Leicester Thursday 3
Derwent 1sts 2
Just 11 days short of going 12 months unbeaten, the wheels finally came off the Derwent juggernaut on Saturday, as they lost their 100 per cent run to Leicester Thursday.
Derwent knew this was going to be a tough game, and despite having prepared well during the week, they got off to a horrific opening 20 minutes.
Leicester Thursday, whose main threat was their leading striker Chris Sibson, scored from the first short corner. Despite Derwent keeper Jamie Carlin getting a good block, he could only watch in horror as the ball trickled over the line.
Just when Derwent were starting to get a toehold back into the game, Derwent were undone again. Straight from a Derwent penalty corner, Leicester Thursday went on the counter-attack and, from the subsequent three-on-two, the Leicester side slotted home.
With Derwent trying to force their way back into the game, ultimately the killer blow was delivered when the umpire adjudged an infringement and awarded a penalty stroke, which Leicester again converted. Being three down in 20 minutes left Derwent with a massive task.
Tom Ellison grabbed a lifeline for Derwent just before half-time. His drag flick powered into the roof of the net from a penalty corner.
The second half was pretty much all Derwent, but a mixture of poor finishing and last ditch defending meant Derwent were unable to get the early breakthrough they needed.
With seconds counting down, Derwent finally got the breakthrough when Dean Stevens converted from the penalty spot, but it left no time to get the equaliser.
Reflecting on the result, Derwent coach Heath Roberts was in philosophical mood. “It was a shocking performance, whichever way you look at it.
“Our set plays were predictable and poorly executed, and we made too many basic errors.
“However, we never gave up and, with a bit of luck, it could have been very different. I’m gutted we couldn’t go 12 months unbeaten. We’ve now got to pick ourselves up and get back to winning ways as soon as possible.”
The only positive from the weekend was that Derwent’s closest rivals couldn’t close the gap as they also suffered a surprise defeat, meaning Derwent’s gap to the promotion zone is still 12 points.