Derby County Women lost their third game against West Bromwich Albion Women this season with a narrow 2-1 away defeat on Sunday as captain Amy Sims was forced off through injury.
Naimh Deasy gave Albion the lead right at the end of the first half, but the Ewes equalised at the start of the second period through substitute Dolcie O’Connor, just two-minutes into her debut.
It was Albion though that would come away with the three points the FA Women’s National League Northern Premier Division as Mariam Mahmood slotted home to secure the Baggies’ third win over Derby this season, twice in the league and once in the cup.
A disciplined start to the game saw West Brom controlling possession in the opening minutes of the match.
The game’s first effort on target came in the ninth minute when a misplaced pass was picked up by Mahmood, but her effort rolled comfortably into the hands of Anna Draper in the Derby goal.
Play was halted in the 16th minute following a nasty collision in the middle of the park between Sims and Isabel Green.
After a 13-minute delay, play resumed with Sims still receiving treatment off the pitch, but she was unable to continue and eventually replaced by Isabel Sheridan.
Draper was called into action in the 43rd minute, pulling off a fine stop down to her right to deny Delphi Cole.
West Brom penalty shouts rang out in the 45th minute as Camille Jenkins slid in from behind on Mahmood, but the referee deemed the challenge a fair one, signalling for a corner instead.
Albion made their pressure count in the eleventh minute of stoppage time, as they took the lead through Deasy.
Excellent play in the midfield by Jess Reavill saw her release Hannah George down the left-flank, the Albion captain found Mahmood who played a teasing ball into the six-yard box for Deasy to tap in.
Despite a lack of chances in the first half for the Ewes, they made a flying start to the second as O’Connor came off the bench to equalise two-minutes into her debut.
O’Connor looked inspired after her introduction, trying her luck from range, which was dealt with by Anna Miller.
Mahmood put West Brom back ahead in the 58th minute, her right-footed effort inside the area was too powerful for Draper, who could only watch it bobble off her hand and into the net.
The Ewes pushed for a late equaliser with a good chance falling to Emilia Wilson on the edge of the area, but her effort was high and wide.
Unfortunately for the Ewes they could not capitalise on their late pressure as they had to settle for defeat in the league for the first time in 2024.
West Bromwich Albion Women: Miller (GK), Reynolds, Green, Reavill, George (C), Loydon, Orthodoxou, Cole (Jhamat 78), Warner, Mahmood, Deasy.
Substitutes Not Used: Jones (GK), Crackle, Straker, Evans.
Derby County Women: Draper (GK), Jenkins (Shepherd 90), Jackson, Steggles, Meadows, Wilson, Joyce, Ashton, Sims (C) (Sheridan 35), Rhodes-Andrews (Cotton 46), Rai (O’Connor 46).
Substitutes Not Used: Ward.
What’s Next Up?
The Ewes will be back at home next Sunday as they face Huddersfield Town Women at the Don Amott Arena in the FA Women’s Northern Premier Division (2pm kick-off).
Words: Mitch Barwell.