Cromford Reserves 1
Black Hippo 0
Cromford Reserves started the new year with a hard-fought win against a very useful Hippo side.
The game was switched to the Meadows and Hippo started proceedings, soon getting at Cromford but new boy Matt Seeds and his defensive partners Dave Castle and Phil Ward passed the test and Phil Boam’s goal stayed intact.
Cromford had two more new players in Darryll Mason and Steve Brown.
Mason and Matkin’s workrate in midfield was outstanding, as was Brown’s tireless running upfront.
In addition, young gun Liam Pearson was a constant problem for the Hippo backline.
Hippo’s keeper Stuart Pearson was called into action to make an outstanding save from a Brown shot.
Hippo like to play football and they got the ball wide at every opportunity for Steve Wood and Chris Johnson to torment Cromford. It was just the final ball that was missing.
The second half was as frantic as the first with both sides creating openings but not finishing them.
Ricky Wood brought out the best in Phil Boam, making him dive to his right to claw the ball away.
Cromford could not get out of their half as Hippo were pushing them deeper and deeper.
From this pressure, Hippo found the net, only for the goal to be disallowed as the ball had gone out of play before being crossed.
As is always nearly the case, when luck is not with you it slaps you in the face.
From Cromford’s next attack, they forced a corner and from that effort, Alec Philips was succesful as he scored his first senior goal.
Hippo are not a team to lie down and die and it was backs-to-the-wall defending for Cromford from then on.
Steve Wood’s ball skills on a pitch like that were amazing but again Cromford stood firm.
Boam once more was called into action, this time saving with his legs.
Sean Beastall and Dan Spencer came on for Cromford, their fresh legs helping the cause on a strength sapping pitch.
Hippo did not run out of ideas, it was simpy time and energy that beat them.
Cromford were certainly glad to hear the final whistle blown as they recorded what was their first win of the season.