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Derby County 2011

As the two sides emerged from the modern Pride Park tunnel anticipation was high on an overcast Saturday afternoon in Derbyshire. Excitement among the Rams fans taking part in the game would have been only heightened with the involvement of Derby County legends Phil Gee on the Home side and Dick Pratly on the Away side, both of whom looked fighting fit from their playing involvement in the Masters and looking for a winning performance from their teams. The game at Derby saw one of the largest and most raucous crowds of the season, and they added to the pre-match atmosphere. 

Saturday the 7th of May 2011
Derby County Home VS. Derby County Away
Kick Off: 3pm
Legends: Dick Pratly, Phil Gee
Match Officials: Martin Watts, Oli Bickle, Gareth Davis and Dan Andrews

The Away side in gold and blue got the action underway at Pride Park, and the game immediately settled into a furious tempo, with both sides struggling to take a grip of the game. With both sides pressing hard, it was the Away team that carved out the first opening. A marvellous ball over the top of the defence from Ian Sheppard released James Hyde who showed good vision to square the ball to Seamus Bolger. Bolger took the shot early, and his toe-poked effort was well saved by Leyland in the home goal.

The action continued at its frantic pace, with the challenges coming in thick and fast. The Home central midfield paring of Daniel Chambers and Christopher Coulson put in some big tackles especially, at one point Away midfielder Kris Archer felt the force of both at the same time!

However it was the Away team who were to draw first blood on the scoresheet. In the 7th minute an excellent cross from Anthony Meade was too hot to handle for goalkeeper Leyland- and then his defenders, who were unable to clear. Away centre back Darren Ferris then stepped up and showed good composure to side foot the ball home from a couple of yards. (0-1)

It was only minutes later before the Home side had the chance to equalize, Captain Gareth Smith passed a wonderfully weighted through ball for fellow centre forward Phil Jarman to run onto. Jarman had timed his run well and had acres of space before being closed down by ‘keeper Brassington. The narrow angle forced Jarman to find the corner of the net, but his effort drifted wide.

The Away side were coming under sustained pressure, centre halves Ferris and Captain Dent doing well to protect Brassington’s goalmouth with a number of clearing headers. They were able to relieve pressure when right back Meade surged up the flank and found himself on the right side of the penalty area. His square pass found the feet of Bolger, who caught his second swipe at the ball beautifully, only to be denied by an outstanding block by Adam Shipp.

The Home side had been pressing the away defence with half chances appearing for Zayn Malooq and Phil Jarman, however the team in gold and blue began to control possession, Archer and Sheppard putting their feet on the ball and dictating the game. This led to one of the games best chances. Darren Ferris hit a great pass into the box from deep that was met by the head of left winger Richard Cutts. The looping header was kept out by a truly spectacular save by Leyland, the goalkeeper diving backwards and tipping the ball over the bar.

It wasn’t until the 30th minute that the next real chance emerged, and it led to the Home side’s equalizer. Winger Malooq won a header on the edge of the area that fell to the feet of Jarman, who touched it on to Malooq’s intelligent run. He ran to the by-line and cut the ball back for Phil Jarman who controlled the ball with one foot before swivelling and shooting with his left. It was a great goal and the Home side were delighted to be back in the game. (1-1)

Only three minutes later Phil Jarman got his second to make it 2-1 to the Home side, and the finish was well worth it. Again Malooq was involved, receiving a pass on the right from Shipp and floating a cross into the unmarked Jarman on the penalty spot. Jarman showed unbelievable technique to take the ball on the full volley and crashed the ball into the net at the near post. It was a stunning finish. (2-1)


Half-Time: Derby County Home 2 – 1 Derby County Away


The Home team got the game back underway. Fresh legs were on for both sides and they would be looking to make the difference in the second half.

The half started at a slower pace than the first, but both teams were knocking the ball around well. There was drama 5 minutes in, when Meade made a surging run with the ball into the box pursued by Martyn Benfield. Meade went down as if clipped by the Home substitute, but the slow motion replay indicates Meade may have tripped up over his own two feet. It was great work by the referee.

Despite early pressure from the Away team, it was the men in black in white who were to score first in the half. Sub Darren Wheatley ran with the ball from his own half exchanging a neat one-two with Smith. He finished off a great move by slipping a pass through to Phil Jarman who slotted a finish at the near post from a tight angle. Hat trick hero Jarman had to thank his teammates for some superb build-up play. (3-1)

The game began to ebb back and forth, with chances for both teams emerging. Away team winger Daniel Jones’ run and shot from distance going fell just wide of the post, and Gareth Jones’ point blank header saved in some style by Brassington.

Daniel Jones had been coming more into the game for the Away team in the second half, and after 54 minutes he displayed good vision to thread the ball through to right back Anthony Meade. Meade wormed his way through several challenges in the box, before curling a sweet left footed strike into the net. It was a terrific finish and brought his team right back into the game. (3-2)

Meade’s goal had galvanized the Away team and they began to attack in force. First Sheppard had a shot stylishly cleared of the line by the back heel of Mark Feehan; before a Cutts header brought an outstanding reflex save from Leyland low to his left. The Away team were beginning to throw the kitchen sink at the Home side in search of an equalizer!

In the 60th minute they found it. Darren Ferris advanced with the ball into the opposing half and played a glorious through ball to Archer, who burst into the box before knocking the ball past an onrushing Leyland. A combination of Leyland and substitute right back Chris Jackson brought Archer down and the referee had no choice but to point to the spot. Up stepped Anthony Meade to crash home the penalty into the right side of the net. Game on! (3-3)

The Away side clearly had the momentum with them and were continuing to attack. In the 67th minute their enterprise got the reward that it deserved and they found themselves ahead. Meade had a cross knocked down by Archer that fell to Ian Sheppard on the edge of the box. The central midfielder took his time slammed a low half-volley drive into the bottom corner. Another great goal! (3-4)

It was the turn of the Home team to venture forward in search of an equalizer, but it only served to make them more vulnerable. Anthony Meade played a one-two with Sheppard in midfield that brought him to the edge of the box, and with the Home defence at the other end of the park in search of the goal all that was left was to side foot past Leyland to extend the lead to 5-3 in the 73rd minute.  It was a fully deserved hat-trick for Meade, who had tormented the Home team all match with his rampaging runs from right back. (3-5)

The Home team weren’t prepared to go down without a fight however. After Gareth Smith’s deep cross was well headed away by Ian Muggleton, Daniel Chambers completed his late burst into the box with a full volley that couldn’t have been struck any sweeter. It was a phenomenal finish and Chambers was delighted about pulling off one of the hardest techniques in football so emphatically. A worthy moment of the match and a way back into the game for the Home side. (4-5)

Both sides were again testing the goalkeepers from distance, but as before, Meade punished the Home side for their search for an equalizer, running the length of the pitch, only to blast a shot just to the wrong side of the post. That was corrected minutes later when Anthony Meade collected a long kick out from Brassington, and one on one with Leyland, dinked the ball into the far corner of the net. An incredible 4 goal haul for the attacking full back. (4-6)

The goal killed off any hopes of a revival for the Home side and completed an amazing turnaround for Dick Pratly’s men.


Full-Time: Derby County Home 4 - 6 Derby County Away


Man of the Match Home: Phil Jarman

Man of the Match Away: Anthony Meade

Moment of the Match: Daniel Chambers


Home Team: Leyland, Sellors, Gee, Griffiths, Shipp, Coulson, Malooq, Thomas Jones, Jarman, Chambers, Smith(Capt), Benfield, Feehan, Jackson, Wheatley

Mascot: Jazzy Shipp

Away Team: Brassington, Meade, Pratly, Dent(Capt), Ferris, Sheppard, Daniel Jones, Cutts, Bolger, Archer, Hyde, Muggleton, Johnson

Mascot: William Dent