Derby Men’s 1st XI 5-1 Nottingham Men’s 1st XI: Hosts clinch league title in five-star display
Words by George Coombes
Pictures by Rob Sills
A feisty East Midlands clash ended in triumph for Derby Men’s 1st XI as they sealed the league title with a 5-1 win against Nottingham Men’s 1st XI who finished the game with nine men.
A hat-trick for Tomas Junek and strikes from Adam Prusa and Lukas Balaz were enough to overcome the visitors’ first-half opener in what was a feisty encounter.
It was Nottingham who had the better of the opening stages as Lamin Sanyang made a critical interception after the ball had been squared across the box. Their persistence paid off when they took the lead on the half-hour mark through their frontman. He ran onto a tempting lobbed pass and finished past the helpless Jacko-Lysac in the Derby net.
The main talking point of the first half came when Elijah Luka ran onto a long ball before being clattered by the visiting goalkeeper outside the area. Tempers flared during a nine-minute stoppage but the ‘keeper was eventually given his marching orders, leaving his side to play the remaining 57 minutes with ten men.
The hosts were eager to assert their dominance in the second half given their numerical advantage and it didn’t take them long to draw level.
Just five minutes after the restart, an inviting through ball caught out Nottingham’s substitute goalkeeper, which Luka took advantage of by poking it round him to find Junek who slotted home past three scrambling defenders on the goal-line.
Derby soon took the lead when Sanyang’s overlapping run drew defenders out of position, leaving Adam Prusa with space to slam home following the former’s cut-back.
The visitors were struggling to get out of their own half as a result of the home side’s high press and their afternoon got even worse when Junek was tugged back by a defender when through on goal, leaving the referee with no choice but to further reduce the away side to just nine men.
Space was aplenty following Nottingham’s dismissals and Junek had the freedom of the park to get his second of the game when played through on goal superbly before finishing past the goalkeeper.
The scorer of the third then turned provider when he, yet again, found space on the left-hand side before this time squaring to Balaz who put the game beyond doubt. There was still time for Junek to seal his hat-trick as he was on-hand to tap in a rebounded effort as his side confirmed themselves as title winners in emphatic style.