Foxes are out of the Vitality Women’s FA Cup after they lost 6-0 to Derby County Women, at the Loughborough University Stadium.
After a tight first half, with Foxes narrowly behind 1-0, Derby came out strongly in the second half. Goals from Ellie Gilliatt, Sophie Domingo, Precious Hamilton and Kira Rai ensured that Derby went through into the third round.
It was a tough start for Foxes, as Gilliatt was played through on goal, before rounding Foxes keeper Amy Burle and slotting the ball home.
Despite the early setback, Foxes grew into the half well. They battled hard all over the pitch and began to put pressure on the Derby County players.
In particular, Foxes defended superbly, with strong tackling and timely blocks. This was particularly the case when Emily Sharpe put in an immense sliding tackle, 3 yards from goal, to block Derby’s Emily Joyce and what seemed like a certain goal. 1-0 to Derby it stayed!
Foxes came out brightly at the start of the second half.
A great delivery from Lauren Taft on the right-hand side caused the Derby defence problems. They managed to clear it out to Walters, who shot wide from the edge of the box.
However, Derby then began to assert their dominance on the game. Two quick Sophie Domingo goals, inside the first 15 minutes of the second half, took the game away from Foxes.
Domingo closed down a back-pass well and Amy Burle’s clearance ricocheted off the Derby player, onto the Foxes bar. It luckily rebounded back to Domingo, who was able to tap the ball home. Then, a quick corner routine gave Domingo a shooting chance from the edge of the area. Her shot curled into the bottom corner.
A soft penalty was awarded to Derby, half-way through the second half which Precious Hamilton scored, low to Burle’s right. Two more goals then came Derby’s way, as Ellie Gilliatt grabbed her second and Kira Rai scored after a defensive mix-up.
There were positive moments for Foxes in the second-half though.
In the 70th minute, Amy Burle pulled off a world-class save to deny Gilliatt. The Derby winger took the ball down the Foxes left, checked back onto her left-foot and fizzed a shot towards Burle’s left. Foxes’ goalkeeper was equal to it though, and denied Gilliatt with a strong left-hand, to tip the ball round the post.
Then, in the final minutes of the game, Mia Walters went on a mazy run down the left-hand side of the pitch. She turned the Derby defender inside out, before checking onto her right foot and unleashing a curling shot. It was heading into the top corner but Sarah Morgan, in the Derby goal, pulled off a great save to keep the ball out.
Whilst it wasn’t the result manager Issy Martin would have wanted, it was great to be back out on the pitch after 5 months away.
Every single member of the Foxes squad showed great effort and resilience to keep going and can hold their heads high. The cobwebs have been shaken off and, whilst we won’t advance to the third round of the Vitality Women’s FA Cup, we can now look forward to some post-season friendlies and the 21-22 league campaign.