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Derby County Women secured an impressive victory at the City Ground as they beat East Midlands rivals Nottingham Forest 2-1 in the FA Women's National League Northern Premier Division on Sunday afternoon.

Goals from Yasmin Mosby, who joined Derby from Forest in the summer, and Eleanor Ashton inside the opening ten minutes had the Ewes in dreamland although Holly Manders did pull a goal back for Forest from the penalty spot before half time.

Derby held on, in front of a crowd of just over 6,000 supporters, to pick up their second league win of the campaign and move up to ninth in the league standings after five matches.

The Ewes started the game with real energy and it saw them claim the first goal of the game after just three minutes. Mosby beat her defender to Ashton’s low cross and slotted the ball into the top right-hand corner.

Ashton doubled Derby’s lead seven minutes later. Captain Amy Sims' slotted ball into the box was met by a sliding Forest defender who didn’t get enough contact to see it clear. Ashton latched onto the loose ball and fired it home.

Referee Rebecca Halford awarded the hosts a spot kick late in the first half after Camille Jenkins made a double challenge, the second of which was deemed to be a foul, and Manders struck the ball with venom to put Forest on the scoreboard.

Forest had a chance to draw level just before half-time after Derby goalkeeper Anna Draper charged out of her box to win a loose ball. Draper got there first but her clearance only fell as far as Becky Anderson who tried her luck from 40 yards out, but the shot bounced wide of the open net.

After ending the first half on the front foot, the home side were more dominant in the second half and Forest produced an array of chances but struggled to find their shooting boots. Anderson missed her second opportunity of the game after she found herself free in the middle of the box and fired her shot wide.

The Ewes’ best chance of the second half came from substitute Kira Rai. The winger drove into the penalty area after beating two players, but the hosts’ goalkeeper did well to smother her effort.

Despite being under constant pressure late on the Ewes defended well and held on to the 2-1 lead to come away from the East Midlands Derby victorious after back-to-back losses against the Reds last term, while the win was the perfect occasion for midfielder Emily Joyce to celebrate her 100th appearance for the club.

Sam Griffiths’ side now turn their attention to Wednesday's home game against Stoke City at the Don Amott Arena (8pm kick-off) as they look to claim their first home win of the 2023/24 season.

Derby County Women: Draper (GK), Jenkins (Ward 46), Tinsley (May 81), Steggles, Jackson, Sims (C), Joyce, Sutherland, Wilson, Mosby (Rai 77), Ashton (Rhodes-Andrews 90).

Substitutes Not Used: Timms.

Words: Hannah Walker

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