Derby Women’s 1st XI 3-2 Coventry Women’s 1st XI: Host edge five-goal thriller
Words by Joshua Fletcher.
Evie Garner was the hero for Derby this evening, as her last-minute thunderbolt won the game for Derby, in a second half where there was nothing else to capture the excitement.
The home side started the game positively as they controlled the ball in the early stages.
Derby’s Jarah Hassanin won an early penalty after a late tackle by the Coventry defender and Garner rectified her miss last week to make it 1-0 inside 12 minutes.
Derby then gave away a penalty of their own as the referee spotted a handball inside the 18-yard box. Coventry duly converted the spot kick to level the game.
The host then had the chance to retake the lead with eight first-half minutes to play but Portia Badach’s effort hit the side netting, and they were soon made to pay for that miss.
The away side went straight up the other end of the pitch and played through Kirsty Alderman, whose shot found the bottom corner to put her side in front.
Coventry’s joy was shortlived though and within three minutes of taking the lead, the scores were level once again. Derby thought the chance had gone but a mix-up in their opponents’ backline saw one of the defenders stab the ball into her own net.
The second half did not live up to the same electric pace as the first. Both sides created half-chances but failed to get their noses in front.
Olivia Fox’s free kick with 20 minutes left to play was just too far out to pose a real threat to goal and went wide of the post. Fox was the standout player in the second half and was certainly a bright spark in a largely dull showing.
The pace picked up in the closing stages as Derby pressed for an all-important winner and with less than 60 seconds left of the contest, a moment of magic from Garner ensured that all three points would be staying at Kedleston Road.