Derby Men’s 3rd XI 2-3 Bedfordshire Men’s 2nd XI: Visitors edge five-goal thriller
Words by Bradley White
Picture by Josh Ramsbottom
Derby Men’s 3rd XI were relegated from the BUCS Midlands league 4B after Kallum Kirk’s first half brace was cancelled out by goals from AJ and Alex Smith.
The match began with both sides firing on all cylinders, Lawlor-Potton received a yellow card just two minutes into the match for a professional foul after rushing off his line.
AJ opened the scoring early for the visitors in the first half after chasing Smith’s through ball and accelerating through the Derby defence before placing the ball through Lawlor-Potton’s legs with a composed finish.
Derby won a penalty in the 20th minute following a foul in the box. Kirk stepped up and sent the Bedfordshire keeper the wrong way, curling the ball to the bottom left corner.
AJ had a chance to double his tally denied by Lawlor-Potton who punched the volley clear from danger.
Just moments later Smith curled the ball into the top left corner from range, lobbing Lawlor-Potton in the process to put Bedfordshire in the lead.
Smith claimed his brace one minute later, receiving the ball in the Derby box before tucking his shot into the bottom right corner from six-yards out to grant the away side a two-goal cushion. AJ had a goal disallowed in the 32nd minute, his back-post header judged to be offside.
Kirk provided Derby with a lifeline after charging into the box and curling the ball in at the far post.
A golden opportunity to equalise was denied by the offside flag just before half-time. The striker looked to have timed his run perfectly, latching onto a lofted pass before flicking the ball around the keeper.
A lacklustre second half produced rare attempts on goal, with Barlow close to finding a crucial equaliser in the latter stages, although his volley from a tight angle was fired over the bar.
Reflecting on his side’s performance, Earl Taylor said: “Three mistakes, when we’re struggling for results you can’t give the other team three goals.
“We said at the start ‘don’t worry about the football so much, just be in the game’.
Commenting on the goalless second half, Taylor said: “They didn’t cause us any problems in the second half, I think we had enough possession to do a little more than we did.”