Derby County Football Club Women

Ewe Rams Settle for Opening Day Point

Match Report written by Derby University Football Journalism Student James McCormick

Derby County Women had to settle for a point in their first game of the new season against Loughborough Foxes after a 3-3 draw in their first competitive match since the footballing restart.

With a number of players absent including two of their new signings and influential defender Sarah Jackson, the only new face on show was midfielder Katie Anderson.

Derby could not have asked for a better start after Sophie Domingo was brought down on the edge of the box only three minutes in. The resulting free kick saw the wall left ineffective as Megan Tinsley chose the bottom right corner to place her shot, putting the Ewes ahead early on.

As Loughborough had their own free kick, they opted to go over the wall but only found the safe hands of Sarah Morgan.

The opposition levelled with a rebounded effort by former Ewe’s striker Lauren Nicholls, whose first attempt was stopped at close range by Morgan but reacted quickest to equalise.

Nicholls doubled her tally soon after and put the foxes ahead twenty-two minutes in, racing into space to slot home beyond the Ewe Rams goalkeeper.

Derby again began to get a foothod in the game, countering the Loughborough press well. Domingo’s effort to round the goalkeeper was stopped well, but the Ewes kept knocking on the door.

After applying the pressure, Derby’s efforts became fruitful as an equaliser came through Hannah Keryakoplis, who connected well to Callan Barber’s superb cross to the back post to fire home.

Against the run of play with the Ewes pushing hard, a Loughborough penalty was converted by Chloe Young in added time to restore their lead at the break.

The second-half began with a promising start, and Derby earned their own penalty only seven minutes in as Keryakoplis was bundled over in the box. Barber put away with a solid penalty, finding the bottom right corner and putting the game to 3-3 with forty minutes to play.

The rest of the game was a tough back and forth, as Derby began to take control and nullify the Loughborough press. Hold up play in the box from Katie Anderson put through Keryakoplis, but the shot could only go over the bar.

Bookings came in for both sides, as former Ewe Lauren Taft took down Tinsley to avoid a swift counterattack from the home side, and Keryakoplis went into the book for dissent.

Keryakoplis was a constant threat and had another chance, a late flag being the only thing between her and a fourth goal for Derby, as she rounded the goalkeeper with an easy pass into the net the only thing left to do.

The home side pushed for a final goal to settle the tie, Domingo with a curling effort that was saved well and Barber being slotted through before the opposition number one could smother the ball, but it was not to be.

The entertaining 3-3 draw sees Derby look ahead to a highly anticipated clash with Nottingham Forest next weekend, as they hope to take the goalscoring form onwards.