Photos by Daniel Golton
Derwent 1sts came out the least battered in what was at times a brutal encounter with Goodricke 1sts on the JLD, cementing their place in their second college cup final in successive years.
The blues will have dreamed and imagined what their perfect start to today’s game would be, and there is no doubt that it will not have been far off reality. The opening minutes saw them take the lead through Michael Fotheringham, who was on hand to follow through with a rebound after Ryan Gwinnett’s cross rebounded off the post. Fotheringham remained composed and unhurried as he slotted home, almost in disbelief at the simplicity of the situation, giving his team such a valuable advantage.
Goodricke had barely been given a chance to get going before falling behind, a setback that will have disappointed them, but the Hes East side stayed positive and began to build up some positive attacking play, testing Derwent’s resolve. The blues survived a close shave when the ball slipped through keeper Felix Aylett’s hands and nearly ended up in the net. The following corner led to a dangerous cross by Jonathan Gillbanks but no one in green was able to get on the end of the cross and direct the ball towards the target.
Joe Mann, who has shined for Goodricke in this year’s tournament looked like the player who might just get his side back into the match, proving a nuisance in midfield for Derwent, dispossessing Earle but producing a savable shot that Aylett was able to cover. The game remained even despite Goodricke’s bid to equalise, Derwent coming close to doubling their lead before half time, a thumping free kick from Ollie Harrison met by the head of Brandbeth but the defender could only direct the ball wide of the post. If the header had gone between the sticks though it would have been cruel to Goodricke, who played the better football for the majority of the half and were effective in their passing when Gillbanks and Mann were allowed time in the middle of the field. When the half time whistle blew however, it was clear it was going to be a tough ask for the men in green to make it through to the final.
Early in the second half Goodricke had a decent spell of pressure, suggesting there was a way back into the match for them. A foul by Mirhire Overo Tarimo on Lewis gave Gillbanks the chance to whip in a cross, Derwent remained solid however and the free kick was cleared, with Sam Cottingham following up with a shot that sailed wide.
A mistake by Askham, who lost possession to Courtney, gave the midfielder the best chance so far for the greens to level the game, he showed great composure to hit the shot so casually from the edge of the box but the ball just skimmed wide. Derwent remained a threat, hitting the woodwork for the second time when Harrison’s free kick went all the way through, this time with no one able to knock in the rebound.
As the game went on, tempers began to rise and referee Joe Lawton was left with a hard job of keeping control of the match when tackles began to fly in and questions began to be asked. He booked Michael Olson after the defender battled away with a one on one match up with Josh Bew, the two players tussling throughout the match. A card was also given to Ollie Harrison for a dangerous challenge on Hurst, though Goodricke had been able to play on, with Joe Mann with a clear run through but the midfielder was tackled by Aylett before he could get a shot away, last ditch defending from the keeper to keep his side at the front of the queue for a ticket to Friday’s final.
Tarimo was the third player to be cautioned after his foot was high as he challenged Gillbanks for the ball, he may have been lucky to only get a yellow and seemed to clear the ball with his hand in the later stages of the match, though he wasn’t penalized by Lawton.
Just as it began to look as if Goodricke were running out of time, a place in the final was firmly put beyond them when Josh Bew delivered the sucker punch in his head to head battle with Olson, receiving the ball from Earle and calmly finishing into the corner to make the scoreline 2-0 and send Derwent into the final.
Derwent captain David Belshaw: They’re a good side very phyiscal, made it difficult for us, couldn’t really play the football we wanted, we dug in and got the win, really proud.To be fair last year (in the final) I thought we were the better team on the day, this year we’ll prepare right, we’ll give it our best shot and hopefully we’ll get the win.
Goodricke captain Jonathan Gillbanks:We’re obviously disapointed we’re not in the final but I thought we did really well, we fought with them till the very end, they’re a decent side, they’re probably the best side in the competition , I thought we won the battle really (physically) really did dig in every one of us we’re not the biggest of teams but really proud of the lads.