Kick-off: Saturday 22 November at 17:30
It’s around 5pm on the 19th October 2014, and I’m sat in the Wentworth 1sts’ dugout on the 3G to shield myself from the rain.
The Postgrads sat beside me sigh and moan. To say it’s been a bad day would be putting it lightly. They’re all cold, all soaking wet, and, most importantly, they’ve all just been pummelled 5-0 by the Langwith 1sts.
To put the result into perspective, less than a year earlier, Wentworth had won this fixture 6-0 at the 22 Acres. One thing’s for sure, it ain’t the artificial stuff on the 3G which resulted in the eleven-goal swing.
The Langwith 1sts have come a long way since their reputation as the whipping boys in yellow. Under captain Tom Benney, they’ve found a flavour for the beautiful game.
They battled hard to earn a point against what has been a largely impressive Alcuin side. They arguably could and should have got something out of their games against last year’s Cup finalists, Derwent and Halifax. Even in hefty 5-1 defeats against James and Vanbrugh, Benney’s men played rather well for large spells.
Nevertheless, on the back of four straight defeats, Langwith face the very real prospect of relegation from the Revolution Premier League. Their fate, however, rests in their hands. Win or draw, and Langwith are safe. And win or draw they must against none other than the enemy in green.
The Goodricke 1sts, on the back of an irresistible 6-2 victory against Alcuin, face an even more precarious situation. Winning would confirm their safety. Anything else, however, means a nervous wait for the Sunday evening result to come in as the Postgrads face Vanbrugh.
This time last week, Goodricke looked consigned to the drop. Though they’ve shown a capacity to remain competitive in games, especially when they gave Derwent a good ol’ scare, the 3-2 defeat to Wentworth seemed ominous.
Their mauling of Alcuin, therefore, was somewhat unexpected (bear in mind that they would have been challenging for the title this weekend had they won). Under captain Jonathan Gillbanks last season, the Goodricke 1sts offered exciting attacking football fuelled by the likes of Joe Mann and Dalton Harris which helped get them to the Cup semi-finals. Against Alcuin, Aaron Sullivan’s men showed a similar devastating attacking efficiency which they’d yet to express this season. With that in mind, it could ultimately come down to which Goodricke side shows up on Saturday evening.
It goes without saying that this season’s first Hes East derby in the Revolution Premier League is of colossal importance, and with the game being played under the floodlights on the 3G, a substantial following can be expected from both sides.
Goodricke – Connor Boyle
Langwith – Dyaus Gohil-Patel
Sports Team Predictions
Guy Giles: Goodricke 1-3 Langwith
Jonny Long: Goodricke 3-2 Langwith
Tobi Sanbe: Goodricke 0-2 Langwith
Langwith 1sts Vs. Vanbrugh (4-2-3-1): Le Cornu; Brooks, Henn, Pickersgil, Benney (c); Campbell, Hudson; Pegg, Gohil-Patel, Vidal, Parsonson.
Goodricke 1sts Vs. Alcuin: Woolley, Thomas, Carmichael, Anderson, Duffin, Lithur, Boyle, Sides, Lewis, Bruce, Jeffery.