Derby County Ladies Football Club

Last Gasp Potters Dump Ewe Rams Out of FA Cup

Match Report written by Derby University Football Journalism Student Joe Lightfoot

In an all FA Women’s National League Northern Division tie, Derby County Ladies weren’t able to conquer Stoke City Ladies and crashed out of the SSE Women’s FA Cup after a 2-1 defeat.

After a long Christmas break, Natasha Tezgel and substitute Hannah Keryakoplis’ goals were the difference despite a spirited effort from the Ewe Rams.

From the first whistle, Derby enjoyed good spells of possession and were much the better side. They found most joy down he right hand side through Amy Sims. The wing-back started brightly and looked threatening on the overlap.

Stepping up from the Development Team, Kira Rai was causing problems for the Ewe Rams and won a free kick in a dangerous position which Hannah Ward took responsibility for. She, in turn, forced an excellent save from Stacie Wright, diving to her far post to push the curling effort away from goal.

Moments later, Stoke took an undeserved lead from a corner kick. Stoke are renowned for their aerial ability at set pieces. This proved to be the case once again as Natasha Tezgel headed in from inside the six-yard area.

Despite a flurry of half chances after that, Derby were unable to break the deep back line of Stoke as they headed down the tunnel trailing 1-0 at the half way mark.

After a cagey opening to the second-half, substitute Monique Watson had the first chance of the second half, but her shot only found the gloves of Wright who was Commanding the Stoke back line.

Midway through the half, the Ewes were back level as Emily Joyce’s low driven cross alluded Wright and found its way to Nicola Hudson, who looked to turn it away from goal. Instead, she turned it into her own net to level the score and gift Derby a deserved equaliser.

Stoke brought on their star striker and top goal scorer Hannah Keryakoplis to try and make the difference. And that is exactly what she did in the dying moments of the game with a brilliant solo goal drifting in and out… and back in again before finishing wonderfully with a lopping effort over a helpless Sarah Morgan who could do nothing but watch as the ball found the top righthand corner of the goal.

The goal was harsh on a Derby side that had been the better of the two sides. They dominated most of possession and played some nice football throughout a physically challenging battle with their League promotion rivals.

The defeat means that Derby can now place full focus on the League; they travel to Guiseley Vixens next week.