Profligacy in front of goal cost Team Derby’s football men’s seconds as three late strikes condemned them to a heavy defeat against the University of East Anglia.
UEA played on the counterattack and looked more likely to break the deadlock, which they eventually did. Breaking from a Derby attack, they fired a couple of shots on target before taking the lead through Ryan Swift.
Derby pulled one back when Louis Ratcliffe pounced on a loose ball in the area and put it past Ben George in the UEA net. However, the visitors restored their advantage within thirty seconds through Tyrell Benjamin.
Roderik Valko shot wide immediately afterwards, missing the opportunity to level the scores after being set up by Josh Dolby.
Derby pushed for an equaliser after the break but lacked the edge in the final third to convert the chances, and paid a heavy price for their wastefulness.
Goalkeeper Jonny Lappert made fantastic saves all afternoon to keep his side in the contest but there was only so much he could do. The floodgates opened in the final twenty minutes as Swift, Owen Betts and Johan Kahodi all got on the scoresheet to secure the result for the visitors.
After the game, manager Pablo Mills said: “I thought we started much better than we did last week and we got a good reaction in the first half.
“I thought we would kick on but the confidence is quite low at the minute. I think the lads need to work a bit more on their fitness.
“I thought Josh Dolby was our standout man today and I’ve just relayed that’s the type of player that I want playing for me. Hopefully next week we’ll see a better showing.”
Derby’s next match is against Oxford University’s second team in the Midlands Conference Cup next week.
BY HRITIKA SHARMA AND MATT ABBOTT