Derby County 1 Chesterfield 0
A number of the Rams fringe players had the opportunity to impress manager Billy Davies and first team coach Julian Darby in a practice match at Moor Farm yesterday when the Rams hosted Chesterfield. Goalkeepers Lee Camp and Lee Grant, along with defenders Richard Jackson and Lewin Nyatanga, winger Ryan Smith and striker Paul Peschisolido all got a run-out in the 1-0 win.
The goal was scored by first-year academy player Paris Simmons, when he struck on 69 minutes when sent clear by another Academy prospect, Robert Ujcik’s incisive through-ball. His initial shot had struck a post but he was quickest to react to score from close-range. Simmons had already had a first-half shot which fly inch past the post, and Peschisolido hit the bar from close-range, and there were also chances for James Meredith and Smith.
The visitors also named a number of senior players hoping to impress former Rams player and Coach Roy McFarland for the Spireites trip to Huddersfield Town on Saturday, and their best chance fell to Wayne Allison, who scooped the ball over the bar from close range.
The performance pleased first-team coach Darby, who also had praise for the way the youngsters went about their task.
“Reserve-team football is about professionals getting match-fit and kids working their way up the ladder and showing what they can do. I thought the professionals showed a terrific attitude, they were helping the kids all the time, and the kids, likewise, gave a very good account of themselves.”
Darby added: “At the moment we have got great competition for places, which is a sign of a successful team. It is tough on some of the lads at the moment but they must realise the situation of 12 wins in 16 games, and realise that the gaffer is not going to make loads of changes.
“But maybe this Saturday will be the chance to give one or two a go. It is in their best interests to keep fit and give it a right good go in these games, which they did, because it keeps them in the manager’s mind.”
The Rams will be missing Dean Leacock on Saturday due to suspension, and that opens the door for one of the fringe players to step up, and Darby said: ‘We have a squad of 19-20 players all in with a shout on Saturday, with only Paul Boertien injured and Leacock is suspended at the moment. Everyone else has a chance but we have also got a very important home game against Burnley in the League on Tuesday. We will take everything into consideration when it comes to this weekend.’
Lee Grant (Lee Camp HT), Richard Jackson, Miles Addison (Mark Dudley 65), Lewin Nyatanga, James Meredith, Alex Fleming (Anthony Robertson 80), Matt Richards, Mitch Hanson, Ryan Smith (Robert Ujcik 60), Paul Peschisolido, Paris Simmons (Jason Beardsley 69)
Chesterfield: Barry Roche, Josh Law, Janos Kovacs, Kyle Critchell, Paul Roome, Colin Larkin, Reuben Wiggins-Thomas, Paul Hall, Jamie Jackson (sub James O’Brian 80), Wayne Allison, Sam Morrow (sub Jamie Lowry 70).
Rams beat Chesterfield in friendly
Derby County 1 Chesterfield 0