Wirksworth Colts U18s’ willingness to play their way up the pitch reaped dividends as they extended their impressive form with a 2-1 win at Castle Donington.
Including friendlies, Wirksworth have won four of their five games and this latest victory seldom looked in doubt despite the goalkeeping heroics of the Castle Donington goalkeeper.
The debutant custodian repelled fine efforts from George Frost Gilbert, Robbie Paton and Harry Ballington before Wirksworth stepped into fifth gear just before the break to make their dominance pay.
As Ballington dropped deep from centre-forward to pick up a ball to feet, Regan Cooper timed his run to perfection to collect the striker’s reverse pass into the centre circle.
Bursting forward, Cooper’s immaculate control took him past two attempted challenges before he entered the penalty area and drilled in a left-footed shot into the far bottom corner.
It was no more than the away team deserved and Wirksworth’s play at the start of the second half was a joy to behold.
With Liam Smith-Vidal and James Simmonds combining superbly to play out on one flank, Paton’s pace constantly stretched the play on the other wing.
Then Josh Middleton took a short free-kick for Kyle Higton to play the ball in for Sam Paisley who turned his man to feed Ballington whose first-time low cross was turned in confidently by raiding full-back Laurence Bostock, scoring his third goal of the campaign.
Ballington headed just wide, Middleton’s free kick dipped just over and Kyle Hadfield blasted a curling shot just wide of the far top corner as Wirksworth threatened to run amok.
But despite the diligence of Jon Hartley with his assured interceptions and passing, Wirksworth tired late on and Adam Ellis scored with Donington’s first shot on target past Kyle Pearce from Joe Willis’s cross in the last minute.
Colts U13s started their venture into Derby City League Division Two with a 1-0 away win at Holbrook Park.
Colts took the game to Holbrook early on with chances being created from the off.
They slipped into their usual passing style well and Liam Bednall broke through to fire in a fierce drive only to be thwarted by an outstanding save from Lewis Tonks in the Holbrook goal.
This proved to be the theme for the game with chances being created at will only for Tonks to come to Holbrooks rescue.
The Colts midfield of Lewis Potts, Dan Brown and Sam Roberts controlled the game with Dan Charlton protecting the defence well.
After all their passing, the breakthrough came when Tom Wain latched onto a long clearance from James Colebourne and slipped the ball under the onrushing Tonks to give Wirksworth the lead.
Tonks kept Colts at bay again with another fantasic double save before half-time.
The second half started as the first had finished with Bednall smashing a drive against the post only for the ball to rebound along the goal line, hit the other post and into the keepers arms.
Holbrook always had a chance at 1-0 nil and Josh Henshaw, Coleborne and Matt Thompson had to be alert to see the game out to start the Colts seaon with a win.
The U13s then travelled to Allenton in the first round of the Challenge Trophy.
A Rowan Armstrong hat-trick in the first nine minutes effectively ended the contest as Colts dominated from the start to record a 14-0 win.
Allenton were unable to cope with Wirksworth’s pace and passing but to their credit they never gave in.
Four goals from Tom Greenhough, another from Armstrong, two for Tom Wain and Josh Henshaw and one each from Tom Dreuitt and James Colebourne completed the scorers to send Wirksworth into their first home game of the season this Sunday against Spondon Rovers full of confidence.