Derby County Football Club Women

Pre-Match Pack: Middlesbrough WFC

Derby County Ladies cemented their 2nd place in the FA National League Northern Division with a 2-0 win over Loughborough Foxes on Thursday night.

Manager Sam Griffiths believes that it is all to play for with a number of teams looking to secure that 2nd place behind Sunderland Ladies.

A goal inside the opening minute from Jodie Michalska saw the Ewe Rams get off to the perfect start but despite dominating, it took until midway through the second-half before they put some daylight between their opponents as a flowing move saw Hannah Keryakoplis grab her 18th of the season.

Griffiths said “We’re pleased with the win but I’m slightly disappointed that we didn’t make it more comfortable for ourselves. We dominated but we were perhaps a little sloppy or maybe just rusty after inaction over the past few weeks. 

“The three points it what matters though and we put some more space between us and those behind us and they need to win their games in hand to catch us. Points on the board at this stage of the season is vital and if we can grab another three on Sunday, that would put us in a good position. 

“We’re nearing a fully fit squad and so we have lots of options available and we’re going to need every single one of them in the run-in, they’ve all got a part to play and if we keep going, we’re going to be there or thereabouts and if we can achieve that second place, it could be a game changer.”

The Ewe Rams are back in action this Sunday as they face Middlesbrough Women, with the game being moved to Derby County’s Moor Farm Training Centre due to the waterlogged pitch at regular ground Mickleover Sports FC and Griffiths thinks that like many sides in this league, Middlesbrough will be a tough test.

“We’re going to have to be at our best on Sunday as Middlesbrough will be looking for a reaction after their heavy defeat to Sunderland during the week but we are going to be better and we will have hopefully got rid of the rustiness we showed at Loughborough on Thursday.

“Middlesbrough are an attacking side and still have an outside chance of making their mark this season and like many other sides, on their day they can beat anybody and that is both the beauty of this league but also a potential nightmare for any side.

“It’s going to be incredibly tight at the end of the season, the likes of Stoke City, Burnley and Huddersfield are lurking behind us and our great rivals Nottingham Forest are breathing down our necks and will want to grab that second spot.

“We know how good these teams are but with so many games still left to play, there all going to be taking points off each other and all we can control is ourselves and so we need to ensure that we are doing all we can and piling the pressure onto the other sides.”

Sunday’s game is a slightly later kick-off of 2:30pm at Moor Farm Training Centre and entry is free to all as we welcome Middlesbrough WFC in the FA National League Northern Division. If you can’t join us, follow us on Twitter @DerbycountyLFC for build-up and match action.

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Now in her second season with the Ewe Rams, Callan has become a key cog in the club’s midfield in the holding role where her composure on the ball and her ball winning ability have played their part already this season. Beset by injuries over the last few seasons, Callan is showing what a solid and dependable player she is now that she is fully fit and she has slotted into Manager Sam Griffiths side with ease.

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Derby County Ladies 2019/20 Squad

1. Sarah Morgan, 2. Amy Sims, 3. Megan Tinsley, 4. Sherry McCue, 5. Sarah Jackson, 7. Ellie Gilliatt, 8. Hannah Keryakoplis, 9. Cara Newton, 10. Hannah Ward (c), 11. Sophie Domingo, 12. Callan Barber, 13. Leah Kellogg, 14. Nikki Ledgister, 15. Hannah Baines, 16. Ellie May, 17. Monique Watson, 18. Kira Rai, 19. Jodie Michalska, 22. Izzy Ford, 23. Rosie Axten, 24. Ellie Wilkinson, 25. Olivia Mitcham, 26. Emily Joyce.

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Under new ownership, there has been an upturn of positivity surrounding Middlesbrough WFC over the past few months after an up and down season has left them mid-table. A dangerous attacking side on their day, they have many of the same side that have been promotion challengers over the past 3 seasons and will be looking to create momentum for next season with a positive run for the remainder of this campaign.

  • Manager – Stephanie Fairless
  • Captain – Laura Wareham
  • Founded – 1976
  • Home Ground – Billingham Town FC
  • Nickname – Boro
  • Home Colours – Red
  • Last Season – 5th in FAWNL Northern Division
  • Player to Watch – Emily Scarr

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Ground Information

  • Ground – Moor Farm Training Centre
  • Postcode – DE21 4TB
  • Entry – Free
  • Programme – £2