BENNETT DELIGHTED WITH BATTLING DRAW AT AFC FYLDE
Following a nightmare six weeks in terms of injuries, Derby County Ladies go into the Christmas break buoyed on two fronts, with players returning to fitness and a second successive shut out on the road, following a gritty 0-0 draw away to pre season Premier League title favourites AFC Fylde at the weekend.
Manager, John Bennett had spoken in the lead up to the game, of his players needing to build on the previous weeks FA Cup victory at Huddersfield and they started positively with Nicole Dale inches away from converting a Natalie Reay cross inside the first two minutes. The home side slowly began to stamp their authority on the game and were subsequently denied on a number of occasions prior to the break through a combination of some excellent defending and Rams keeper, Sarah Morgan.
The second period followed a similar pattern to the first, with the Coasters dominating large periods of play, however a failure to convert possession into end product allied to excellent game management by Derby, saw Ewe Rams return from the North West with a hard earned point. According to Bennett his squad can take huge comfort from the past two performances and can enter the new year with renewed confidence, after what has been a particularly testing period.
“ Following an excellent pre and early season campaign, we were hit very hard with injuries in October and results suffered a bit as a result. We knew that some of those players would start to return to fitness, however if you could hand pick your final two fixtures of the year when your down to the bare bones, an FA Cup tie away to a fellow Premier League side, followed by a trip to the pre season title favourites in the league would be unlikely to feature on your list.
To subsequently progress in the cup and then secure a point in the league was pleasing enough, however to do both without conceding a goal has been an added bonus. We’ve also managed to get Lisa Giampalma back in the starting line up and hopefully by the time we entertain Sheffield United in the FA Cup on 8th January we will have a couple more either back or a step closer to full fitness.
Updated 17:10 - 14 Dec 2016 by Brett Burnton