Leicester Outfoxed

Last updated : 05 January 2005 By The Rambler

Rams 2 - 1 Leicester

Derby: Grant, Doyle, Boertien, Wilkinson, Turner, Nyatanga, Barnes (Booth 67), Bolder, Tudgay, Ainsworth, Cassidy.
Subs: Llewellyn, Richardson (gk), Nix, Meredith

Leicester: Logan, Canero, Franklin, Dawson, Stearman, Sheehan, Butcher(Gondal 26 Lycett 65), Weslowski, O'Grady, Wright (Wykes 75), Porter.
Subs: Muggleton (gk), Graham.

Referee Mr S.J.Dorr

After a miserable first half to the season Derby reserves started the New Year on the right foot with a 2 - 1 victory over near neighbours Leicester.

Due to the high number of first team matches, along with an FA Youth Cup tie all scheduled for Pride Park the match was switched to the Moor Farm Training Ground.

The two obvious differences this caused was the attendance which consisted solely of relatives of players and scouts rather than the several hundred who would normally watch, and the windy conditions prevalent there.

It was a bitterly cold afternoon and was no fun for those watching or playing.

Despite all this the Rams had an excellent opportunity to take an early lead when Marcus Tudgay provided a pass to Lionel Ainsworth who beat the keeper before having his shot hacked clear.

It was the first of a catalogue of misses by the youngster who could have won two games yet alone one with the chances he had and missed on the day.

All credit must be given to him though for continuing to keep going. as well as finding the opportunities in the first place. He got his, and the teams' reward with the winner on the stroke of full time.

Ben Wilkinson was through on 11 minutes but the keeper was out swiftly to block him. While for the visitors Peter Canero had a similar chance a minute later but Lee Grant was quickly down at his feet to staunch any danger.

Tudgay twice provided the ammunition for David Cassidy to cut in from the flanks but the Irishman failed to find the target.

Ainsworth cut in from the right and took the ball round the keeper only to delay his shot allowing the Leicester defence to clear on 31 minutes but the Rams took a deserved lead 8 minutes later.

A scramble in the visitors box gave Lewin Nyatanga the chance to feed Tudgay whose shot on the turn was too much for Logan.

The opening 6 minutes of the second period saw Ainsworth spurn no less than 3 chances. The first 2 being too close to the keeper and the third wide of the target. While all the Foxes could muster was a Tommy Wright header that Grant was equal to.

The visitors were given a lifeline that they did not really deserve on 70 minutes when a free kick given for an Adam Bolder handball was blasted home from the edge of the penalty area by Alan Sheehan to make it 1 -1.

It only served to raise Steve Taylors' men. Cassidy tried to shoot over Logan but did not get sufficient lift over Logan on 73.

Bolder had a 30 yard free kick deflect out for a corner 3 minutes later.

Tudgay was wide from a Cassidy cross with 9 minutes remaining. And when Ainsworth lifted a pass from Mitchell Booth over the bar 60 seconds after that it looked as if it was going to be another one of those days.

Ainsworth got the reward for his persistence, chipping the keeper from the edge of the area after a Paul Boertien through ball in the 90th minute.

The Rams had left it late, but there is little doubt that the result was deserved, and the scoreline flattered the visitors.