Derby Men’s 3rd XI 2-1 Bedfordshire Men’s 1st XI: Hosts through to next round with narrow victory
Words by William Furness.
A late winner from Kallum Kirk saw Derby’s Men’s 3rd’ XI beat Bedfordshire Men’s 1st XI 2-1 to progress into the next round in the Midlands Conference Cup.
Both sides went into the game in great form with neither team losing in the league so far. It started as a tense and scrappy affair but the deadlock was broken in the 10th minute in bizarre fashion by Adam McLaughlin. Bedfordshire equalised just after the break but it was Kallum Kirk’s fortunate goal in the 81st minute that saw Derby secure passage into the next round.
The hosts attacked from the very start and their hard work paid off after 10 minutes as McLaughlin’s long-range strike from just inside the opponent’s half caught keeper Karl Lewis off his line.
The intention of the goalscorer is still unknown, but his captain, Charlie Barlow, played down those claims post-match, “I haven’t spoken to him yet, but a goal’s a goal.”
Bedfordshire grew into the game as the half went on and possibly should have gone into the break level as Harry Whittingham missed a golden chance one-on-one with the keeper.
The equaliser did eventually come in the 52nd minute through a corner that wiggled its way through for Dejean George to stab home. The away side began to control the game afterwards and may feel hard done by with the final scoreline.
It was Derby who got the winner against the run of play with nine minutes left when second-half substitute Alex Goodall’s blocked shot bounced off Kallum Kirk and into the back of the net.
Barlow was thrilled with his team’s performance. He said: “Unreal, I can’t believe it. Last year it was a different result but this year we’ve come out all guns blazing. I feel unreal”
The manager shared his captain’s enthusiasm after the vital cup win. “I’m chuffed for them, they’re a great set of boys,” said the boss. “We just stuck at it. One minute I was going to take the eventual winner off. Football’s a funny game.”
Derby now look forward to hosting Birmingham Men’s 3rd XI and hopefully build on the momentum and continue their unbeaten start to the season.