Derby Men’s 2nd XI 1-2 Loughborough Men’s 4th XI: Away side leave it late to snatch cup victory
Words by Tommy Lister.
Loughborough Men’s 4th XI advanced to the next round of the conference cup as they came from behind to win 2-1 thanks to Teo Atik’s 88th-minute winner.
Derby Men’s 2nd XI deservedly took the lead in the 53rd minute after Matty Mckenzie-Smith’s well-struck free-kick from 30 yards out caught the opposing goalkeeper off guard, giving Kyle Pemberton an easy finish.
Dfinto Itcham levelled the scoring for the visitors against the run of play 75 minutes in, smashing home a rebound following Dan Lawlor-Potton’s incredible initial save.
Teo Atik became the hero of the day with only two minutes remaining, winning the game with a great bit of play, taking the ball down from a cross onto his chest before finishing with an emphatic volley.
The hosts controlled the early stages of the game as they dominated possession, however neither team came close to a breakthrough as a dull first half ended 0-0.
McKenzie-Smith’s then provided the perfect chance for his side to go in front as his free-kick was spilt by the ‘keeper. Pemberton was the quickest to react, thrashing the ball in to break the deadlock.
The game could, and probably should, have been put to bed for Derby 10 minutes later but Lukas Balaz failed to take a golden opportunity to double the lead.
The home side were denied yet again, this time by the crossbar as Pemberton saw a towering header cannon back off the crossbar just moments after Itcham had netted an equaliser following a great save from Lawlor-Potton.
Derby were made to rue their missed chances late on as Atik brilliantly snatched a last gasp victory for Loughborough with a fantastic volley from a pinpoint cross.
Despite feeling as though it should have been them progressing to the next round, the hosts must now switch their attention back to league football.