Tuesday evening Belper Town 1 - 0 Derby County XI.
What a good result and performance. Derby started with 5 or 6 with first team experience, including one of the best players I've ever seen in a Nailer's shirt - Tom Naylor.
The team sheets said Derby only had 3 subs, one of them a goalkeeper but the stadium announcer said Nigel Clough was on the bench and would make an appearance. That didn't happen - think he was maybe a bit wary when he saw the way the Belper players set about their exalted counterparts. (Nothing dirty mind - just high tempo, pressing play which didn't allow the Derby side to settle.)
Mind you - I didn't like the disrespect Clough showed when, in the 2nd half, he changed goalkeepers then a few minutes later, sent the goalkeeper he had just subbed back onto the pitch as a striker, still wearing his green "goalie" shorts. I honestly thought "That's taking the p**s."
Still - we beat 'em fair and square considering that even if the majority of the Rams were not first team regulars, they still train every day and should be fitter and slicker than our lads.
OK - they missed a penalty (and what a miss - about 15ft over the angle of crossbar and post - now that is a difficult skill from 12 yards Ben Davies!), our keeper made at least three world class saves and they hit the crossbar. But Belper also had a couple of very near misses including a goalmouth scramble in the 1st minute and another attempt headed off the line late on.
Apparently, after the game, Clough left the ground in a huff (a Clough huff?) having had a pop at the ref because Belper were "all elbows." Sour loser!! No red or yellow cards were issued although I did notice that every time a Derby player went down, it looked very serious with lots of "One hand on head whilst clutching seriously injured shin/ankle/knee/back" actions.
Also have to remember Belper were without 2 of our stars - Steve Warne and Jon Frogatt. Warney is on holiday and Jon is injured so we were really "understrength too Cloughy!"
Anyway - Tim Harrison's album is here:
I took the camera but only have a few shots. Too busy chatting to friends various - Darlo, Snapper, Steej, Alan, Ian etc, etc. Besides - knew I could rely on Maestro Harrison to get the action!
Stocksbridge Park Steels at home Saturday is the last pre-season friendly before the real stuff starts on August 18th. Can't wait!