Derby County Women booked their place in the Final of the 2023/24 FA Women’s National League Plate with a 4-2 victory at Exeter City on Sunday.

In a thrilling contest against the Grecians, Sam Griffiths’ side stepped up and produced an impressive display in Devon.

Derby fell behind to Hollie Taylor’s strike just after the half-hour mark, but they hit back superbly to lead 2-1 at the break thanks to goals from Eleanor Ashton and Charlotte Steggles.

An own goal from captain Amy Sims’ cross put the Ewes 3-1 to the good after half-time but Amber Pollock quickly got a goal back for Exeter with a low strike from distance.

Derby went 4-2 up when substitute Camille Jenkins volleyed home her first goal of the season to extend their two-goal advantage at the near post from a corner.

No further goals followed as the Ewes saw the game out well and avoid any late drama.

Griffiths’ side will face Cambridge United in the Final, after they overcame Barnsley 3-2 in their Semi-Final clash, on Sunday 21st April.

Derby return to FA Women’s National League Northern Premier Division action on Sunday 3rd March when they welcome high-flying Burnley to the Don Amott Arena (2pm kick-off).

“I Am Proud Of The Girls!” - Griffiths

Manager Sam Griffiths described herself as ‘proud’ of her side as they reached the club’s first-ever National League Plate Final.

Griffiths was aware that the Ewes were in for a tough test against the Grecians, but she was delighted with the way her players found a way to win, despite not being at their absolute best.

With plenty of FA Women’s National League Northern Premier Division fixtures on the horizon in the coming weeks, Griffiths doesn’t want her squad thinking about the Final itself against Cambridge United for some time yet.

She said: “It feels brilliant to be in the Final and I am really proud of the girls.

“It wasn’t an easy game, to be fair. I didn’t think we were at our best at all, but we’re through to the Final.

“I didn’t think we started that well in the first 20 minutes or so, but this group know what to do and sometimes it takes them a while to grow into games.

“We always want to start well and fast, but we did the opposite! We found a way to win and it was important to get the victory.”

She added: “We had to be patient at times and we said that at half-time. We felt we would get chances in the second half and it was important we took them when they arrived.

“The Final isn’t until April, so we won’t be getting ahead of ourselves or thinking about that until we’ve played the league games we have ahead of us.”

“We're Excited To Be In The Final” - Steggles

Defender Charlotte Steggles says the Ewes’ squad are ‘excited’ to have reached the National League Plate Final for the first time.

Steggles, who scored late in the first half to put Derby 2-1 up, felt the side grew in confidence after netting a quickfire double to go from 1-0 down to leading at the break.

The Final may well be just under two months away, but Steggles believes it is something the squad can look forward to ask they look to get their hands on some silverware.

She said: “It feels good and it is always nice to get to a Cup Final.

“We made tough work of it, but we’re through and we’re excited for what’s to come.

“Once we got the equaliser, after going behind on the half hour mark, we grew in confidence.”

She added: “We’re looking forward to the Final now.”