Derby County Women fell to a 2-1 defeat at home to Stoke City in the FA Women's National League Northern Premier Division on Wednesday evening.

After the jubilation of last Sunday’s East Midlands Derby win at Nottingham Forest, the feel-good factor continued when Eleanor Ashton put the Ewes ahead in the first half.

However, two second half goals by the visitors within the space of two minutes turned the game on its head and the Potters held on for the win at the Don Amott Arena.

Key Moments

The Ewes made a bright start and Ashton forced Liz Hobson into an early low save after good work by captain Amy Sims to win the ball high up the pitch.

Stoke nearly capitalised on some loose play at the back soon afterwards but goalkeeper Anna Draper got down quickly to comfortably claim the shot.

Sims was brought down by a late challenge in the 23rd minute and defender Sarah Jackson’s free kick into the penalty area towards fellow centre-back Charlotte Steggles caused havoc and forced a corner for the Ewes.

Ashton played a neat one-two with Sims from the resulting set-piece, and her curling effort deflected off a defender to wrong-foot Hobson and loop into the back of the net.

The visitors had a chance to equalise almost immediately after when Ellie Leek ran through on goal, but Draper stood tall and was able to make a save.

A similar scenario played out later in the half; with the same outcome as Draper pushed the shot away from danger. The Ewes’ shot-stopper sprung to her right to beat a shot behind for a corner as the Potters pushed for an equaliser.

Derby started the second half as positively as they had started the first with midfielder Molly Sutherland forcing Hobson into a full stretch save before right-back Camille Jenkins shot straight at the goalkeeper from a good position inside the penalty area.

The visitors though would strike twice in quick succession; Saffron Jordan capitalised on a slip by Emelia Wilson on the edge of the area and finished with aplomb and a low strike by Shannon Stamps completed the Potters comeback just before the hour mark.

Stoke then proved tough to break down and the Ewes were unable to find an equaliser despite a handful of late chances failing their way.

Substitute Kira Rai came closest late on when the ball fell to her on the edge of the box, but the goalkeeper was able to claim the ball in the air to make sure it didn’t land in the back of the net.

Sam Griffiths’ side are back in league action on Sunday when they head to Huddersfield Town (2pm kick-off).

The Teams

Derby County Women: Draper, Sims (C), Jackson, Steggles, Wilson (Camwell 85), Sutherland (Rai 74), Joyce, Timms, Ashton, Jenkins, Mosby (May 74).

Substitutes Not used: Ward, Rhodes-Andrews.

Stoke City Women: Hobson, Molinari, Thompson, Suttie, Vyse, Holder, Stamps, Hegginbottom (Hunt, 70), Kivel, Leek (C), Jordan.

Substitutes Not Used: Finneran, Clements, Tudor, Logan.

Words: Ciaran Morrison