By Paddy Finnemore
Derby Futsal’s chance of going top of the National Futsal Series table was squandered as The Rams lost 5-4 to Liverpool.
This result means it is back-to-back defeats for Derby as they failed to capitalise on the table-topping York’s 5-4 defeat to Loughborough.
Derby started the match on the front foot, Liam Hunt scoring in the third minute. A great run into space from Michael Thorpe brought Derby up the court. He then passed the ball to Sam Huntingdon who in one touch cleverly with a quick pass set up Hunt who shot from a long distance and found the bottom corner.
Their lead was doubled after John King was the first to react after the Liverpool keeper spilt the previous shot. King kept his composure to round a defender and then slot home into an empty net.
However, two minutes later, Liverpool got their first of the game through Ramin Babaei, Jez Poulson couldn’t hold the shot and the Liverpool man was the first to react to half the deficit.
For the remaining ten minutes of the match, Derby dominated possession but could not find the breakthrough and getting past the structured and well organised Liverpool was proving a challenge, but they led going into the break.
The second half saw a much different game. Liverpool was starting to create chances and got their way back into the game through Babaei with his second of the game. Great link-up play with the goal scorer and Liverpool captain, Kenna Ngoma unravelled the Derby defence and Babaei was left with a simple headed finish.
Five minutes later, Liverpool took the lead for the first time in the game. Another clever and concise move left Elliot Millar free in the middle and his shot was too powerful for Poulson and now they had a lead to defend. The fourth for Liverpool came through their star man, Babaei who wonderfully secured his Hat Trick, a powerful and accurate freekick flew into the net to double their lead.
Captain Ngoma got in the act for Liverpool with a fine finish. A ball played over the top fell to him and with his left foot, struck a sweet volley into the bottom right corner to make the game out of reach for The Rams.
What we do know with this Derby is that they do not give up. In the 38th minute, Joe Illston struck a thunderous effort past the helpless keeper to get one back and to add a bit of tension in the Liverpool side. Illston then got his second with only 20 seconds left after his deflected shot rolled into the net to bring the difference to only one. However, the game was finished, and Derby left with back-to-back defeats and blew their chance to go top of the league.
With two defeats in a row, the next game is crucial. A battle against York to ultimately decide who will get promoted to Tier one and chance to play in front of the BT Sport cameras. With that game two weeks away, The Rams will have to work hard and improve on their performance to achieve their goal of promotion.