Latest fans view - Rams reserves

By stuart Hughes
Last updated : 15 October 2009

Latest fans view
Stuart Hughes reviews the latest reserves game
Derby County reserves (1) 1-1 (1) Port Vale reserves


0-1 Rob Taylor, 5


1-1 Aleksandar Prijovic, 18

 

The Impact Arena, Alfreton: 256.

Derby County reserves: (4-4-2).

 

Saul Deeney [7] - GK - Stood no chance with Taylor's well directed, powerful header. Commanded his penalty area confidently and made three fine saves, including a brilliant diving save midway through the second half.

 

Paul Connolly [7] - RB - Very solid defensively, despite moving to left-back after Ben Pringle's early injury. Headed the ball well and made a fantastic block to deny Port Vale a goal late in the first half. Got forward more than usual, to support the wingers, but his crossing was below par.

 

Mitch Hanson [7] - CB(R) - Defended well with a strong, physical presence. Won lots of headers, although he did completely miss two. Tackled strongly and read the game well. Intercepted the ball on the edge of his own penalty area late on and then ran with it 60 yards before passing, running on and taking a return pass, but his cross was blocked.

 

Jake Buxton [7] - CB(L) - Should've done better with a poor headed clearance that resulted in Pringle's injury in the build-up to Port Vale's goal. Recovered after that and dominated aerially for the rest of the game, winning every header, even when under pressure.

 

Kris Commons [6] - LB - Started the game at left-back where he read the game well and made a couple of timely interceptions. Moved to the left-wing early on after Pringle's injury. Played as a striker in the second half. Showed a good touch and control, passed the ball well, but his crosses were mainly blocked. Hit a 25-yard free-kick that deflected off the wall for a corner. Had one shot blocked and another saved. Didn't really run at and take on defenders, probably because of his hamstring injury. Substituted after 62 minutes.

 

Henrik Ojamaa [6] - RM - First time I've seen the striker playing as a winger and he didn't have a bad game. Made a number of strong runs but his crossing, and corner delivery were below par. Needed to look up more and pass as he tended to do too much and lose possession. Slipped over four or five times.

 

Lee Hendrie [7] - CM - Arguably Derby County's best player. Saw a lot of the ball in midfield and looked quality. Played a vital role in Derby County's equaliser, picking up the ball on the edge of his own penalty area, he ran with it to halfway, and fed Paul Dickov with a penetrating pass. Hit a second half shot high and wide from about 25-yards. Showed good control and was difficult to shake off the ball as he constantly twisted, turned and changed direction. Passed the ball well, both simple square passes and more incisive forward passes. Made playing midfield look easy.

 

Arnaud Mendy [6] - CM - What he did, he did well - winning headers, winning tackles, passing the ball. Unfortunately the game passed him by for long spells and he needs to get more involved, more consistently. Noticeably made more forward runs in the last 15 minutes as the Rams pushed for a winning goal. Hit a second half shot wide.

 

Ben Pringle became the latest injury victim
Ben Pringle [n/a] - LM - Injured his left knee on eight minutes from a heavy challenge in the build-up to Port Vale's goal. Limped off and took no further part in the game.

 

Paul Dickov [7] - SC - Was his usual hard working, busy self. Did a lot of running, a lot of closing down, tackled, and linked play well, particularly when dropping back to receive the ball. Set-up Aleksandar Prijovic clinically for Derby County's equaliser, but was unable to pick out Callum Ball in the penalty area late on for a second assist. Had three good shots - one wide, one after a neat run and turn that clipped the post and went wide, and one that the goalkeeper saved well. Was unfortunate at 0-1 when he headed an Ojamaa corner against the post.

 

Aleksandar Prijovic [7] - SC - Probably the best game I've seen him play. He held the ball up well and showed good control, particularly when chesting the ball down. Finished clinically for the equaliser after superb work by Hendrie and Dickov, but had two other shots that went well wide. Was somewhat static at times and needs to do more running off the ball. Played left-wing in the second half and was less effective, and his crossing was below par.

 

Substitutes: -

 

Alex Forde [6] - RB (for Pringle, 8) - Looked solid defensively, tackling well and winning headers. Hit a good shot late on that was blocked out for a corner. Got forward in support of Ojamaa but his passing and crossing needs to improve.

 

Callum Ball [5] - SC (for Commons, 62) - Ran around, and worked hard, but didn't really get into the game. Was unlucky when an Ojamaa cross was just too far in front of him, but more intelligent running inside the penalty area late on would've made it easier for Dickov to set him up with an easy chance to score but, unfortunately, Dickov had to thread a pass through three defenders and it was cut out.

 

Ryan Connolly [5] - CM (for Hendrie, 73) - Showed good work rate and effort, looked for the ball, but it was a case of almost but not quite as he missed a couple of tackles, and gave the ball away nearly as often as he found a white shirt. Won a couple of headers.

 

Subs not used: Ross Atkins, Luke Garton.

 

Note: A six is my benchmark score and represents a solid performance by the player. "You did ok, you did your job."

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