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Cambridge United Women Under-18s concede stoppage-time equaliser to Junior Premier League title rivals Derby County

Two goals from Natasha Coe were not enough to take Cambridge United Women Under-18 to the summit of the Junior Premier League as they drew 2-2 with title rivals Derby County at Cambourne Village College on Saturday.

Despite Sean Greygoose’s team leading on two occasions, the visitors came back to equalise in added time and claim a point which sees his team remain in third place, a point behind the Rams and leaders Nottingham Forest.

Lily Horsler had the home side’s first shot on goal after Coe won the ball high up the pitch and the roles were reversed on 28 minutes to break the deadlock.

Natasha Coe scored both of Cambridge United Women Under-18s’ goals against Derby Picture: Jordan Woods
Natasha Coe scored both of Cambridge United Women Under-18s’ goals against Derby Picture: Jordan Woods

Coe found space in the middle after being fed by Horsler and hit a speculative shot from 35 yards that took a fortunate bounce and over the diving keeper.

On 42 minutes Derby got the equaliser after the United defence failed to clear but four minutes later the home team were back in front.

Coe picked up the ball just outside the penalty area, rode a couple of challenges and then hit an unstoppable drive from a tight angle to take her season’s tally to 22 goals.

Immediately after the second-half restart Millie Docking forced the Derby keeper to spill the ball but she recovered to save.

A strong challenge saw Lily Grace-Cooke fall awkwardly and briefly knocked unconscious, but the U’s keeper was able to walk off the pitch after an eight-minute stoppage for treatment.

Coe then had the chance to put the game out reach after surging into the box but her three shots were all blocked by desperate defending.

Flo Hjaltun-Raynor, who had taken over in goal, was called upon on thee occasions to save as the game entered the final quarter.

Docking had a couple of attempts on goal but Derby pulled level for the second time as the game entered time added on when a long ball was volleyed home giving Hjaltun-Raynor no chance.

Greygoose reported his keeper Cooke had been checked out and was fine and added the team were disappointed not to claim all three points.

“I’m gutted for the girls not to get the win, however, I’m pleased with the progress,” he said.

“It was a really good reaction from the girls after last week’s defeat to Derby.

“We asked the girls to play in a different way which they were brilliant at.

“I was really pleased with the all-round performance and scoring a couple of goals but more impressed with the effort and desire to defend as group and the press all over the pitch.”

“The girls have given themselves an outside chance to still compete for the title, however today showed how far they have come.”

The young U’s play in the semi-finals of the Cambs Invitational Cup at Histon Ladies on Sunday (2pm).

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