A hat-trick from Amy Sims sent Derby County Women on their way to a comfortable 5-0 victory over Sutton Coldfield Town and secure their place in the Semi Finals of the National League Plate on Sunday.

Derby controlled much of the contest and Sims was ruthless in front of goal to help the Ewes come out on top against their lower league opponents.

Sims scored her first on 10 minutes before a header doubled the Ewes’ advantage on 21 minutes.

Sims then grabbed her hat-trick minutes before half-time and the Ewes saw out the victory in the second period with Rebecca May and Kira Rai both netting late goals.

Key Moments

Manager Sam Griffiths opted to make numerous changes from the side that defeated Stourbridge 2-0 in the league a week earlier.

Goalkeeper Sarah Morgan, defender Ella Hilliard and midfielder Helena Meadows, alongside youngsters Isabel Sheridan and Katrina St John, all came into the starting eleven, while Eve Shepherd featured off the bench in the second period for her first team debut.

Derby’s first chance of the match of the match early on fell to Meadows as she side-footed over a corner at the back post.

The Ewes did make an early breakthrough when Sims struck the ball into the top corner of the net to open the scoring.

A second goal soon arrived and it was Sims on target once more as she headed home an inch perfect cross from club captain Hannah Ward.

Midfielder May came close with a free kick before Sims stabbed wide a chance from close range and forced home goalkeeper Neve Jones to parry away her 25-yard effort.

The striker eventually netted a first half hat-trick with a close-range finish via the inside of the post to put the Ewes firmly in the driving seat.

Derby’s dominance of the match continued after the break and they were rarely threatened by their opponents.

Substitute Rai made an impact when she came on and came close with a curling effort before May struck home the fourth of the afternoon.

A driving run into the penalty area by Rai won Derby a penalty moments later but Sims uncharacteristically failed to convert from the spot as she hit the woodwork.

An excellent save from Jones also denied Sims and ensure she did not grab her fourth of the game, but Rai did get Derby’s fifth goal in added time, with a low drive into the bottom corner.

Five goals and a five-star performance ensured Derby’s progress into the final four of the National League Plate while they return to league action next Sunday with a trip to West Bromwich Albion (3pm kick-off).

The Teams

Sutton Coldfield Town: Jones (GK), Smith, Levick (Morris 68), Forbes, Evans (Worth 74), Finn (Murphy 68), Handy, Bridgewater, Lampitt, Da’Casto (Civil 68), Jefferies.

Substitutes Not Used: Kingston.

Derby County Women: Morgan (GK), Sims (C), Jackson, Hilliard (Shepherd 79), Wilson (Joyce 75), Meadows, Sheridan, Ward, Rhodes-Andrews, St John (Rai 64), May.

Substitutes Not Used: Draper (GK), Steggles

Words: Ciaran Morrison.