Derby County Women saw their impressive six-game winning run in all competitions come to an end with a 1-0 defeat against West Bromwich Albion in the FA Women's National League Northern Premier Division on Sunday.

Simran Jhamat’s well-taken goal just after the hour mark settled a game of few clear-cut chances at the Don Amott Arena.

Opportunities were extremely limited in the first half with Marli Rhodes-Andrews, Amy Sims and Camille Jenkins having efforts from distance for Sam Griffiths’ side.

Jhamat struck after 61 minutes, curling an effort into the roof of the net beyond goalkeeper Anna Draper, for what was the only goal of the contest.

Substitute Yasmin Mosby had a shot saved and Sims had a header kept out before midfielder Becky May curled a free-kick narrowly wide in added time.

Derby will return to action following the Christmas break with a home fixture against Liverpool Feds on Sunday 7th January 2024 (2pm kick-off).

“We Need To Pick Ourselves Up And Go Again” - Griffiths

Manager Sam Griffiths says her side need to pick themselves up and be ready to go again after the Christmas period following a disappointing end to 2023.

Griffiths wasn’t overly happy with the Ewes’ first half display in the defeat against the Baggies, but she felt they were vastly improved in the second period.

With a brief break in their training and match schedule over the coming weeks, Griffiths wants her players to use the opportunity to recharge and hit the ground running at the start of 2024.

Griffiths said: “I’m disappointed and, to be fair, I thought it was a game of two halves.

“It was reasonably even in the first half although, arguably, West Brom probably got the better of us and there were some things that we struggled with and shouldn’t have.

“I can’t fault the girls in the second half and they knew what we needed to correct at the break. They worked hard, got the ball into better areas and had the better chances you could say.

“Football is about taking your chances and West Brom took theirs. We need to pick ourselves up, get right over the Christmas period and be ready to go again when we face Liverpool Feds early in the new year.”

She added: “I think some of the girls are ready for a break now, although there’s not that much time off for them.”

“We Can Hold Our Heads Up High” - Steggles

Charlotte Steggles admitted to feeling mixed emotions after seeing the Ewes taste defeat in the league for the first time in two months.

Defender Steggles produced a player of the match display against the Baggies, performing superbly at the heart of the defence, but was disappointed to see out 2023 on a losing note.

Despite coming out of the wrong end of the 1-0 scoreline, Steggles believes there have been plenty of reasons to enter 2024 in a positive frame of mind.

Steggles said: “In the first half, we weren’t good enough and going in at half-time we were aware there were things that needed to be put right.

“We were the better team in the second half, but we need to put away our chances when they come. West Brom took their moment and unfortunately, we didn’t take ours.

“If we had got level, and we had a chance to do so after falling behind, I think it would have given us a chance to kick on. It’s a feeling of mixed emotions.”

She added: “I think how we played in the second half can give us confidence to move forward after the Christmas break.

“We should hold our heads up and be proud of the recent results and performances. We’ve grown a lot as a group as the season has unfolded and had a decent start to the campaign and we’re looking forward to start up again after Christmas.”