Eastbourne Town ladies were on the brink of FA Cup Fourth Round qualification before narrowly crashing out against Derby County in extra time on Sunday ending their impressive cup run.
Town’s momentous cup run will live long in the memory of the players and supporters after wins against Chichester and QPR ended in a third round home tie against Northern Premier League team Derby County.
On a bright and bitterly cold day at the Saffrons both teams looked to attack from the off and Derby struck first breaking the deadlock after Amy Perry’s header in the 25th minute caught Town ‘keeper Sarah Walshaw off guard.
Town’s second round hero Jacey Samson, who scored the winner against QPR, again came to the rescue in the 33rd minute equalising with a well finished shot after good work down the left from Grace Gibbs.
Town then took the shock lead a few minutes later thanks to an own goal from a corner. But Derby wasted little time in getting back into the match, scoring straight from the kick off after Samantha Griffiths’ fine effort levelled the tie before half time.
Derby dominated large parts of the second half with most of their chances coming through set-pieces, Griffiths came closest to scoring when her free kick hit the bar to the relief of the home crowd. But Town dug deep and defended bravely with talismanic captain Emma Parslow leading her players into extra time.
Extra time looked to be a step to far for Town ladies as they tired and Derby took advantage scoring two goals in the first half of extra time through Perry and Cara Newton.
Derby could have scored more but wasted multiple chances with the game ending 4-2 to the visitors.