A packed Sportspark awaited the main event of Derby Day 2013, and it did not disappoint. Essex started the brightest as they threatened to open the scoring early on, though some staunch defending from UEA kept them at bay. Essex continued mount pressure on the UEA defence, but were unable to break a Morgan inspired UEA backline.

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Photo: Ga Chun Yau

Where Essex lacked a cutting edge up front in the first 15 minutes – missing an open goal highlighting this – UEA were clinical in their attack as a quick break saw Chantelle Farrell cut in from the right, easing past the Essex defence before finishing with an unstoppable reverse flick.

In spite of this UEA faced waves of attacks from the visitors, and a momentary lapse from UEA’s defence saw Essex equalise. UEA came close to retaking the lead on a couple of occasions before half time, as Wilson embarked on powerful runs through the middle of the pitch. However, UEA were unable to add a finish to this as Essex’s goalkeeper stopped UEA’s attempts to regain the lead.

The half time whistle blew with the score 1-1. Essex perhaps had the better of the half but with the score line as it was, and UEA looking dangerous on the break, the home side had a great chance of winning the game.

At the start of the second half both teams upped their tempo. UEA came near to scoring as Patterson glided through the heart of the Essex midfield linking up with the forwards, only to be thwarted by the Essex goal keeper.

Minutes later, UEA were unlucky to go behind as a scramble in the D saw Essex forward’s poking the ball home to take a 2-1 lead in the 42nd minute.

Essex midfield then proceeded to take control of the game, with UEA only limited to the occasional counter, and their dominance showed as they extended their lead to a smart finish from a cutback.

With less than 10 minutes left UEA strived to reduce the deficit. With a two goal lead Essex decided to sit back allowing UEA to dominate territory and possession. UEA didn’t give up and a smart short corner saw them pull one back. This was not enough as Essex held on to win 3-2

In an absorbing fixture UEA just came up short. Despite the result UEA can be very proud of their performance, they were committed right to the last and were unlucky not get at least a draw out of it.