Team Derby Come Out On Top In Fierce East Midlands Clash
Team Derby’s football firsts maintained their winning start to their BUCS league campaign after a 2-1 home win over local rivals Nottingham Trent University.
An early own goal by defender Jordan Holmesgave put Derby behind, but they recovered with goals from Sam Birks and substitute Maciej Dabrowski to compound Notts to their second successive defeat of the season.
The visitors started the better of the two sides by dominating the possession; their early pressure provided them with the opening goal.
Neat play down the right- hand side from midfielder Dan Busch saw his effort cannon off the post, with the rebound hitting the unfortunate Holmes. The shot struck the defenders knee and back in to the net, giving the keeper no chance.
Clear cut chances were hard to come by for the Derby team. Efforts from Jack Byrom and Birks came close to troubling the away side.
The two were involved however in the hosts’ equalising goal after some sustained pressure.
Midfielder Byrom took a short free kick to Birks who took aim from 25 yards out. His low drive was too strong for the Notts keeper.
With the game nicely poised going in to the second half, neither side created anything in terms of chances but there plenty of crunching tackles in the midfield. The game had all the characteristics of a classic East Midlands rivalry.
Derby introduced striker Maciej Dabrowski to try and break the deadlock. The striker scored 11 goals in 5 games last year and, his scoring form returned just in time for John McGrath’s side.
Dabrowski came on with 15 minutes to go, and his arrival seemed to rally his team to push on for the winner.
The ever-influential Birks held the ball up well and laid the ball off to Dabrowski. His scintillating left footed drive rifled in to the roof of the net.
Speaking after the win, McGrath was pleased with his side’s performance despite their initial slow start.
“We immediately started on the back foot when we conceded so early on,” said McGrath. “However after that everyone was excellent and we deserved the three points.
“At half-time, I told the lads to play with confidence, I see these lads three days a week and told them to show their ability which, they did today.”
Derby will look to use this momentum going in to next week’s cup fixture away to University of East Anglia.
BY OLLIE KING, DARION WESTWOOD AND PAREEM VARA