• James McCormick

Ewe Rams up to third with win over Burnley

Derby County Women overcame a stubborn Burnley Women side at Mickleover FC in a 3-1 victory in the FA Women’s National League Northern Division on Sunday.

Despite falling behind to a Katie Thomas strike for the Clarets, the Ewe Rams hit back before half-time with Callan Barber dispatching her fourth penalty of the season, whilst second-half goals from Jodie Michalska and Sophie Domingo sealed the three points.

After starting brightly, the Ewes fell behind with Thomas converting only 15 minutes in after a corner kick scramble wasn’t cleared and the ball fell to her on the edge of the box and she fired it past Charlotte Clarke.

The game seemed to be dominated by Derby County Women’s possession, but it was getting the ball into the back of the net that was proving difficult as Katie Anderson went close with a shot from outside the area, with the strike going wide.

Defensively the Rams seemed assured, committing players forward meant they could be hit on the counter, but Sarah Jackson showed how reliable the defence can be when taking the ball off of Thomas who had been sent one on one over the Derby back line.

An equaliser came in the 30th minute, a handball against Burnley, and the ever reliable Barber sending the ball to the right of Clarets goalkeeper Lauren Bracewell, who stood rooted to the goal line.

Derby went into the second half with a distinct control as Megan Tinsley returned to the left hand side as she came on for the next 45.

Hannah Ward made way on her 250th appearance to a rousing round of applause from across the ground, replaced by the game changing Michalska just after the 60th minute mark.

The forward’s substitute appearance brought Derby to another level and turned the game around in her second appearance off the bench this season.

A fresh bit of pace was injected into the game from Derby and Domingo took it on her shoulders to create a chance with a mesmerising run, dragging four defenders out of position as she darted across the pitch.

Laying the ball into the path of Emily Joyce, who then found the unmarked Michalska, who made no mistake slotting home to give the Ewe Rams the advantage.

Substitutes Tinsley and Michalska linked up minutes later, the wing back crossing into the forward who could not find the power to nod the ball past the visitors skipper..

Another Michalska chance came as a drop of the shoulder allowed her time to set herself up for an audacious volley as she struck a looping shot which just went over the bar, with the stranded Bracewell rooted to the spot.

Domingo earnt her reward for her afternoon’s performance with a fantastic goal to seal the points in the dying minutes of the game.

Michalska fed the ball through to the lively forward, who rounded the keeper in style, pushing it just out of reach of the diving number one and slotting home into an empty net, her third of the season securing the points.

The 3-1 win was the fifth of the season for Derby County Women and moved them up to third in the table and next they will travel to league leaders Huddersfield Town, with both teams in a rich vein of form.