Derby County Ladies Football Club

Late Goal Disaster as Ewes Defeated by A52 Rivals at Pride Park

Match Report written by Derby University Football Journalism Student Jake Dance

Derby County Ladies fell to a late 1-0 defeat at Pride Park in the A52 derby after being reduced to ten just after the hour in the FA Women’s National League Northern Division despite another record crowd of 2,318.

Precious Hamilton’s solitary goal saw Nottingham Forest Women take full advantage of their opponents losing a player in the 63rd minute when Sherry McCue sent-off for two bookable offences, despite promising displays again from Ellie Gilliatt and Sophie Domingo leaving Ewe Rams boss Sam Griffiths a frustrated figure.

Speaking to DCLFC Media Griffiths said “That was a tough one to take, we felt like we were in control of the game up until the sending-off and it’s changed the match completely and we’ve paid the price. We held out for a while but ultimately we’ve left the game with nothing to show.

“I felt the sending off was harsh as I felt most of the cautions were if I’m honest. It’s always a passionate encounter when it’s a derby but it felt like some good strong challenges went in and both teams were consistent. It needed consistency from the official and we didn’t get it.

“We have to look at ourselves in the final third too and though we had chances, it didn’t fall for us today and we need to look at that and ensure that we get the rewards for the work we put in. I couldn’t fault their drive and determination, it just didn’t go our way.

“We’ll dust ourselves off from this and move on quickly once we’ve analysed the game and now we need to go to Middlesbrough and get a result and get that confidence back. It was amazing again to see and play in front of a big crowd and we’re just sorry we couldn’t get a result for them today.

The Ewe Rams started out the better of the two rival sides, with Captain Hannah Ward showing some great improvisation early on. Hannah Keryakoplis swung in a corner four minutes into the first half as the Derby captain cleverly flicked the ball over her head into a dangerous area. There was a scramble to stab at the ball close to goal, but Forest gained back possession and cleared.

It didn’t take much longer Gilliatt to get involved. The dangerous winger received the ball 30 yards out after a rushed clearance from Aja Aguirre. Gilliatt spotted the keeper off her line and attempted an audacious chip from range, but the ball took an unlucky bounce and looped just over the bar.

Gilliatt then tested the keeper not long after as she tricked her way through the Nottingham defence. The Derby number seven cut through and whipped a vicious effort towards the goal, but the ball flew inches over the bar.

The home side went close again to opening the scoring not long before the end of the first half. This time it was Sophie Domingo with the chance. The winger met the ball in the box and fired it at the near post, but it was drilled just wide of the target.

Domingo had another chance early in the second half. The number 11 utilised her pace and burst through her opponents defensive line, but only managed to shoot straight at Forest keeper Aguirre.

The game changed just after the hour when the Ewe Rams were reduced to 10 players on the 63rd minute after Sherry McCue received her second yellow for a foul after an earlier booking.

Despite the numerical difference, the home side kept the scores level with a resolute defensive display until the 83rd minute when Hamilton beat her marker to power the ball home from a corner ensuring all three points went to the red side of the A52 Derby.

The Ewe Rams will look to hit back next weekend with a trip to the North East to take on Middlesbrough in the FA National League Northern Division next Sunday 15th September.