REAY OF FA CUP SUNSHINE, AS EWE RAMS SEE OFF TERRIERS
A lone Natalie Reay strike was enough for see Derby County progress in the FA Cup at the expense of Huddersfield Town.
In the build up to the game, manager, John Bennett had talked of a need to secure both a positive result and performance, as opposed to just the latter, following the previous weeks narrow and underserved Premier League loss to leaders, Middlesbrough.
The draw had not been kind to either side, given that it represented the only all Premier League tie of the round, however Bennett’s side started brightly and controlled most of the early stages before being rewarded midway through the first half when Natalie Reay capitalised on an excellent switch in play from Ellie May to slot past the home keeper.
Bennett made a couple of tactical tweaks to the sides set up at the interval and shortly afterwards introduced Lisa Giampalma, following a two month absence through injury. The experienced midfielders impact was immediate and lead to Ewe Rams creating a number of chances to seal the game that went begging.
The games main talking point came in the dying minutes when Huddersfield were convinced that a rare shot on target had crossed the line, however the well positioned officials deemed that it had not and Derby progress to a second round home tie with Northern Counties league side, Sheffield United.
According to Bennett, whilst Huddersfield seemed aggrieved at the decision not to award them a late equalising goal, they could have had few complaints about the result . “ There seemed to be a lot of people claiming to have had a great view of the ball and its proximity to the goal line, however the person that was best placed was the assistant referee. Sometimes these decisions can be hard to take, especially in the heat of the moment. Nobody knows that better than us, given that we had one in identical circumstances ( last minute potential equaliser ) against Middlesbrough the week before, however we accepted that the officials got it right then, and we trust that they did on this occasion. To be fair, Town’s chairman sent a text to our CEO, Duncan Gibb after the game wishing us all the best for next round, which was a nice touch.
When you look at the wider picture, I feel that we were the better side tactically and technically on the day and teams game management in securing our passage into the next round has been superb. I’m pleased for our fans, but on this occasion i’m even more pleased for the group. We dominated last week’s game against Middlesbrough and came away empty handed, so secure both the performance and the result this week was fitting “