Derby County Women ended their 2023/24 season with an impressive 2-0 victory at Burnley on Sunday.

Forward Dolice O'Connor's goal midway through the first half had the Ewes ahead at half-time against this season's FA Women's National League Northern Premier Division runners-up.

Leading goalscorer Amy Sims superbly netted Derby's second ten minutes after the break to ensure Sam Griffiths' side picked up all three points at Turf Moor.

The result, and back-to-back victories to end the season, means the Ewes finished the campaign in seventh spot - as well as having the FA Women's National League Plate in the trophy cabinet after lifting the trophy two weeks ago.

Russell And Taft 'Proud' Of Ewes Display

First Team Coaches Mark Russell and Lauren Taft oversaw the management of the side with Manager Sam Griffiths missing the final day showdown at Turf Moor.

Griffiths left the Ewes in capable hands as the duo oversaw one of the side’s most impressive results of the campaign.

Russell was quick to admit Derby have struggled for consistency this term, but felt the performance was an indication of what the group is capable of.

“We asked a lot of the team today, playing for the final three points of the season,” he said.

“We knew we could go up a place in the table and when you put the shirt on and have the badge on your chest, you must give it everything.

“We tested the group and they couldn’t have given any more. Everything clicked. Everyone wanted to give something back for Sam too, as the last time she was away, we were disappointed.

“On our day, we know we can compete with any team in this league. We’ve proved that in some games this year and coming here and doing what we’ve done shows that.”

He added: “We’ve been frustrated at maybe not seeing this sort of performance every week. We’ll work hard as a staff to find the answers to see it more. We know we’ve been inconsistent this year.”

Taft was eager to praise the Ewes’ game management against a side that finished the season in second spot with four defeats to their name from 22 matches.

On top of that, she was delighted with the quality of O’Connor and Sims’ goals.

“I can’t fault the girls,” she said. “We said at the start to be proud of their individual performances and to work hard for everyone around them.

“They did exactly that and I cannot fault anyone; they were unreal against a very good Burnley side.

“Our game management was very good against a team so high in the table.”

She added: “The goals were superb as well to round things off in style. We work hard in training on finishing so to see it translate into a game is pleasing.”

Defensive Pair Delighted To End Season On A High

Club Captain Hannah Ward and Player of the Match Camille Jenkins both played instrumental roles in the Ewes ending the season on positive note.

Versatile defender Ward has played in various positions across the backline throughout the season, offering plenty of understanding know-how, while youngster Jenkins has enjoyed a positive campaign at full-back.

Offering her assessment of the win, Club Captain Ward was pleased to see the season out on a winning note, and she is hoping the side can build on the experiences gained throughout the year to kick on again next term.

She said: “It was a really good performance, and I am sure Sam is pulling her hair out that we can do this is certain games and not consistently throughout the season.

“It was a great way to end the season and puts a bounce into everyone’s steps. We have a great group of girls and staff, so it was pleasing to end the season on a positive note to give something back.

“We know we’ve had a disappointing league season by our standards, but we’ve done well in the National League Plate to get some silverware and had a positive run in the FA Cup too.”

She added: “We’ll take the positives from today and look to push on next season.”

Jenkins is convinced the Ewes’ performance proved they the potential to be competing higher up the league table next year.

She said: “It was a good defensive performance, and we did a fair bit of last ditch defending.

“It is nice to know that when it gets tough, everyone is willing to defend in the team. It shows what sort of team we can be and we are; we are determined and fight until the last minute.

“We’ve had a weird season, but we’ve shown what we can do in these games. Despite what the table might say, we believe we are a good team and should be in the conversations for who is going to be around the top of the table next season.”