TT MATCH VERDICT – Derby County 5-0 TUFC by Chris Wade


Chris Wade – @TufcChris

Chris discusses Derby County (a)


Around 1000 members of the Yellow Army travelled to Pride Park on a brisk Tuesday evening in the hunt for more FA Cup glory. Following the late drama at Plainmoor nine days ago, they travelled full of optimism that the FA Cup could throw up one of “those” nights.

In a slightly surprising move, Gary Johnson chose to select the same eleven players that had started Saturday’s 5-1 home defeat at the hands of Chesterfield. The 4-4-2 adopted in recent weeks remained with Stephen Wearne and Dillon De Silva as the two wingers. And it was a bright start from the Yellows, forcing a corner in the first minute and Aaron Jarvis nearly getting on the end of a cross. But the openness that has been a feature both positively and negatively in recent games was again in evidence and it wasn’t long before Derby took the lead. A wicked cross from the left fizzed across the back-line and Mark Ellis, in trying to flick the ball wide with his head could only nod it inside the far post. A poor start.

United kept pushing and had clearly come to have a go, but the second goal wasn’t far away. Some neat interplay on the edge of the United box finished with Will Osula drilling a shot past Mark Halstead’s right-hand post. United then had a bright spell with some dangerous balls into the box and Lucas Ness having a header tipped over by Joe Wildsmith. Jarvis also had a shot blocked shortly afterwards but the danger of our League One opponents on the break endured and it was 3-0 before half time. Another turnover of possession in midfield led to the Yellows being undermanned at the back, and Liam Thompson drew the ball across two defenders and belted the ball past an exposed Halstead.

Into the second half and after Wearne had a blooded nose and a ridiculously long delay due to an injury to an assistant referee and a fourth official that wasn’t ready and proceeded to faff about for eight minutes getting ready, United kept up the high pressure and tried to get back into the game. But the end product was all coming from the home team and high quality fourth goal was around the corner. A County corner was headed out to the edge of the box where Everton loanee Lewis Dobbin blasted a thunderous volley in off Halstead’s finger tips and the crossbar for 4-0.

Several corners came to nothing and Derby almost got in over the top with first Ness denying Osula with a wonderful late tackle, then Donnellan putting enough pressure on Forsyth for him to skew the ball over. The nonsense of five subs then began with McGavin, Hanson and Tomlinson replacing Asa Hall, a limping Will Goodwin and Mark Ellis. Ali Omar followed soon after, replacing Dillon De Silva. Derby kept pressing a late fifth came when a poor header out from Tomlinson was fed back into David McGoldrick and he drove the ball under Halstead for 5-0. Corie Andrews soon replaced Dylan Crowe.

United’s best chance of the night fell to Aaron Jarvis nine minutes into twelve minutes of stoppage time when Wearne fed the ball into him and burst through the tackle of the last defender. He was only denied by a good save from Wildsmith, pushing the ball wide.

The final whistle followed soon afterwards and the cup run was over. 


Mark Halstead – 6. Another tough night for Mark, who has seen 15 goals whizz past him in the last 9 days. Not at fault for any of the goals.

Dylan Crowe – 4. As poor as ever. So bad positionally, and although playing on the wrong flank was caught out of position several times in the first half in particular. He continues to frustrate.

Lucas Ness – 6. Good, solid performance from Lucas. One outstanding late tackle to deny a certain goal and was a combative as ever.

Mark Ellis – 5. A disastrous start for Mark with the awful own goal in the first ten minutes and was pulled all over the place by the movement of Osula.

Shaun Donnellan – 7. Man of The Match, please see below.

Dillon De Silva – 6. Broke into the game in fits and starts but really has to work on his delivery into the box.

Tom Lapslie – 6. Worked as hard as ever in midfield but was swamped by the size of the League One midfielders.

Asa Hall – 5. Again, looked like he was running in treacle. A rest must be around the corner and he worked hard in the first half. 

Stephen Wearne – 5. Rarely involved in the attacking areas and delivered inconsistent set pieces. His ability to move with the ball is certainly valuable moving forwards.

Will Goodwin – 5. Wasn’t able to get in the game and didn’t hurt the Derby defence. Limped off in the second half after appearing to jar his knee. Hopefully nothing too serious.

Aaron Jarvis – 6. Led the line manfully and worked his socks off. Had the best chance near the end and was only denied by a sharp save.


Ryan Hanson 5 – Very hard to get into the game although played a couple of neat passes near the end.

Brett McGavin 5 – As above really. Has to produce more end product back into the National League.

Ollie Tomlinson 5 – Poor header out for the fifth goal but good to see him get some minutes.

Ali Omar 5 – Played at left back and one barnstorming run nearly got him in.

Corrie Andrews 4 – Getting back to fitness but really poor. Lost control and stumbled whenever he went near the ball.



He has been gradually improving over recent weeks now that his fitness appears to be much better. He got forward plenty, delivered some nice balls into the box and even had a pop himself near the end. Has settled nicely into the right back role.


The Yellow Army – absolutely outstanding. It sounds dramatic but the dedication of our fanbase deserve so, so much more than we are getting at the moment. Travelling 230 miles on a Tuesday in November in trying financial times shows the extent of our love.


Didn’t notice the referee and the cautions to Ness and Lapslie were justified. The farce of the 4th official being nowhere close to ready to come on wasn’t a good look mind.


It was again 4-4-2 and whilst the system worked well against Aldershot a couple of weeks ago, something still isn’t right. Fully accepting the higher level, we were playing, we are just so easy to play through. One pass breaks the line goes over the top and opponents are in. Time and again in the first half Derby had 3 on 1 from counter presses and beggars’ belief. Again. We really need to get some shape and organisation into our system to have any chance of stopping haemorrhaging goals like we are at the moment. 


Derby did what they had to do. They soaked up some pressure at times and had to defend ten set pieces but looked solid enough. It’s a squad very much at the start or later stages of their career, so it will be interesting to see how they progress as the season goes on


The cup dream is over after round one but the financial gains will hopefully be felt for many months to come. The focus now moves to the Hive on Saturday for another very important league game against Barnet. Work has to be done between now and then to make us more compact and condense the space on the pitch better. We are so open at the moment and leave ourselves vulnerable every time the opposition attack. It’s also time for some squad players (looking at you Hanson and McGavin) to show why GJ brought them to the club and make a real contribution. 








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