Derby County Ladies came from two down to win a thrilling cup game in extra-time against Bradford. Hinckley stretched their home unbeaten record whilst Mansfield pick up a point in South Wales with a 1-1 draw at Newport County.
Derby County Ladies FC
Derby County Ladies dramatically came from behind to beat Bradford City Women 5-2 after extra-time in a thrilling game at Mickleover Sports in the FA WPL Cup.
Andi Bell scored a hat-trick as Derby came from 2-0 down to win the game after being outplayed for large parts of the game by a physical Bradford City side.
Bradford scored once in each half and hit the woodwork twice before Sophia Bonser gave the Ewe Rams hope in the 87th minute latching onto a dinked a through ball and keeping her cool to cleverly chip the goalkeeper and reduce the deficit. It looked too little, too late but in injury time Derby were awarded a penalty and Bell stepped up to send the game into extra time.
A renewed Derby side then got their noses in front when Bell beat a defender and curled a lovely finish beyond the keeper. It then appeared that she’d sealed the win, netting her third and the second from the penalty spot, but Bradford then had a chance from the spot themselves. However, Derby keeper Sarah Morgan pulled off a fantastic save and Karagh Tait then rose highest from a late corner to put a bit of gloss on the scoreline.
On paper, the visit of League 2 North new boys Sheffield to Leicester Road should have been a romp in the park for the Black and Ambers. Without a win from their 7 games in the higher division, the Sheffield team looked easy pickings for a Hinckley side unbeaten at home this season having scored an average of 45 points per game.
A casual observer browsing the results on Sunday morning may well have concluded that everything went to form. Hinckley outscored the visitors 6 tries to one, scoring 36 points and registering maximum points while denying Sheffield anything for their efforts. However, the game itself told a very different story with Hinckley making very hard work of the win.
With less than 10 minutes of play remaining, Hinckley, with a howling gale at their backs, were pinned in their own half grimly hanging on to a one-score lead. A penalty award against the Black and Ambers 5 meters from their own line had the faithful holding their breath as Sheffield opted for a scrum.
Poor execution by the Sheffield pack, however, together with some tenacious Hinckley defence led to the visitors knocking on. Hinckley won a penalty from the resultant scrum and the danger was not only cleared but the home side had time to force their way down to the other end and drive Sheffield over their own line for a try. Luke Coltman got the touch down in the final act of what was a rare piece of clinical execution in the second half from the Black and Ambers. Joe Wilson registered the extras as the referee blew for time with the score on 36-22 – heartbreak for the visitors and much relief for the home side.
The win, achieved with a double from prop Steve Harvey and further scores from Alex Salt, Sam Driver, Luke Coltman and Joe Wilson, who also kicked 3 conversions keeps Hinckley unbeaten at home and sitting in fourth place in the table.
Mansfield Town FC
Mansfield welcomed back Alfie Potter for the long trip to South Wales and came home with a creditable point from a hard-fought game.
Storm Brian was at its swirling best in South Wales as the driving rain and high winds made it hard for either side to put together any kind of attractive football.
Mansfield took the lead midway through the opening period with their first real chance. In-form striker Danny Rose scored his eighth goal of the season with a low half-volley after frontman Kane Hemmings had seen his header blocked from a cross.
Newport’s equaliser came in the 69th minute when Ben Tozer’s throw-in found substitute Shawn McCoulsky ten yards out and he volleyed home past Mansfield ‘keeper Conrad Logan, who went on to make a string of excellent saves in the final 10 minutes.
Mansfield currently sit 13th in the table, 4 points behind Swindon who occupy the final play-off place.