TT No.82: Steve Hardy - Sat 30th April 2016; Derby County U18 2 Norwich City U18 1; Barclays U18 Premier League; Admission: Free; Teamsheet: Free; Attendance 55-ish. 



Matchday images (13)


Picture the scene. It’s 10.45am and I am eating my morning corn flakes whilst casually checking the interweb to see if my first match today is still on at the Derby County Training ground. Good news, it is! Bad news, kick off has been brought forward from 1.00pm to 12 noon. That gives me just over an hour to drive the 60 odd miles to Derby, and to try and gain entry to a place who have already refused me entry once. What can possible go wrong?


Well, nothing actually, as I screeched to a halt at the entrance barrier to the ground with five minutes to spare, and was waved in with a cheery ‘good luck with finding anywhere to park’ from the lady in the booth.


The Derby training ground is based on Morley Road in the Oakwood area of Derby, and a very impressive set up it is too. The main pitch is railed off with hard standing down one side, which is where all us spectators were told to stand. Up a slight bank at the far end of the pitch is a second pitch where the U16s of both teams were in action today, and I counted at least 3 more grass pitches in all. A large tea room is to be found next to the players entrance, from which full English breakfasts were selling like, well, full English breakfasts really.


With my free teamsheet finally obtained from the main reception area, I was able to relax and enjoy what turned out to be a fairly entertaining match. No score at half time, but Norwich opened the scoring just after the break and when Derby equalised after about 80 minutes, it seemed both teams would settled for the draw. No so, as totally against the run of play Derby scored a winner in what I have recorded as 90 (+3) minutes.


After the game it was a leisurely drive over to Nottingham to see the 3rd match of the Notts Senior league hop that had been organised for today. Nottinghamshire 0 Gedling Southbank 3 might not have been the best standard game I had seen all season, but a chance to catch up with several friends I normally only see once a year, more than made up for it.


Another top day out. (Eventually).

contributed on 01/05/16