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Cup final awaits Derby Girls after dramatic comeback

Derby's Number 4 secures a cup final slot from the spot

Derby County Community Trusts Football and Education Girls team have booked their place in the 2020/21 EFL CEFA Women’s Cup Final in dramatic fashion, beating West Brom 4-2 on penalties.

The girls were victorious from the spot after a dramatic 90 minutes, which saw them come from 3-1 down to tie the match at 3-3 on a boiling afternoon at Friesland School.

The Rams took the lead after just 12 minutes but after bagging the opening goal, found themselves on the back foot as West Brom pressed. Derby’s goalkeeper and captain was in fine form between the sticks, pulling off three solid saves, finally beaten on 25 minutes as the visitors levelled the tie.

In the second half, the pendulum swung in the visitors favour with three goals in quick succession – however a tactical change from the Rams on 70 minutes to go three at the back paid off within a minute, as the Rams’ nine picked up the ball on the edge of the area to curl home.

Derby then set about finding their third goal of the game and found it five minutes later from a corner, a towering defender rose the highest through a crowd of bodies to convert beyond the goalkeeper.

The tie should have been secured within the 90 minutes as the Rams had a strong claim for a penalty turned down, meaning as the full time whistle blew, they’d have to hold their nerve in a tense shootout.

West Brom went first and missed the target, giving Derby the chance to seize the advantage which they did. The visitors then scored their next two as did the Rams to make it 3-2 to the hosts after three kicks each.

The Derby keeper, who’d been fantastic throughout, then provided the goods again – guessing correctly to palm away the spot kick and give her team mate the opportunity to seal victory, up stepped the Derby number four to convert beyond the keeper and send the Rams into the final.

Michael Noon, Football and Education Lead, said “That was quite an afternoon, we’re delighted with the outcome, West Brom gave us a fantastic game – it was a really good advert for Under 19s Women’s Football

“It’s a great testament for the way we are heading as a programme, the boys managed to reach the quarter final but were unfortunately beaten today, but for the girls to get to a national final, playing some of the best teams in the country to get there, shows that we’re really developing female footballers.

“I can’t wait to see them play in the final and kick on again next year, a huge well done to them.”

Elsewhere on a busy day of action, Derby ran out 8-0 winners over Coventry City in Central One whilst in Central Three, the Rams were 3-0 victors over Aston Villa. Cup success wasn’t to be in the Men’s cup however, as Derby were knocked out at the quart final stage, beaten 3-1 at Carlisle United.