Derby County Women produced a battling display on Tyneside but tasted a 2-1 defeat at Newcastle United on Sunday afternoon in the FA Women’s National League Northern Premier Division.
Beth Lumsden put the league leaders ahead after seven minutes before Paige Bailey-Gayle doubled their advantage on 27 minutes at Kingston Park.
Those first half goals were enough for Newcastle to claim all three points despite Eleanor Ashton’s 84th minute penalty and plenty of late pressure giving the Ewes late hope of a point.
The home side found an early breakthrough when Lumsden got in behind the Derby defence and was able to strike the ball low into the bottom corner of the net, even under the close attention of Helena Meadows.
The Magpies’ Lia Cataldo found space on the edge of the box from a corner soon after and hit a long-range effort narrowly over the crossbar.
Derby created their first chance from a set-piece when Charlotte Steggles rose highest from a Sarah Jackson free kick, but Grace Donnelly was able to comfortable claim her header.
The Ewes quickly created another opportunity when Ashton broke free down the right wing and found captain Amy Sims in the box, whose lay-off to Emelia Wilson was well intercepted by a Newcastle defender.
However, Newcastle would get their second midway through the first half when Bailey-Gayle won the ball back in the Derby box and was able to slot home into the back of the net.
Lumsden went close with a free kick which flew just over Anna Draper’s crossbar with the final opportunity of the first half.
The second half saw a change in shape for the Ewes, but the hosts still dominated possession. The first chance after half-time fell to the Magpies when Katie Parker’s low cross found Bailey-Gayle, who lifted her close range shot over.
Both goalkeepers were rarely troubled, but defender Jackson had to make a crucial block to stop Lumsden’s goal-bound volley.
Donnelly was forced into action when substitute Marli Rhodes-Andrews struck a fierce long-range attempt which the goalkeeper had to parry behind for a corner.
The Ewes earned a late penalty for a handball in the box, which Ashton slotted away despite Donnelly going the right way.
It set up a nervy ending and midfielder Rebecca May’s free kick had Donnelly scrambling across her line to keep out the effort.
Then, from the resulting corner, substitute Kira Rai headed over a chance from close range and Newcastle held on to claim all three points.
Newcastle United Women: Donnelly (GK) (C), Watt (Dodds 18), Kelly, Barker, Gibson, Greenwood, McQuade, Potts, Lumsden, Bailey-Gayle (Gears 80), Cataldo.
Substitutes Not Used: Milne-Redhead, Galloway, Soulsby.
Derby County Women: Draper (GK), Jenkins, Steggles, Jackson, Meadows, Wilson, Joyce (Rhodes-Andrews 75), Sims (C), May, O’Connor (Rai 75), Ashton.
Substitutes Not Used: Morgan (GK), Ward, Sheridan.
Words: Ciaran Morrison.