Derry City Women suffer late defeat to Crusaders Strikers

Derry City Women suffered a stoppage time heartache loss to Crusaders Strikers, at the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium, on Wednesday night.

Thursday, 3rd June 2021, 10:28 am
Updated Thursday, 3rd June 2021, 10:32 am
Derry City Women's Eimear Lafferty takes the ball out from the back during Wednesday night's game against Crusaders Strikers. Picture by JPJPhotography

An Emily Wilson long range effort, on 95 minutes, was the defining difference in this lively Danske Bank Women’s Premier Division clash.

Derry struggled in the opening 20 minutes, as Strikers had numerous half chances. Rea, Nelson and Wilson all had attempts on goal, but the finishing lacked the conviction that almost defined Crusaders evening.

On 29 minutes, Crusaders appeals for a penalty were swiftly denied, as Wilson dropped in the Derry penalty box. The half ended a more even contest, with Paula McCrory showing some promise for Derry in attack.

The second half started in a similar vein to the first. Wilson headed narrowly wide on 46 minutes and only a fingertip save by Derry goalkeeper Claire Friel on 62 minutes denied Danielle McDowell the opening goal.

As Crusaders pressed high in search of that goal, Derry were wise to their own counter attack potential. With some composure and a better final through ball, Derry could easily have troubled Harvey-Clifford in the Strikers goal on numerous occasions.

The Candy Stripes looked as if they would hold on for a well-earned point, as Crusaders missed two golden chances in the closing stages, firstly hitting the bar and then firing over the rebound.

However deep into stoppage time Wilson unleashed a long-range effort, that finally broke the Derry resolve. For boss Kevin McLaughlin, it is no doubt a point dropped, but his side should also take positives from the game.