed to clear a corner, Smith’s deflected shot doubled the lead and gave Derby County Ladies a passage through to the Third Round of the Women’s FA Cup.

The draw for the Third Round of the FA Cup will take place this afternoon and we will bring you details of that draw as soon as it has been made.