Derby County Women returned to winning ways in the FA Women’s National League Northern Premier Division as they claimed a deserved 2-1 home victory over bottom of the table AFC Fylde Women on Sunday afternoon.

Captain Amy Sims opened the scoring shortly after half-time before club captain Hannah Ward curled home her first goal of the season, and her 58th for the Ewes in total, soon afterwards.

Sasha Rowe scored from the penalty spot late on for the visitors, but Derby held on to claim all three points at the Don Amott Arena and end their four-game run in the league without a win.

The first half was played at a very moderate pace with Fylde posing a threat offensively with their pace in the attacking third, despite the fact they hadn’t gained a point on the road all season.

Their best chance came through a 15th minute cross that required the foot of defender Sarah Jackson to clear the danger inside the six-yard box.

It was Derby that had the upper hand in the half, however, and multiple chances came and went for Sam Griffiths’ side, most notably a Rebecca May free kick that clattered the post.

Forward Eleanor Ashton also had a good chance but fired narrowly wide from a tight angle and former Ewes goalkeeper Imogen Maguire also had to scramble away a cross-shot from Ashton.

The Coasters started the second half on the front foot with a Lois Moore shot that narrowly went wide, but Derby quickly took control of the contest.

Derby’s deserved lead came in the 48th minute when a May cross fizzed across the box and found the onrushing Sims, who timed her run perfectly and fired her shot into the roof of the net.

The Ewes’ lead was doubled ten minutes later when Ward, bursting forward from the back, collected the ball on the left-hand side, after collecting a pass from May, and unleashed a long range shot that flew into the net beyond Maguire.

Derby kept hammering on the door for more goals and May hit a free kick that curled narrowly over the bar, while substitute Marli Rhodes-Andrews released a shot that pinged against the crossbar from distance.

Fylde were given a way back when substitute Eve Shepherd tripped Rowe in the box in the 84th minute. Rowe took the opportunity and halved the deficit by sending goalkeeper Sarah Morgan the wrong way from the penalty spot.

Derby saw the game out well to claim the points and set them up nicely for next Sunday’s East Midlands derby against local rivals Nottingham Forest at Pride Park Stadium (2pm kick-off).

Derby County Women: Morgan (GK), Ward, Steggles (Shepherd 63), Jackson, Jenkins (Meadows, 63), Wilson, Joyce, Sims, Ashton (Rhodes-Andrews 67), May (Sheridan 67), O’Connor (Rai 63).

AFC Fylde Women: Maguire (GK), Thomas, Hamill, Strutton, Francis-Jones, Binks, Rowe, Kelsh-Ridge, Samson, Moore (Wood 89), Deveraux (Rogers 68).

Unused Substitutes: Craven (GK).

Words: Ryan Robinson.