Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Belper Town 2 - 7 Derby County XI

Missed the first pre-season friendly last Saturday cos we were on our way back from hols but we enjoyed a pleasant evening at Christchurch Meadows last night when Belper took on a Derby County XI.

Not being a Derby supporter, I had no idea if the XI was of good strength or if they were giving the kids a run out. I was assured by a couple of folks in the know that the visitors had 6 or 8 first teamers in the squad.

It was a very good work out for the Belper guys and included fine performances from Richard Haigh and Lee Stevenson although everyone played well in patches. The difference between the two sides was generally in the first touch, the finishing and speed of movement. Belper could (should?!) have had a couple of goals in the first 10 minutes but the finish wasn't quite there and at times, the Belper lads played some really good stuff and put some real pressure on the Derby back four.

Best moment for me came in the 2nd half when young Aaron Pride (a right back with a big future if he carries on like this) picked up a ball just inside the Derby half and moved to within about 30 yards of the goal before hitting an absolute screamer into the net. The keeper got a slight touch but couldn't keep it out. It was a magnificent strike and the look on the kid's face and the reaction of his team mates was fantastic!

On the whole, a good workout for the Belper team and the young players included in the squad will learn a lot from their involvement, however brief. The only way to get better at most sports is to play against opposition that is stronger than you.

Only two "downsides" for me - the crowd of around 750 included a lot of little Derby County "chavs" who spent the match posing around the ground and dropping litter pretty much wherever they went. Totally unconcerned about the mess they were leaving in their wake. They only looked about 12 to 15 years old and were a major irritant. These are the sort of little brats who moan like hell because they are required to wear a uniform to school yet when they are on the loose as they were last night - they all dress the same!

Anyway - a bigger concern was injuries to Danny Hudson and captain "Jasper" Colliver. Danny told me afterwards that he "felt" the Achilles injury which cut last season short for him and so came off as a precaution but Jasper went down, stayed down (unusual - so it must have been bad!) and had to be helped from the pitch to the dug out and then across the pitch at half time to the dressing rooms. We can't afford a major injury to Jasper although he has just over 3 weeks till the proper stuff starts. Here's hoping they're both OK.

Didn't take the camera but Snapper Harrison was there as usual and if you click the link to the Belper web site on the right, then go to the Forum and look for the thread about photos - you'll see his handiwork!

Next match is again at home - next Saturday v Ossett Albion. Looking forward to it.


Dave said...

Smashing report Ken old chap. I never went as we only got back from the beautiful Isle of Arran at tea time on Monday.
Glad you had a....an eventful weatherwise fishing trip mate. Catch up with you soon, won't be there saturday, as I'll be oop Kinder Scout wi' t'laddo. So, give 'em a shout for me?..Love to Sheila!

Nortoner said...

By Jove Penfold!

You certainly get out and about don't you!

Dave said...

Aye Ken...if ya dunna keep movin', ya set solid mate. There's a lot to be said for these Sun £9.50 hols mate....they get us long weekends all o'er t'show! Love going Scotland though- beautiful country.
Darloss was meant to be coming to Kinder with us- it's a family males thingy. Just me, my Jordan and my bruv-in-law now, as Darloss was going to Pentrich, but has now found that that thing between his legs isn't just for weeing out of lol- bless him.
Here's a quick link to a few of those Scotland pics for your delectation...taken on a phone camera, so not your "Snapper" quality, but I reckon they're ok.


Seizure soon!

Nortoner said...

Nice job Dave - I'm amazed that they're taken on a camera phone! (Don't tell the Duchess - I'm trying to get her to let me spend £1,000 on a new digital SLR!)

We toured Scotland with her parents when we were first wed (nearly 40 years ago!) and I fell in love with the place - plan to go back ASAP to be honest.