Nigel Clough’s Derby reserves prove too strong for gutsy Millers

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Derbyshire Senior Cup Semi-Final: Derby County XI 4, New Mills 1

A CREDITABLE performance from New Mills was not sufficient from preventing holders Derby County moving into the Derbyshire Cup final at Belper Town’s Christchurch Meadow.

Manager Ally Pickering fielded his strongest possible side against Derby, whose starting 11 included Adam Legzdins, Jake Buxton, Ben Davies, Conor Davies and Chris Maguire who have featured for The Rams in the npower Championship this season.

In front of a watching Nigel Clough, Derby took the lead in the tenth minute following a Ben Davies corner. Keeper James Coates appeared to be impeded as the set-piece was flicked on at the near post by Conor Doyle but referee Mr Thompson thought otherwise and centre-half Tom Naylor decisively drilled the loose ball home from ten yards.

New Mills were giving as good as they got against the superior opposition and deservedly equalised midway through the opening half. After receiving a quick free-kick, Ashley Stott played a lovely through ball to Leon Grandison who beat his marker and clipped a low shot into the net via the inside of the post.

Visibly lifted by that goal, Carlos Meakin was then denied twice by Legzdins as The Millers went looking for the lead. Firstly the midfielder’s free-kick was well turned away by Derby’s reserve keeper and then a fine flowing move saw Meakin with time and space on the edge of the area but his shot lacked the necessary power to trouble Legzdins.

The teams turned around level and this was a fair reflection of the first 45 minutes but even the most ardent New Mills supporter couldn’t begrudge that Derby were the better side after the interval as they made their quality count, in particular defender-turned-striker Miles Addison who took centre stage with three quick-fire goals.

The tall, powerful player who spent the first half of the season on loan at Barnsley, scored a hat-trick in around 13 minutes to effectively seal his side’s passage into the final. Two very cool finishes from within the penalty area were quickly followed by a spot kick after Ben Davies had been fouled.

Ben Deegan was denied a late consolation goal by Legzdins and even then it was The Rams who very nearly had the last laugh but Coates splendidly tipped over Chris Maguire’s dipping free kick.

New Mills: Coates, Bowler, Innes, Swirad (Edridge), Barras, Field, Meakin, Grandison, Deegan, Stott (Pickering), Horrocks. Unused subs: Needham, Alford.