Derby County Women comfortably secured their place in the second round of the National League Plate with a 5-0 victory over Doncaster Rovers Belles.

The Ewes scored four first half goals through a Marli Rhodes-Andrews double, Rebecca May and Maria Timms to gain a healthy half-time advantage.

Sarah Jackson scored a stunning late fifth goal to further emphasise the comfortable nature of the victory for Derby.

Key Moments

This was the Ewes’ first match in two weeks after last Sunday’s league match away at Huddersfield Town was postponed and they got off to the perfect start inside two minutes.

Rhodes-Andrews was left unmarked in the penalty area and able to head the ball into the corner of the net from a Timms cross.

Derby continued their bright start by enjoying the majority of possession and camping themselves inside the Belles half.

On 23 minutes, Rhodes-Andrews headed the ball into the net for a second time. The winger darted into the box to meet Charlotte Steggles’ long ball over the top of the home defence.

Seven minutes later and it was 3-0 when Rebecca May’s free kick beat the goalkeeper from long-range.

The floodgates were starting to open and Timms soon added a fourth when her volley flew into the roof of the net.

Derby thought they had a fifth before half-time but an excellent sliding challenge from Holly Housley denied Rhodes-Andrews a tap-in at the back post and subsequently a hat-trick.

The hosts came out with a point to prove after the break and Ryley Johnson hit a shot into the side-netting before captain Jess Tigby-Andrew hit a free kick in a dangerous position into the Derby wall.

Ultimately Derby were still in control of the contest and manager Sam Griffiths was able to rotate her eleven on the pitch, using her full contingent of substitutes available to her.

The likes of Amy Sims, Hannah Ward and Steggles received an extended rest before next Sunday’s East Midlands derby against Nottingham Forest at the City Ground and defender Ella Hilliard was able to come on for her first minutes of the season in a boost to Griffiths’ defensive options.

The Ewes continued to look for more goals with Yasmin Mosby striking a shot just wide of a post before Eleanor Ashton saw a shot saved by the legs of Megan Clement.

A sublime goal from distance by Jackson topped off a perfect afternoon for Derby and it could have been six but Timms headed over a Hilliard cross in the 90th minute.

The Teams

Doncaster Rovers Belles: Clement, Johnson, Tugby-Andrew ©, Rattenbury, Housley, Broaohurst (Banaszcyk 45), Tugby-Andrew, Abadi, Sneddon (Morris 66), Gigg, Breen.

Substitutes Not Used: Barlow.

Derby County Women: Morgan, Ward (Hilliard 76), Jackson, Steggles (Jenkins 59), May, Sutherland, Sims (C) (Camwell, 59), Wilson (Joyce 45), Timms, Ashton, Rhodes-Andrews (Mosby, 45).

Words: Ciaran Morrison