By Paddy Finnemore
A double from Pawel Tomczak helped Derby win on the opening day of the National Futsal series season with a 4-2 victory over Sunderland.
It was a special day for Tomczak, as well as helping his side to victory it was also his first game captaining the side.
Both sides started the first half well organised and proving difficult to break down in a cagey opening 7 minutes. The first big chance came for The Rams as Jordon Riley’s low, powerful shot was met by an impressive fingertip save from the Sunderland keeper to keep the scores level.
The deadlock was broken two minutes later, Tomczak latching onto a cross to strike home with a thunderous effort proving too much for the keeper.
For the remaining 11 minutes of the half, it was tightly contested. Liam Hunt came closest on two occasions by hitting the woodwork. As the half time buzzer sounded, both sides were very much in the game and a big 20 minutes were ahead.
Derby should have doubled their lead seconds after the restart, excellent work from Sam Huntingdon down the left wing, flashed the ball across the box to an unmarked Riley, who was inches away from a tap in.
The second half was much different to the first as the game was opening up and it was Sunderland capitalised, they struck level after winning the ball back and a quick counterattack was finished off with a strike that squeezed past Jez Poulson in goal.
Within seconds of being pegged back, Derby struck back and took the lead with the ball going loose and it was a race between the Sunderland keeper and Jasper Korsholm, the Derby number five pounced and got there first to tuck the ball under the keeper to swing the momentum back to The Rams.
Derby were starting to get a real foothold onto the game and with six minutes left, Matt Richardson got his first goal of the season with a well taken left-footed shot into the bottom corner after a good passing move, some well-earned breathing space for Derby who were looking comfortable.
Captain Tomczak got his second and Derby’s fourth and it was the best of the bunch. Poulson with a long and accurate throw, Tomczak controls the ball with his chest and on the turn, strikes a clean volley on his left foot right into the corner leaving the keeper standing. A goal matching Tomczak’s performance who was a nuisance all day.
With a minute left on the clock, Sunderland got a consolation goal from their captain Robert Bettson, a simple tap in at the back post after being left unmarked.
Derby will be looking to build on their victory in two weeks with a trip to Nottingham University to face Nottingham in game week 2 of the NFS season.