Crucial victory for disciplined Derwent

Derwent 1sts 3

Nottingham Players 1sts 2

Fit, fast and well-organised is how the Nottingham Players’ coach described Derwent Mens 1sts after their latest home game at Fortress Wirksworth.

After being robbed of all three points last weekend against Ramgharia, Derwent were determined not to let the points slip away again this weekend. Three points were a must as the other teams around Derwent were picking up points and the relegation battle is dragging a lot of teams into the mixer.

Derwent started slowly and were exposed down their left as the Players created chances which they were unlucky not to take. But then Derwent struck.

James Bolus tackled a Players’ defender in his own 25 and went one-on-one with the goalkeeper. When Bolus’s shot was saved by the helmet of the advancing goalkeeper, Steve Langrick was on hand to knock the ball into an open net.

Derwent started to play with confidence after this and the returning Dean Stevens and Matt Bacon, back from university studies, helped massively as Bacon was impressive in defence and Stevens caused numerous problems up front.

But Derwent couldn’t hold on to their lead and two quickfire goals saw them go behind. Derwent pressed again with Steve Milner on the left wing and George Taylor working well and creating chances, with Taylor and Steve Langrick getting round the back on a number of occasions and winning numerous short corners which Tom Ellison came close to converting. After a number of short corners, a well worked routine saw Ellison fire the ball into the bottom corner from close range to draw Derwent level again.

Derwent went in to the break the better team but had lived on a knife edge and Players were looking dangerous on the counter-attack. The second half saw Derwent snatch the lead when Milner calmly turned his man and slotted the ball past the advancing keeper. Derwent then hung on for the rest of the half despite creating a number of chances themselves but Players were always looking dangerous.

Afterwards, coach Heath Roberts said: “It was by far our best win of the season. Nottingham Players are a top side, so to come away with three points was a massive achievement. We are still in the thick of a relegation dogfight, but we have dragged five teams in the mix who are covered by just four points.

“This week’s game against Ashbourne is going to be massive. With Chris Beastall, they have the league’s best forward and top goalscorer, so we have to be prepared for the threat he poses. But the mood in our camp is the best it’s ever been.”

so I’m really looking forward to the game, and I’m confident we can get something out of it.”

This week, Derwent travel to Ashbourne for the reverse fixture of the hotly-contested fixture from a few weeks ago where Derwent will be hoping to avenge the defeat from back then.