Derby County Women were forced to settle for a share of the spoils in an entertaining 3-3 draw at home to Halifax FC Women on Sunday.

Derby had led 2-0 and 3-2 in the driving rain at the Don Amott Arena but were ultimately left with just a point to show for their efforts.

Forward Marli Rhodes-Andrews’ well-taken finishes had the Ewes two goals to the good at half-time but Halifax hit back to equalise through clinical strikes from Maddie Oliver and Katie Ramsden.

Rhodes-Andrews cooly slotted away Derby's third seconds after Halifax’s equaliser to complete her hat-trick, but the visitors hit back almost immediately too with Ellie White scoring from the penalty spot.

Derby pushed for a winner late on but they were unable to break down the Halifax backline as they recorded their first draw of the campaign in the league.

Derby's next league fixture will see them head to Stoke City Women on Wednesday evening (7:45pm kick-off), while their next outing on home turf is against AFC Fylde on Sunday 24th March (2pm kick-off).

“We Had A Real Chance To Win This Game” - Griffiths

Manager Sam Griffiths says her side let a great opportunity to pick up all three points slip through their fingers.

Griffiths felt Derby weren’t quite at their best in the first half, despite going in at the break two goals to the good.

Despite picking up a point, Griffiths’ admitted the immediate feeling just after the final whistle was like a loss given the Ewes had control of the contest for long spells.

She said: “We’re disappointed with the result. I didn’t think we deserved to be 2-0 up at half-time as we weren’t good, although we did have moments of being brilliant.

“I did stress at half-time the game wasn’t over, and we know what Halifax bring as a side. They work hard until the very end; that’s what they did and credit to them for making it hard for us.

“We did well to get back in front again at 3-2, but it felt like things were against us a bit. We had more chances that we should take, and we didn’t do some of the things we wanted to do as a side.

“If you’re not at your best and make poor decisions then you can get punished by teams and that was the case.”

She added: “We had an opportunity to win this game. We were in a good position at half-time and we threw it away. It feels like a loss for us, but a point is a point and we move on.”

“A Great Feeling” - Rhodes-Andrews

Forward Marli Rhodes-Andrews described netting her first senior hat-trick as a ‘great feeling’.

Rhodes-Andrews was part of the Derby County Community Trust’s Regional Talent Centres from the age of 8 to 11, before progressing through the Academy up to being 16.

Rhodes-Andrews was part of a successful league and cup double for the Ewes’ Under-20s in the 2021/22 season and she stepped up to the senior side as a result of her performances.

The youngster, who has been a regular member of Sam Griffiths’ squad in the last two campaigns, was understandably proud to net three times at first team level, but admitted the side were left frustrated that they were unable to mark the occasion with a win.

“It is a great feeling to score a hat-trick,” she said.

“I would have liked a win to go alongside that, but it wasn’t to be. We know as a collective that we could have done better in some areas and as disappointed as we are, we have to learn from it.

“We obviously need to reflect on this performance because it is all about the team; I wouldn’t have been able to score my goals without the build-up play from the girls.”

She added: “I hope I can use this as a bit of a kick-start for me to get some more goals on my tally for the rest of the season and this is a great start towards that.”