Polished Pride

Pride Park 4-0 Borrowash Victoria

By Doug Outt (3/5/22)

Above: Pride Park’s Summer Evans with her commemorative shield marking her 50th appearance for the club. Photo via: Pride Park FC.

Pride Park moved into second in the Derbyshire Ladies League Division One with a polished and composed performance against a depleted Borrowash Victoria on Sunday.

It was third against fourth at Moorways, with both sides in the hunt for second place. Prior to kick-off, Pride’s striker Summer Evans was presented with a commemorative shield to mark her reaching 50 appearances at the beginning of April.

Vics made a lively start but there weren’t many chances early on. Pride Park gradually grew into the game and started to enjoy the better possession, although the first shot on target came from the visitors after 15 minutes, but was comfortably caught by Jade Howell in the Pride Park goal. The home side were building play up well, but the final ball wasn’t quite finding the intended player.

Nevertheless, The Pride started to build some momentum and there were chances for Beth Jones, Lottie Bryan, and Summer Evans, before two goals in three minutes for the hosts around the twenty minutes mark put the hosts in control. 

The first came after some slick build-up play as Evans played in Bryan who smartly squared it for Sophie Ayton on the right, who made no mistake from inside the box for her first goal of the season. 

Three minutes later, again after good build-up play, Bryan provided another assist as she unselfishly squared the ball to Evans who, with her back to goal, allowed the ball to run across her before turning and placing a smart finish wide of the keeper.

After 30 minutes Park were awarded a penalty after a free-kick was lifted into the box and the ball hit a defender’s raised hand as she challenged for a header. Tash Allderidge stepped up and drilled the spot-kick home to give Pride Park a 3-0 lead on the half-hour

Above: Sophie Ayton, scorer of Pride Park’s opening goal against Borrowash Victoria. Photo: Shaun Hardwick.

There were a couple more chances, for Beth Jones and Rachel Weaver, but at the break, it remained 3-0 to the home side, who were good value for their lead. 

It was important for Pride Park to maintain the performance level in the second half, and they started well, with early chances for Sophie Ayton, Eliot Sayavong, and Lottie Bryan. 

A few more half chances were created that couldn’t be converted, but shortly after the hour, The Pride extended their lead. A good passage of play culminated in an inviting ball into the area from Ayton which was met at the far post and smashed home by Eliot Sayavong 

The first good chance of the second half for the Vics – a header from a speculative ball forward – came with just under twenty minutes to play, but Jade Howell collected comfortably. 

With ten minutes to go, a goal-bound shot from Beth Thompson was diverted into the net by Sophie Ayton but the goal was ruled out for offside. There were no further chances for either side and Pride Park saw the game out for a valuable win. 

Defensive solidity set the foundation for the performance – it was particularly pleasing to get a third clean sheet of the season – and with some excellent build-up play added in for a fully deserved three points in a polished performance. It was good to see Eliot Sayavong and Sophie Ayton cap good displays with goals, and for Lizzie Pacey to get some playing time under her belt in her first outing since the start of the season, but there were good performances from all twelve players involved. 

The win takes Pride Park into second, behind champions Draycott, with two games to play; at Mickleover in two weeks (15th May, ko 1.30pm) and the final game of the season away to….Borrowash Victoria, again (29th May, ko 1.30pm), who have four games left.

Above: Eliot Sayavong, who completed the scoring for Pride Park. Photo: Shaun Hardwick,

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