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Nottingham Forest received a huge setback to their Northern Division title challenge as they lost 2-1 at home to local rivals Derby County.
In a scrappy contest, neither team were able to secure long spells of possession or create any clear cut chances for the early part. Forest finished the half the stronger and broke the deadlock after Andi Bell's surge down the wing created an opportunity to pass across to Amber Hughes who slotted past the keeper on 44 minutes for her 12th league goal of the season.
The second half started off with Derby on the front foot, using pace to get in behind the Forest defence several times but Forest's keeper Vanessa Kinnerley prevented Derby's equaliser.
Derby had come out fighting in the second half and were rewarded on 59 minutes after Forest cleared for a corner. The resulting delivery was parried by Kinnerley but fell nicely for Marie Wayne to slot home and level the scores.
The comeback was completed with fifteen minutes remaining when Melissa Johnson took her tally for the season into double figures and Derby saw the game out for a hard earned victory.
Forest therefore fail to close the gap on leaders Sheffield FC who are still seven points ahead and red hot favourites to secure the title. Derby meanwhile climb up into fourth place and are now six points behind their local rivals, having played one game more.
Nottingham Forest: Vanessa Kinnerley, Andi Bell (sub Natasha Meade 72mins), Trina Greaves (sub Kirsty Allen 60mins) Demi Greenan, Jemma Grimadell (sub Taylor Thompson 79mins), Amber Hughes, Kelly Kennaugh, Annabel McKechnie, Isabel Sullivan, Ruth Titterton, Lucy Webster. Sub not used: Suzanne Maton.
Derby County: Sarah Morgan, Lorna Abbey, Louisa Abbey, Paige Crossman, Samantha Griffiths, Emily Jeffery, Melissa Johnson, Grace John, Natalie Reay, Hannah Ward (sub Camilla Newton 74mins), Marie Wayne. Subs not used: Amber-Leigh Denny, Rhian O'Callaghan, Dayna Randall, Megan Tinsley.
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