Sunday 18th October 2009

EDF (England Deaf Football) Cup 1st

Fulham Deaf FC 3 – 1 Derby Deaf FC

a relatively poor performance against Ashtead in the previous day, FDFC were
determined to put things right with the arrival of a strong Derby FC team for
the 1st Round of the EDF Cup.

Gaffer and ‘Ironside’ made two further changes, replacing Ailey and Simmonds
with the returning ‘man flu’ victim Lampert and Swift coming in, with Waller
returning to his favoured right flank and Moore moving upfield to accommodate
the new arrivals.

game kicked off and started out with Derby
marginally on top, with former Fulham hero Jeffers determined to chase down
every ball and make a nuisance of himself, and being well supported in the
process by Derby’s
midfield, who worked hard to deny FDFC time and space to play the ball through.

the first chance of the match came to Evans, who having left his marker for
dead at a corner, could only glance Swift’s well hit near-post ball wide of the
target, much to his obvious annoyance.

That was as close as FDFC got for the
remainder of the first half, with Moore forced
to do all of his work with his back to goal and the midfield struggling to make
inroads into a stubborn Derby
defence. Derby themselves started to look dangerous, with Damien Wood providing
pace and width on the flanks and being well-supported by Beech in the process.

A few half-chances came Derby’s way until FDFC failed to deal with a
cross from the right flank, which ended up with Waller conceding a penalty for
handball, which could have been avoided if he himself had read the cross better
and headed it clear. Derby
duly capitalised, with Priestly placing the ball beyond Roberts to give
themselves a 1-0 lead at half-time.

The Gaffer and ‘Ironside’ were beside
themselves at half time, with the Gaffer’s blood pressure shooting up to
Guinness World Record levels. The team were told in no uncertain terms that
their ball possession had to be improved, but also that they should be patient as
Derby had given
a lot to get that valuable 1-0 lead at half time.

Roused and stung into action, FDFC started the
second half better, with chances falling to Moore (from a rebound at a corner), and as
usual, Gregory, who as usual missed his chance to score.

A change was required

, and Ailey replaced the
tiring Pafe Mike in the 65th minute, with Sellers coming on for
Waller at around 68th minute to offer FDFC more penentration going
forwards. The reward soon came quickly enough, with good work in Midfield
resulted in Lampert being released on the left flank. His low cross was met by Gregory, who was unfortunate to see his
shot well saved by the keeper. Unfortunately, the ball rebounded off a Derby
DFC defender and into the empty net to level things up.


tried to rouse themselves for another goal, but the midfield was being
well-marshalled by Bovino and Gregory, and the back three had settled now that
Jeffers was tiring. However, Jeffers’ pace was always a threat and Roberts had
to put himself on the line a couple of times to deny Jeffers any further
opportunities to score.

FDFC soon found a second goal, with Gregory
poking home a goal from all of 1.7 inches out (even he could not have missed
that chance!) for his first goal for the club. Again, credit must go to the
midfield and Ailey, who was giving his marker a nightmare with his pace and
direct running at times.

It was from such a run that Ailey managed to get the third
after Hogan had come on for the excellent Moore. After finding space on the flanks, Ailey received another
good ball from midfield, outpaced and over-powered his marker to send in a
shot-cum-cross, which was unfortunately sliced into the net by the Derby DFC
captain, to settle the tie.

After that, the game petered out, with FDFC playing
the better football, thanks to the substitutions made. FDFC’s strong second
half performance proved to be the difference between the two sides, yet the
match was very hard fought and Derby came out of the game with a lot of credit
for their tactics and team discipline, especially in the first half.

Due to Ailey’s impact upon coming on, he was
given the Man-of-the-Match award, despite not scoring. He showed great teamwork
and direct running to show the Gaffer what he is capable of when he plays well.
It also has to be said that Bovino ran him close with a strong aerial
performance against the Derby
midfield in the second half.

FDFC will now have their own version of
‘Groundhog day’ in two weeks’ time when they play Ashtead away in the cup
followed by Derby DFC at home! No doubt the Gaffer will be looking for some
beta-blockers to keep his blood pressure down for that weekend.

Final score Fulham
Deaf FC 3 – 1 Derby Deaf (HT 0 – 1)

FDFC Line-up :- Roberts, Vorster, Harding,
Evans (Captain), Waller (Sellers 68), Bovino, Swift, Gregory, Lampert, Pafe
Mike (Ailey 65) and Moore (Hogan 70).

Photography by Kirsty Evans