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Derby County celebrated the selection of their home town as the venue of the 2008-09 F.A.Women's Cup final by sweeping past the challenge of Wellingborough Diamonds at the Dog and Duck ground with a 5-1 victory in the Third Round on Sunday.
They gave a strong performance of increasing authority against a home side which played a neat passing game but struggled to contain pacy and inventive forward play.
The home side were forced to make a late change in goal as Charlene Ward injured her hand before the game. The opening exchanges gave Wellingborough hope as they created several promising positions but Derby's Sinead Morgan scrambled home a corner on 25 minutes and Lauren Steadman extended the lead on the half hour. The home side had a gilt edged chance to get back into the game on 36 minutes when a shot was pushed out by Derby keeper Hayley Wilson but the Wellingborough striker blazed over an open goal from three yards.
Any hope of a Diamonds comeback were buried on 52 minutes by a powerful header from the outstanding Emily Jeffrey. Several other chances fell Derby's way but were denied by brave saves from Shana Haynes in the home goal and excellent last ditch defence by the Diamonds back four.
It took an outstanding long range shot into the top corner by Amy Pashley to defeat the hard pressed rearguard with ten minutes to go. Through all this, the home side had continued to try to pass the ball and were rightly rewarded with a consolation goal by Rosie Thurston on 83 minutes. However the highly impressive visitors showed why they have led the Midland Combination for much of the season by putting a great passing move together to give Jeffrey a second goal on 87 minutes.
Derby now welcome South East Combination high fliers Lewes in the next round and can continue to dream of a 'home' Final into the New Year!
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
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