Manager Sam Griffiths got the reaction she was hoping for as Derby County Women beat Huddersfield Town Women 3-1 at the Don Amott Arena on Sunday.
The Ewes responded in the perfect manner after suffering a disappointing 2-1 defeat to West Bromwich Albion last Sunday, which left Griffiths issuing some stern words after the final whistle.
Amy Sims opened the scoring in the first half, before Caz Simone pegged the Ewes back after half-time. However, a quickfire double from Eleanor Ashton and Charlotte Steggles ensured Derby returned to winning ways in the FA Women’s National League Northern Premier Division.
The Ewes made a much brighter start to the game than they did against West Brom, with a couple of half-chances coming in the opening ten minutes.
Sims looked raring to go, donning a protective helmet after sustaining a head injury in last Sunday’s defeat.
With ten minutes on the clock, the Derby captain saw her first effort at goal comfortably saved by Faye Hazelton in the Huddersfield net.
Moments later, Huddersfield had a sight at goal which Kate Mallin should have done better with, as her curled effort sailed over the crossbar.
Another chance fell in the way of Sims, but once again Hazelton was on hand to comfortably catch her effort.
Sims did eventually get the better of Hazelton to open the scoring for the Ewes in the 32nd minute.
She created her own opportunity by heading the ball around the onrushing Hazelton before slotting home into the empty net.
The second half started in a cagey manor with the first real chance falling to Sims in the 56th minute from a corner.
Despite the Ewes’ pressure, Huddersfield found themselves back in the game in the 61st minute.
Simone received the ball on the edge of the area, before shifting the ball onto her right foot and calmly slotting past Anna Draper into the bottom right corner.
Derby were not back level for too long, as Sims turned provider to set up Ashton in the 71st minute to put the Ewes back in front with a fine low effort.
Three minutes later, the Ewes doubled their lead through Steggles as she bundled the ball home from close-range following an in-swinging corner by substitute Becky May.
Another May corner was fired into a crowded six-yard box a few moments later, which was met by substitute Amy Cotton, but the effort came crashing off the crossbar.
The Ewes maintained their pressure until the final whistle, hitting the woodwork once more through another substitute in Marli Rhodes-Andrews, before the referee called time to the game.
Derby County Women: Draper (GK), Ward (Jenkins 70), Steggles, Jackson, Meadows, Wilson (Rai 70), Joyce, Sims (C), Sheridan (May 55), O’Connor (Cotton 87), Ashton (Rhodes-Andrews 78).
Huddersfield Town Women: Hazelton (GK), Stanfield (C), Ibbotson, Mailin (Walton 78), Harness, Simone, Montgomery, Beresford, Mason, Gill (Nsagnou 78), Devins (McMahon 78).
Substitutes Not Used: Joyce (GK), Abdullahi.
A long trip up north is next up for the Ewes as they take on Newcastle United Women at Kingston Park Stadium on Sunday 18th February (2pm kick-off).
Words: Mitch Barwell.