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Derby County 2012

Football Aid 2012 at Pride Park proved to be a very tightly contested game in front of an enthusiastic crowd, despite the wet conditions. It was the clinical finishing from the Away side that proved to be the difference and deny the Home team from a classic comeback. A first half hat-trick from Scott Bennett was almost cancelled out by the Home team, with goals from Nick Bagnall and James Hyde and it took was a late captains goal by Seamus Bolger in the 2nd half to seal victory for Legend Marc Edworthy's Away team.

Date: Saturday 5th May 2012
Venue: Pride Park
Derby County Home vs Derby County Away
Kick Off: 4:00pm
Match Officials: Tim Walker, Reece Tyler, Jack Carter and James Oldham
Legends: Roger Davies, Marc Edworthy

Before kick off Home team playing legend Roger Davies - who wore the famous Derby shirt 136 times - imparted advice to his team" is a big pitch, so the main thing is once you get the ball try and keep it because its very hard to get it back".

Away team playing legend Marc Edworthy (77 appearances for the Rams) shared a similar piece of advice to his enthusiastic players. Marc explained "...go out and enjoy themselves, it is a special day for them; it's for a fantastic cause. I think they'll realise after 5/10 minutes how big the pitch is but they're all in high spirits and looking forward to it"

The famous White shirts of the Derby County Home team got the 2012 Football Aid match underway. A fast paced start from both teams whet the appetite for all supporters, with the early indications being this was going to be a very entertaining game. The Home team had the first few half chances of the game and the highlight of these came after 3 mins, Gareth Thomas made a great run, touching it past the defender with ease, but only for his cross to go straight into the arms of Away Goalkeeper Chris Annable.

It was the Away team however that made Tyrell Gaunt pull-off the first great save of the match in the opposite goal. Peter Lewis, collecting the ball on the touchline from an Edworthy throw-in, was able to put a cross-field pass straight onto the right foot of William Smith who struck a left footed shot across Gaunt, however he was able to use a combination of his arm and chest to push the ball Away from goal before Julien Laurent cleared for a corner kick.

Both teams had a clear sense of determination to really get a hold of the game, with the Away team putting more and more pressure on the Home defence. However it was the Fullback Neil Cross that just over hit an attempted chip from the outside of the box after some great link up play from Scott Bennett. Gaunt did just enough to close down the space and put Cross off from scoring, which would have been one of the more memorable goals to grace the Pride Park pitch.

The first goal of the game came in the 7th min via Away No 9 Scott Bennett, after a great cross by William Smith. Smith was able to knock a great pass to expose the defence on the far right touchline to link with Bennett who was able to compose him self on the far right of the goal to just squeeze the ball between the last defender Julien Laurent and the oncoming Gaunt. Seamus Bolger followed up the shot to shield its path and deny a last ditch clearance from Phillip Bateman, who made a valiant attempt to slide in and stop the goal. (0-1)

Another cross field pass to Smith from Edworthy on the far right touchline again caused the Home defence all sorts off problems with an enticing cross aimed at Lewis, who was unable to get his full force behind the ball and the ball rolled out for a goal kick. The Home team were starting to struggle with the Away team's energetic display.

Christopher Coulson and Rich Duffy helped to relive the pressure on their team's defence with a pass-and-go on the left wing, before Matthew Carrington got across in time to put in a great defensive block to concede a corner. 

However a poor goal kick by Gaunt in the 15th min gave the ball to Scott Bennett, who was just able to get in front of the sliding Simon Thompson, before picking his corner with a left foot drive just inside the 18 yard box. A moment Gaunt will certainly want to forget. (0-2)

The deadly attacking force of Smith and Bennett combined again in the 18th min to score the third goal of the game and give the deadly striker Scott Bennett a 1st half hat-trick! Controlling with his right foot before unleashing an instant shot with his left, the No 9 gave the Away side a well deserved three goal advantage. (0-3)

The game could have been all over soon after the restart from Bennett's third goal, and it was live-wire Bennett again capitalising on a mistake from a stray pass. A through ball from Smith and Bennett's attempted chip just came off the top of the crossbar and out for a goal kick.

The Home team re-grouped after conceding the third goal, and they got their rewards in the 21st minute with a well taken team goal. Capitalising on a defensive mistake on the near touchline, Rich Duffy broke away down the right wing to cross in for Christopher Coulson to attempt a mis-timed shot, before recovering and setting up Nick Bagnall well for a side footed finish from the corner of the 6 yard box. It was a goal that definitely gave both the crowd and the Home team something to cheer about. (1-3)

Nick Bagnall started to dictate the Home team's attacking threat and in the 28th min hit a stunning 25 yard effort which the Away goalkeeper Chris Annable did very well to tip over the crossbar for a corner.  The Home team were now playing the better football and had a number of chances on goal.

The constant pressure from the Home team resulted in another goal, capitalising on a defensive error. The Home team Legend Roger Davies starting the move inside the Away team's half, before a few team passes into the feet of Coulson who continued his run into the box. Matthew Carrington attempted to slide challenge the ball out of play but it landed at the feet of Coulson, who quickly gave it to Bagnall, whose accurate ball across the 6 yard line onto the head of James Hyde allowed the Home Striker to finish the move off and reduce the deficit to one goal at half-time. (2-3)

Half-Time: Derby County Home 2 - 3 Derby County Away

The game was beautifully set up for an entertaining second half and both sets of teams received a rousing team talk by their respective legends Roger Davies and Marc Edworthy at the break. The Away team might have been feeling that their early pressure could go to waste if they didn't increase their tempo and the Home team hoping their momentum towards the end of the first half continued.

It was the Home team that started the brightest after the interval and they almost got their equaliser in the 56th min, James Hyde breaking free of the defence, but only to hit the ball into the side netting. The shot acted as a wake up call for the Away team as they knew they would have to pick up their performances if they were to go home with a victory.

A bit of controversy also increased the tempo of the game as there was a massive shout for handball by Chris Annable in the 58th min, the Away keeper seemed to collect the ball outside the area before Bennett could get there. However the referee waived play on, despite calls from the crowd and substitutes bench!

In a tight and tense 45 mins the slightly more clinical Away side had that bit extra up front and the only goal of the 2nd half sealed victory for the Away side in the 78th min. Away Captain Seamus Bolger was in the right place at the right time to smash home a half-volley into the roof of the net to his obvious delight. It was the impressive Smith again with the cross, causing all sorts of defensive problems, with Daniel Jones also sliding in to distract the goalkeeper. (2-4)

That was to be the final score in what was a hugely enjoyable game. The impressive Away team prevailing narrowly in the end, despite a gutsy performance from Roger Davies' Home side.

Full-Time: Derby County Home 2 - 4 Derby County Away

Man of the Match Home: Gareth Thomas
Man of the Match Away:
Daniel Jones
Moment of the Match:
Scott Bennett 

Home Team: Gaunt, Bateman, Davies, Laurent, Thompson, Thomas, O'Hagan, Bagnall, Coulson, Duffy, Hyde, Bagnall, Dent, R. Hyde, Peacock (C)
Home Mascot: Owen Duffy

Away Team: Annable, Cross, Edworthy, Greenwood, Carrington, Lewis, Smith, Taylor, Bennett, Jones, Bolger (C), Lewis, Basford, Millhouse, Taylor
Away Mascot: Nathan Romaszewskyj