Derwent 1sts 3
Derwent continued their 100 per cent start to the season with a convincing 3-0 victory over local rivals Ashbourne, making it seven out of seven for the Wirksworth-based side.
With Ashbourne striker Chris Beastall in fine form, Derwent’s defence knew they had to be at the top of their game to negate Ashbourne’s attacking threat.
Matt Bacon did a superb job in man-to-man marking Beastall, making several timely interceptions and well-timed challenges.
After 20 minutes, Derwent broke the deadlock.
A well-worked penalty corner saw the ball slipped to the back post where Richard Wildgoose was ready to pounce and slot the ball home.
Derwent continued to create chances, but couldn’t find the final touch when it seemed easier to score.
The league’s top scorer, Derwent’s Ben Everitt-Li scored his 14th goal of the season from another well-worked corner and the game was put beyond doubt when Everitt-Li bagged another to seal an impressive win.
In the final seconds, Derwent had a chance to finish the game in style when they created a three-on-one against the Ashbourne keeper.
However, they could only pass the ball off the backline, much to the amusement of the sizable crowd.
Coach Heath Roberts was thrilled with the performance. “Keeping a clean sheet, and scoring three against Ashbourne was brilliant.
“There is still more to come from this team, and they are only going to get stronger and stronger.”
With a changed side on Sunday, Derwent slipped out of the HA Vase losing 1-0 to SSC.
While disappointing to be out of a competition, it does mean the Dales side has a singular focus on the league, and the challenge to gain promotion.
Derwent now face a tricky away trip this weekend to Berkswell Hockey Club, who haven’t lost a match at home for over 12 months.
Heath Roberts concluded: “This game is going to be tough.
“It’s a long trip, with an early start time, which isn’t ideal, but we have to be focused and ready for a battle.
“Beating Berkswell on their own pitch will be incredibly tough, but we will be ready for the challenge.”