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Derby County 0 Coventry City 4
Coventry City powered their way into the knockout stage of the Premier League Cup with a 4-0 away win over Derby County at Borrowash Victoria FC.
Needing a three-goal margin of victory to clinch first place in Group Four, the Sky Blues held a single goal advantage at half time, courtesy of a 26th minute Maz Gauntlett header from Helen Dermody's inswinging cross.
Gauntlett nearly added a second two minutes after the break but was denied by a good save from Rams keeper Sarah Morgan. The introduction of Destiney Toussaint proved the catalyst or the Sky Blues breakthrough as her first involvement provided a run and right wing cross which was volleyed home at the far post by Ashleigh Neville on 56 minutes.
Coventry were in control and it seemed only a matter of time before the crucial goal came. Becky Anderson hit the bar with a long range effort but the third arrived from an interception of a wayward short goal kick. The ball was worked back into the area where Rams defenders twice blocked goal attempts before Dermody set up Anderson to rifle the loose ball home from 15 yards on 72 minutes.
Derby threatened Sue Wood's goal on occasions and a single consolation effort would have allowed Nottingham Forest to top the group. The Coventry keeper was forced into one diving save, but Morgan was still much busier, making another good stop from a lofted Dermody effort high to her right.
The final goal went fittingly to Dermody, who had been at the centre of the best Coventry pressure. Again, Derby defenders did well to block goal bound efforts but the Sky Blues forward was free to strike the loose ball left footed beyond Morgan's dive and into the roof of the net to ease any nerves.
This was a comprehensive win for a powerful Coventry outfit over a hard working Derby team which struggled to contain the pace and variety of the visitors' attacking options.
Derby County: Sarah Morgan, Louisa Abbey, Lorna Abbey, Paige Coleman, Samantha Griffiths, Emily Jeffery, Portia Badach, Natalie Reay, Hannah Ward, Melissa Johnson, Natasha Hughes. Subs: Daisy Pridden, Dayna Randall, Cecilia Webb, Camilla Newton.
Coventry City: Sue Wood, Annabel Johnson, Beth Poppleton, Hayley Ladd, Natasha Lynch, Kim Walton, Nicole Dale, Becky Anderson, Maz Gauntlett, Helen Dermody, Ashleigh Neville. Subs: Katy Male, Natalie Brace, Destiney Toussaint, Nikki Miles, Codee Applebee.
(Report by Patrick Higgins)
Photos by www.jamesprickett.co.uk:
(top) Paige Crossman is challenged by Ashleigh Neville
(middle) Natalie Reay and Ashleigh Neville battle for the ball with Hayley Ladd looking on
(bottom) Lorna Abbey under pressure from Destiney Toussaint
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