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Derby County Women’s six-match unbeaten run came to an end against West Bromwich Albion as they suffered a 1-0 defeat in the FA Women’s National League Northern Premier Division on Sunday.

The Ewes’ final game of 2023 handed them a loss but, more positively, a senior debut to Development Squad attacker Katrina St. John, who was in the Baggies Academy last season prior to joining Derby.

An uneventful first half saw both sides struggle to create chances from open play, with neither goalkeeper facing any testing shots.

The tempo rose as the second half unfolded, but West Brom were the only team able to find the back on the net as Simran Jhamat scored the only goal of the game after an hour of play.

Yasmin Mosby had the best chance for the Ewes seconds after they conceded but was denied one-on-one by an alert Lucy Jones in Albion’s net.

Key Moments

The Ewes’ best chance of the first 45 minutes came from a ball over the top to Camille Jenkins, whose first-time shot was deflected wide of the post.

Jenkins progressed through the Derby County Community Trust’s Regional Talent Centres ranks (now known as the Female Talent Pathway) and made her senior debut six days after her 17th birthday in 2021. Since then, she has been a regular name in matchday squads for the first team and settled into the right-back position.

Both teams failed to capitalise on set pieces as the visitors sailed a free-kick high and wide of the goal, while Derby’s Marli Rhodes-Andrews whistled her effort over the bar half an hour in after Fran Orthodoxou fouled Rebecca May and Sarah Jackson’s free-kick met the same fate eight minutes later.

The half-time whistle concluded a goalless opening 45 minutes, but Sam Griffiths’ side came out with more energy in the second half and came close to taking the lead less than 10 minutes in. Albion goalkeeper Jones came to collect a Derby long ball but spilt her catch into the path of debutant St. John. However, she was able to smother her mistake just before Ewes’ forward could tap the ball home.

West Brom claimed the game's only goal in the 61st minute. Phoebe Warner won the ball in the middle of the park and used the outside of her foot to find Simran Jhamat on her right, who looped the ball into the back of the net beyond Anna Draper.

Mosby nearly equalised straight after the restart when she latched onto a through ball, but Jones was quick off her mark to close down the substitute and kept her strike out.

Derby applied plenty of pressure late on and saw May curl a free-kick narrowly wide deep into added time.

The Ewes return to action in the New Year as they host Liverpool Feds at the Don Amott Arena on Sunday 7th January (2pm kick-off) and they will look to bounce back and continue the momentum they have been building up in the past few months.

The Teams

Derby County Women: Draper (GK), Sims (C), Tinsley, Steggles, Jackson, Wilson, Joyce, Jenkins, Rhodes-Andrews, May, St. John (Mosby 59).

Unused Substitutes: Ward, Timms, Duthie, Sheridan.

West Bromwich Albion Women: Jones (GK), George (C), Orthodoxou, Newell, Loydon, Rabjohn, Warner, Reavill, Green (Brown 64, Crackle 81), Jhamat (McGowan 71), Deasy (Weston 89).

Unused Substitutes: Miller.

Words: Hannah Walker

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