Aston Men’s 2nd XI 1-2 Derby Men’s 5th XI: Visitors Secure Passage to Last 16 with Narrow Victory
A heroic performance saw Derby Men’s 5th XI beat Aston Men’s 2nd XI 2-1 in the Midland Conference Cup to progress to the last 16.
Goals from Ross Barnett and Conor Humphries either side ofAfolabi Moronkeji’s equaliser were enough to give the 5th XI passage to the next round.
Aston came into the game on the back of two straight victories and started the brighter of the two sides. Tafodzwa Zimbango was found down the left but he couldn’t curl his strike inside the post. Three minutes later the hosts should’ve opened the scoring. Sam Jones was dispossessed by Tolu Pina and he ran through one-on-one with Ryan Plant but the skipper stood strong to keep it out.
Derby began to grow into the game and had a few chances of their own. The dangerous Mahamud Hussein drifted in from the right-hand side and hammered a shot towards goal but it crashed off the woodwork and away to safety.
But the hard work paid off for the visitors. Schuler’scross from the right was met by Ross Barnett who saw his volley saved but the ball managed to cross the line, despite some last-ditch efforts from the Aston defenders.
The hosts managed to mount some pressure late in the firsthalf and equalised seconds before the break. Some neat play saw the ball fallto Moronkeji on the edge of the box and he smashed a 25-yard effort into thenet courtesy of the post.
The equaliser didn’t seem to affect the away side’s mentality though as they retook the lead 15 minutes into the second period. Newly introduced sub Joe Cookson whipped in a delightful free kick from the right-hand side which was met by Humphries who did the rest, sending the ball into the roof of the net past a helpless goalkeeper.
The home side started to dominate the ball in the latterstages of the game and had a few good chances to equalise. Moronkeji, Aston’smain goal threat, had two good chances to score but both efforts were kept outsuperbly by Plant.
The Derby stopper was to thank for keeping his side in front with some vital saves, including one from Mike Dorrick’s late effort.
The 5th XI managed to hold on for a pricelessvictory and now go on to face the winner of Anglia Ruskin Men’s 3rdXI vs Birmingham City 1st XI in the next round.
Words by Kieran King
Picture by Joel Roberts