By Paddy Finnemore
Derby Futsal ended their winless run with a 5-4 win over Leicester in the National Futsal Series.
The win ended the three consecutive defeats that made promotion look unlikely at the end of the season. With results not going their way, they are still four points off York with two games remaining.
Defeat for Leicester means they stay in sixth, level on points with Nottingham with three games to go.
The opening ten minutes were very cagey. Derby who was lacking confidence did not have a lot of opportunities until the ninth minute. With a fantastic volley, Joe Illston was inches away from opening the scoring as his strike cannoned off the bar.
Two minutes later, Liam Hunt scored the first goal of the game. the ball broke out to him on the edge and with a lot of composure, kept his cool and finished into the net.
The Rams were starting to get a hold of the game, after hitting the bar for the second time in the game through Hunt. Three minutes before halftime, Jamie Gregory was the first to react to a save from the Leicester keeper to double the advantage. Seconds later it was 3-0, a fast and concise move was finished off by Jasper Korsholm, the youngster getting his third of the season.
Moments before the halftime buzzer, Gregory got his second of the game. Illston was involved with a wonderful, pinpoint pass into the path of Gregory who finished well. An explosive 10 minutes dismantled Leicester to give The Rams a comfortable lead at Half Time.
Inside 25 seconds of the second half Derby got their fifth of the game. Illston glided through the Leicester defence and finished under the Leicester keeper to give The Rams a perfect start.
With Derby looking comfortable, they decided to switch things up tactically, going fly to increase their goal difference. However, that left them exposed at the back and Heior Ferriera shot accurately from a distance to close the gap.
This then sprung the Foxes into life. It was wave after wave of attacks. Rodrigo Costa got their second with a strike off the post. With nine minutes to go, Thomas Barbano got Leicester’s third. This really was a game of two half’s as the only side that looked like it was going to score was Leicester.
Joshua Pickering was the latest player to score for the Foxes as he got their fourth with two minutes to go. A very nervy final few minutes was to come for The Rams.
Scott Polson and Robert Harvey, the two youngster keepers for Derby, both had outstanding games. Made countless saves to keep The Rams in front to give them the vital three points. The moment of the match came from Harvey. With 20 seconds to go, Leicester had an opening, a shot that was almost destined to go into the bottom corner. The number 21 managed to get down sharply to his right and tip it passed the post to win the match for Derby. Not a bad debut.
Derby will be looking to keep the winning momentum going on the 10th of April with a home match at the University of Derby against Trent Valley.