Reserves make it 3 in a row!

Last updated : 01 February 2005 By The Rambler

Norwich res 0 3 Rams

Norwich:- Lewis, Cave-Brown, Charlton (Jarvis 66), Mulryne Spillane 45), Halliday, Gusterson, Howlett, El Ouargui, Crow, Safri (Martin 71), Eagle.
Subs: Herbert,.
Derby:- Grant, Doyle, Nyatanga, Turner, Young, Martin, Ainsworth, Bolder, Junior, Boertien, Cassidy.
Subs:-Booth, Kirby, Ashton, Nix, Meredith.

Referee: Mr W McIntosh.
Attendance 1296

After the rough and ready playing surface that was the Havant and Waterlooville pitch for last weeks' victory over Portsmouth, it was luxury for Steve Taylors' men to have the opportunity to perform on the carpet like surface of Carrow Road.

Like the first team the Rams reserves are encouraged to play football with a ground based passing game.

It was always going to be interesting to see how they coped on a surface that looked from afar like Pride Park in its pomp.

With no midweek fixture for the first team this week Derby were in a position to field no less than four players in Adam Bolder, Paul Boertien, Lee Grant, and Junior who at one time or another could consider themselves first team regulars.

With the Brazilian leading the line the visitors looked lively and dominated proceedings throughout the first half.

Apart from being alert to back passes and through balls Lee Grant had an easy time of it. Only a free kick conceded by Lewin Nyatanga in the dying minutes on the edge area causing real cause for concern.

Youssef Safri's low strike beating the wall only to be hacked clear by Danny Martin.

The Rams always looked the likelier to score. Junior hit the side netting on 9 minutes only minutes after his perceptive pass found Lionel Ainsworth cutting in from the right flank. Unfortunately the youngster ran out of space before being able to deliver.

It was the same pairing that almost gained a breakthrough just shy of the quarter hour mark Lee Howlett was, however, in the right place to clear the ball from the danger zone.

It was Junior who carved out the chance that led to the first goal. He flicked the ball on to David Cassidy who lofted in a shot from the edge of the area. Norwich keeper Joe Lewis, who was caught in no mans land managed to get a hand to it, but could not prevent it looping over his head and into the back of the net.

Derby's second, 2 minutes after the break brought cheers form the small, but dedicated bunch of Rams fans sitting at the back of the Jarrold Stand.

The goal was from captain Paul Boertien, who along with Adam Bolder bossed the midfield throughout. Pouncing on a loose ball he fired powerfully home from a position just inside the penalty area

Junior continued to find space and time to get in shots, bringing a tremendous save out of the keeper on 51 minutes and firing wide 6 minutes later.

He thought that he had got his reward a minute before the hour mark heading home a well worked free kick ploy. The strike was immediately ruled out with the striker having netted from an offside position.

He finally got on the score sheet with 14 minutes remaining as he pounced on a moments slackness by Matthew Halliday. There was still work for him to do as he took the ball into the box before comprehensively beating the home keeper.

It was not all one way traffic h however. Danny Crow wasted a good opportunity while it will remain a mystery as to how Mickey Spillane failed to register a strike on goal after working himself into a good position.

It was a deserved 3 - 0 victory which would have been even more had a blistering stoppage time drive from Cassidy been fraactionally more accurate.

After a first half to the season that was at best indifferent the win was Derby's third in a row and pushed them closer to mid table respectability.