Derby Men’s 5th XI 2-1 Leicester Men’s 4th XI: Hosts book semi-final book place with narrow victory
Words by George Wilson and image by Tommy Lister.
An impressive brace from Aaron Saxton helped Derby Men’s 5th XI into the semi-finals of the Midlands Conference Cup following a 2-1 win over Leicester Men’s 4th XI at Kedleston Road.
Matt Iles’ side came back from a goal down in order to reach the next round of the competition.
Saxton scored a goal in each half to secure a deserved victory for the home side, their first of 2020.
The visitors made a fast start to the game with forward Patrick Bailey striking the crossbar just five minutes in after a neat interchange with Nikhil Bassi.
Soon after, Leicester ensured that their early pressure counted. An excellent counter-attacking move ended with striker Robert Hinkley rolling the ball through the legs of Joe Coleman and into the net to give his side the lead.
Derby reacted well to going behind and quickly began to create some opportunities of their own. Jack Lake came close with a free-kick that drifted narrowly wide before Cain Lowe had an effort from range which looped just over the bar on the half-hour mark.
The equaliser came on the stroke of half time, a goal which Lake had a key part to play in. The central midfielder found space around 30 yards out and hammered a shot at goal. The Leicester keeper saved well and pushed the ball back into the penalty area, where Saxton was waiting. He reached the ball before a covering defender and confidently slid home to level the contest.
The home side didn’t have to wait long after the break to complete the comeback. In the 53rd minute, Saxton collected the ball from James Wilson on the edge of the away side’s area and sent a curling shot into the bottom-left corner for his second of the day.
From that point onwards, Leicester continued to commit more bodies forward as they looked to take the tie beyond 90 minutes, but were unable to find a way through a resolute Derby defence who restricted them to very few clear-cut chances in the last half hour of the game. Hinkley came closest to levelling the tie late on but could not find the back of the net with his free-kick.
At the final whistle, Derby players and fans alike were jubilant as they came to the realisation that Iles’ team are now just two wins away from some silverware.