Cromford edge through in cup thriller

Wirksworth Town 2

Cromford 3

This Derbyshire Cup third round tie was a local derby that produced a real nailbiter of a game with both teams really relishing the battle.

Cromford, looking to avenge Town’s recent win on the Meadows, settled the quicker and had Town backpedalling with Alex Statham on the right and Anthony Fay on the left causing all sorts of problems for the Town rearguard.

Cromford’s front two of Wildgoose and Johnson could not convert the chances created. Town settled and got their own game going but their forward line of Moore and Dance found Cromford’s backline of Kay, Ryder, Maskery and Ken Gascoinge in a mean mood they did go close to taking the lead but Moores’s drive went wide.

At the other end, Cromford forced a succession of corners but could not make one count, Town’s keeper making a very important stop from Johnson.

Cromford’s middle men were dominating proceedings but they could not find that telling pass to open up the Town defence. The second half saw Town come more into the game, their middle men pushing on more but it was the red shirts of Cromford that took the lead, the attack starting through Ken and Scott Gascoigne who found Johnson, who in turn played a one-two with Fay before slotting the ball home.

Town had had their wake-up call and within ten minutes were level. Moore was brought down about 25 yards out and he took the resulting free-kick, with the desired result of bringing Town level. Although Boam in the Cromford goal got his fingertips to it, the shot was unstoppable.

Town now went at Cromford with a vengeance and they had not heeded the warning. Again Moore got the ball and powered his way past two defenders before unleashing a terrific drive, this time into the bottom corner.

The spirit of the boys in red is a little more steely these days and within a minute they were level. Good work down the Cromford left found Statham near the corner flag. His quick feet took him past two defenders and his teasing cross found Johnson who steered the ball home.

Town were visibly shaken by this. They had not had time to enjoy their hard-fought lead and the sides were again level. Cromford sensed Town were reeling and went for the winner. It came after a spell of concerted pressure by Cromford. Statham had a shot charged down, as did Fay, and the ball fell to Johnson who jinked past two players before lifting his shot over the keeper for his second and Cromford’s winner.

There was no way back for Town, although they battled bravely. Cromford would not let this lead slip away and they could have increased it in the dying seconds but for a terrific stop by the Town keeper. Credit must go to both teams for playing a good game on a very difficult surface.