Derby County Women bowed out of the Adobe Women's FA Cup with a 4-0 reverse at the Don Amott Arena against Women's Super League side Leicester City on Sunday.

Sam Griffiths' team, who overcame three lower league opponents to reach the Fourth Round, put up a brave fight against one of the top teams in the country before a crowd of just under 1,000 supporters.

Leicester took the lead just before the half hour mark through German international Lena Pettermann from close range following a corner.

It was two just before the hour mark when substitute Yuka Momika crossed to Janice Cayman, who slotted home beyond goalkeeper Anna Draper.

Deanne Rose headed in Leicester's third with 20 minutes remaining before an own goal from Charlotte Steggles rounded off the scoring a few minutes later.

Derby will return to league action with a home fixture against Stourbridge on Sunday 21st January 2024 (2pm kick-off).

“The Girls Did Themselves Proud” - Griffiths

Manager Sam Griffiths felt her players delivered a battling performance full of effort and endeavour against top opposition.

Griffiths was proud of the way each member of the squad applied themselves against the Women’s Super League outfit.

Despite going down 4-0 in the end to exit the FA Cup at the Fourth Round hurdle, Griffiths had nothing but praise for her squad.

She said: “It wasn’t going to be an easy game as we were playing against a top team with top quality individuals.

“I thought the girls did themselves proud to try and stay in the game for as long as possible.

“The effort and application, more than anything, is what pleased me the most from the performance.

“I can’t fault any of the players for what they gave out on the pitch.”

She added: “You can’t switch off for a second against teams of this quality and that is why I must credit the girls for how long and hard they battled for.

“We are normally an aggressive team that likes to get on the front foot, but if we played that way in this cup tie it could have been double figures, so we had to change the mentality a bit.”

Derby are back on home turf once again on Sunday when they welcome Stourbridge to the Don Amott Arena in league action (2pm kick-off).

The Ewes picked up their first win of the season against Stourbridge back in September, coming back from 1-0 down at half-time to run out 7-1 winners, and Griffiths sees the return fixture as a big one for her side.

She said: “It is a huge game for us and we want to get three points to push us towards where we want to be in the league.

“I am happy with where the group are at and we know that we need to keep grinding results out until the end of the season.”

“There Are Positives To Take Into The League” - Draper

Goalkeeper Anna Draper believes going toe-to-toe with a Women’s Super League outfit will only stand the Ewes in good stead for the rest of the season.

Draper produced a fine display between the posts, making several fine saves, and she was happy to play her part in a determined and resolute team showing from front to back.

Despite going down 4-0, Draper was quick to insist the squad should hold their heads up high for their performance both against the Foxes and in the FA Cup overall this term.

She said: “I think this has been a great experience, not just for me but for all of us.

“We worked hard in training during the week on how we were going to play and while we may have lost the game, I think it was successful in terms of how we stuck to the game plan and never gave in.

“I was proud to be able to make some big saves and contribute towards executing what we set out to do.”

She added: “We were up against a very good side and a fully professional one too, with players that play in Women’s Super League and have Champions League experience, whereas we train a few nights a week training alongside balancing full-time jobs and education.

“To take that into account and put in the display we did, we can be proud and there are positives we can take into the league too.”