The Football Aid season’s next stop was at the impressive Pride Park in the East Midlands, with the home of Derby County hosting a really competitive game. Rams legend Robert Kozluk and his Home side were able to defeat fellow Rams legend Marc Edworthy’s Away team 3-0, but the score line doesn’t tell the full story of an eventful and close game played on a clear and slightly breezy Saturday noon.
Date: Saturday 6th May 2017
Venue: Pride Park
Derby County (Home) vs Derby County (Away)
Kick Off: 12:00 pm
Legends & Managers: Roger Davies, Robert Kozluk, Michael Johnson and Marc Edworthy
After a thorough warmup from Legends Kozluk and Edworthy the game got underway with the tempo high from the off and the Home team had their defence to thank on 8 mins, with Away No 4 John Vint playing a superb long ball forward to Matthew Farmer, the No 7 cut inside and looked to flick it around the on-rushing keeper, only for Home No 5 Wayne Plant to clear the ball off the line and out for a corner.
The Away team gained confidence from this early attack and looked to be on the front foot, and on 14 mins they were awarded a penalty when Home legend Robert Kozluk wiped out Away 10 Ben Leeson inside the box just before his shot flew over the bar. Leeson stepped up to take the penalty himself and struck it well, however the ball hit the post and rebounded straight back to Leeson who fired the ball home, however the referee ruled the goal out because no other player had touched the ball before Leeson’s 2nd attempt. It was bad luck for the Away team and their chance to break the deadlock was gone.
The counter attacking football was really effective for the Away team and on 17 mins, Away No 11 Jonathan Riddoch brought the ball forward and played a lovely weighted pass into the path of Away No 16 James Cooper, who after driving into the box and towards goal from the left, put his shot wide, with Home No 5 Wayne Plant putting him off with a brilliant last ditch attempted block.
The Home team started to get back into the game with thanks to their opponents however, as on 33 mins, Away keeper No 1 David Zydzienowski’s pass out to Away captain No 5 John Bullock was intercepted due to the high pressing of the Home team and with Zydzienowski out of his net, Home No 7 Paul Raybould unfortunately put his effort over the bar, keeping the game goalless.
Down the other end, the Away side had the ball in the back of the net again on 36mins, but the officials ruled the goalscorer Away No 14 Ricky Hull to be offside. Great build up play saw Away No 10, Ben Leeson, played down the left, and his bullet cross accurately picked out the head of the awaiting Hull at the far post, however the narrow offside decision went against the Away and somehow the tie remained goalless.
It really began to start feeling like one of those days in front of goal for the Away team as they hit the crossbar on 39 mins through Away No 8 Adam Walker’s effort. The left mid pulling off at the far post, was picked out and on the half volley, the winger sweetly connected with the ball and was so unlucky not to break the deadlock and claim a fantastic goal.
Despite the plethora of chances at both ends it took 44 mins before we had our first goal of game, and despite the Away side’s pressure it was the Home side that scored. Home No 7 Paul Raybould putting in a cross from the right which out-of-luck Away keeper No 1 David Zydzienowski unfortunately spilt out of his hands and into his own net, it was just the slice of luck the Home team needed to take a surprise lead (1-0).
Another slip for the Away side then cost them a 2nd goal moments later and it came just before the half-time whistle. This time Home No 9 Stephen Davies played in Home legend Robert Kozluk who was in acres of space due to an unfortunate slip from Away captain John Bullock, and the experience of Kozluk saw him round the keeper and easily tapping home from a yard out (2-0).
The ref brought the half to an end seconds later with the Home team enjoying a 2 goal advantage. The Away team had looked the more likely to score for long spells in the half and could count themselves unfortunate to be behind, but full credit to the Home team who weathered the storm and struck back in deadly fashion.
Half Time: Derby (Home) 2 - 0 Derby (Away)
As the 2nd half got underway, the Away team knew they needed to start converting their chances, and were close to doing so on 52 mins when Away No 16 James Cooper drove into the left side of the box and cut the ball back to Away No 9 Daniel Muir, however the striker’s drilled left foot effort just crept past the post.
Then on 61mins Away No 6 Nick Bagnall decided to pull the trigger from range after finding himself with time and space for a shot, his bullet-like effort was sweetly hit but the ball flew just past the fully stretched diving Home keeper No 1 Eoin McCafferty and the left post. The Away team found themselves still searching for a goal!
The Home team who then had a great chance to extend their lead further on 66 mins when Home No 16 Thomas Goyski was involved in a clever one-two pass, receiving the ball inside the box and to the right of goal, however his effort was slightly rushed and the ball flew over the bar.
With 10 mins to play, the Home side were still looking for that killer 3rd goal to wrap up the game, and they fashioned another chance for Andrew McGrory. Having switched from his right back position to play much higher up the pitch, the No 2 found himself unmarked in the box when the ball was crossed into the danger area, however he wasn’t able to keep his effort down from close range.
With the Away team desperate for a goal late on, they were leaving gaps at the back and an opportunity for the Home team to counter attack arrived on 85 mins. In a 3v1 situation, Home No 2 Andrew McGrory headed a long ball across to Home No 20 Lee Sweeney and driving towards goal with options to his left, the skilful centre mid decided to go it alone and for the 2nd time in the game the Home side rounded the keeper to score the decisive goal for his jubilant Rams Home team (3-0).
A frustrating day in front of goal for the Away side was summed up on 88 mins when the lively Away No 11 Jonathan Riddoch found himself in space outside the box, but his long range effort was drilled just off target much to the relief of the Home defence and keeper who looked to have secured a rare Football Aid clean sheet.
The referee’s whistle blew for full time soon after, ending the game with the Home side winning 3-0. It certainly was a game where one team’s luck in front of goal was in and the other team’s simply wasn’t, and the score line could well have been different on another day.
A massive thanks to Derby County FC once again for giving Rams fans the ultimate experience of playing at the iconic Pride Park. A big thanks also to all the players and spectators who were involved and a special thanks to the Playing Legends, Marc Edworthy and Robert Kozluk, as well as Managing Legends, Roger Davies and Michael Johnson.
Full Time: Derby (Home) 3 - 0 Derby (Away)
Man of the Match Home: Ashley Chapman
Man of the Match Away: John Vint
Moment of the Match: Eoin McCafferty
Home Team: Eoin McCafferty, Andrew McGrory, Robert Kozluk, Ashley Chapman (C), Wayne Plant, Hugh Gough, Paul Raybould, Ainsley Sackey, Stephen Davis, Jon Dixon, Simon Buss, Lee Sweeney, Rich Darby, Thomas Goyski, Daniel McNulty
Home Manager: Roger Davies
Home Mascot: Daisy Chapman
Away Team: David Zydzienowski, Adam Canning, Marc Edworthy, John Vint, Jon Bullock (C), Nick Bagnall, Matthew Farmer, Adam Walker, Daniel Muir, Ben Leeson, Jonathan Riddoch, Ricky Hull, Angelo Viacava, James Cooper, Tommaso Vaccaro
Away Manager: Michael Johnson
Away Mascot: Oscar Howard-Hull
The photographs used in this report were taken on staff mobile phones. A wider selection of fantastic Official Photographs are available from Matt Nuttall Photography. To order just visit www.footballaidphotos.com or contact Matt on T: 07793 818021 or E: email@example.com
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AFTER MATCH FEEDBACK
"I have played in four Football Aid events in my time but today had to be the best. Winning 3-0 was great. Played with and against some great guys. It was a very competitive game but a penalty save and clean sheet would have done me but to also finally get my hands on some silverware for Moment of the Match. Hard luck to Matt Farmer just couldn’t beat me this time. Can't wait to get back next year. But now it’s back home to Ireland to celebrate with family and friends."
Eoin McCafferty - Home Team No.1
"Just like to thank you for giving me the opportunity to play at a stadium that I have been coming to for nearly 14 years now. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and I was just wondering if there will be any chance of it happening again next year as I am eager to sign up again. Once again, thanks a lot."
Jonathan Riddoch - Away Team No.11
"Great event ran really well - and thoroughly enjoyed by all! 3-0 win as well I am really looking forward to signing up for more in the future."
Andrew McGrory - Home Team No.2
"Would like to say huge thank you to you and your team for yesterday and all the communication you've sent me by email. Great day yesterday really enjoyed myself and there was a good bunch of lads involved."
Ainsley Sackey - Home Team No.33
"Lived the Dream! Thank you."
Ashely Chapman - Home Team Captain & No.4
"Absolutely amazing experience, living the dream!"
Rich Darby - Home Team No.15
"Football Aid Derby 2017. Fantastic experience all round, as always great day."
John Vint - Away Team No.4
"What a great day. I can’t believe I’ve played on the eve of my 65th birthday. Thank you Football Aid."
David Zydzienowski - Away Team No.1
"Fantastic experience! Great to play on a proper surface!"
Thomas Goyski & Daniel McNulty - Home Team No.16 & No.17
"Many thanks – a brilliant experience to celebrate my 50th. Cheers!"
Hugh Gough - Home Team No.6
"Thanks again for a great event! Hope to be back next year."
Stephen Davis - Home Team No.9