THE seventh annual Darley Dale Community Cup fixture took place at the weekend in glorious playing conditions with the under 30s going on to record a 4-1 win against the over 30s.
With the over 30s welcoming back some of their illustrious and injury-free players including Daz Hibbert, Steve Stone, Kev Crowder and Rob Smith, hopes were high the gap between the two sides would be slimmer that it has been in recent years.
However, from the first whistle, the Under 30s set an electric pace, with Matt Dennis, Andrew Clifton, Liam Keeton and Mark Ashton a handful when going forward, while the solid central defensive partnership of Paul Godfrey and Andrew Rhodes, with Tom Crapper in goal, was impenetrable.
Despite conceding in the 25th minute to a well-worked Tim Baker strike, the Over 30s were determined not to let the game slip away and for the next 45 minutes began to dig in. At the back, superb defensive performances from Chris Salt and Gary Whitworth provided much needed stability, while Danny Stephenson, Pepsi Coleman, John Cooper and Matt Allsop in the middle managed to craft a handful of chances to get the scores level.
The best of these chances were to fall in the second half, as John Dunsby set up Wez Harrop to go close and Stuart Pearson saw his strike being denied by a superb clearance by Andrew Rhodes. With the wealth of talent on offer for the Under 30s it was only a matter of time before they would get more goals and when Arron O’Neil hit a quick brace to make it 3-0, the game was effectively over.
A consolation goal from Martyn Wright was quickly followed by the best goal courtesy of Liam Keeton, whose pace and movement in the 89th minute summed up the determination of the Under 30s to retain the Community Cup.
The organisers would like to thank the generosity of East Lodge Hotel, Matlock Town FC, Derby County F.C, Creation Studios, Shalimar Restaurant, Pennine Paving and other local businesses. The fixture also helped raise £223 for Greenaway Workshop. For more match pictures visit facebook.com/darleydalecommunitycup