|Posted by Stuart Hughes on October 31, 2011 at 5:40 AM|
Against Middlesbrough last Saturday, Mason Bennett became the youngest player to turn out for Derby County’s senior team and was inches away from becoming the youngest ever Football League goal scorer. Not bad for a player who is still at school.
By all accounts Bennett will keep his place in the squad for Saturday’s home game against Portsmouth. Imagine the atmosphere inside Pride Park Stadium should a Derby schoolboy score his first senior Rams goal. I’m not sure I can imagine it, so I’d much prefer to experience it.
A run of five games without a win – three draws and two defeats – have seen the Rams slip to sixth in the npower Championship. Against a Portmouth team, who have yet to win away from home in the league this season, Derby County have a great opportunity to return to winning ways.
Prediction: Derby County 2-1 Portsmouth.
Pompey Danger Man: I’m hoping that Luke Varney doesn’t come back to Pride Park to haunt us. His time as a Ram didn’t really work out for him, although I’m not sure it was through any lack of ability. I rated Varney when we signed him and was disappointed that he was never given a chance to show what he could do. Varney has plenty of pace and scored some wonder goals for Blackpool in the Premier League last season.
Previous Encounters: Although it proved to be the worst ever season by any Premier League side, the 2007/08 season started promisingly when Derby County drew 2-2 at home to Portsmouth. I thought the Rams worked hard and played well that day and thoroughly deserved the draw. Matt Oakley gave the Rams a 4th minute lead and Andy Todd scored an 85th minute equaliser. Benjani (28th) and John Utaka (83rd) scored Pompey’s goals.
Published in the Derby Telegraph 28th October 2011.