Derwent needed every last breath in their lungs to see off a well drilled and resilient Langwith by two goals to nil on a hot and humid 22 Acres this morning. The hot weather played into the hands of the men in yellow, as this was a game which played out at a lax tempo, with plenty of concentrational lapses and sloppy passes in possession from both sides. By keeping their shape and not being too ambitious, Langwith were able to keep Derwent in check for the full 90 minutes, and though Derwent were expectedly superior, Langwith were never out of the game at any stage.
It was Derwent who started out with control of the ball, with Langwith pressing with impressively high energy in defiance of the stifling heat. This pressure allowed Matt Morton to capitalise on a misplaced pass and race through in the left channel- he rushed his shot though, stabbing wide of the far post when perhaps to check inside was the better option. As the half progressed the sloppiness in possession meant in all likelihood the first goal would come from a bit of quality from a half chance.
So it proved. Tristan Curteis was on hand following good work from Atherton and Easter to snap at the ball as it rolled through into the box on the left- and that quality moment arrived as Curteis lifted the ball majestically past Kris Cheshire and high into the net. After the goal, Derwent were able to establish control of the game, with Sam Weighall skying horribly over the bar following a great one two with goalscorer Curteis out on the right flank before Dan Atherton fed Joe Easter to lash speculatively over from a full 25 yards.
Langwith refused to let their heads drop and redoubled their efforts to press Derwent, fashioning an opportunity for Jack Parsonson whose effort on goal left a lot to be desired when given the opportunity to half-volley from 18 yards. Tiring themselves out with incessant pressing, Langwith were grateful for the half-time whistle, and slightly unlucky to find themselves trailing at the break.
After the interval, Langwith somehow continued to work hard at chasing the ball down in the relentless heat. The chance of the game fell the way of Jack Parsonson when fed by Andy Hutt, but the Langwith striker failed to play to the whistle and did not take his free shot on goal, thinking he was offside when the pass was played. Gallingly, Derwent then grabbed a second. For the first time in the afternoon Langwith could be rightly criticised for poor defending. Masashi Nozaki darted free wide left of goal, and his cutback found Curteis completely free on a run into the box. The big man could not miss. It was 2-0 in off the post, and Langwith could only blame themselves.
2-0 it remained, but Langwith to their credit would still not be deterred, switching their approach into the channels. As they did this, Matt Morton became decidedly more influential, and he would twice be unfortunate not to be involved in a goal, first heading over a stranded Felix Aylett and hammering a difficult low volley wide, before a neat clip to Jack Parsonson afforded him a difficult acrobatic effort which he could not convert from around the penalty spot.
Though Langwith were full value for a goal in terms of work ethic and link play, they did not create the clear cut chance to merit a notch on the scoresheet. 2-0 it finished, with Derwent likely frustrated with their lax approach play and Langwith frustrated by their inability to play the final pass.
VISION MOTM: Tristan Curteis
DERWENT: Aylett, Tapper, Shelbourn, Metcalfe, Askham, Weighall, Easter, Naylor, Curteis, Kirby, Atherton
Subs: Delay, Fisher, Nozaki
LANGWITH: Cheshire, Henn, Jones, Pickersgill, Benney, Hudson, Campbell, Gates, Morton, Hutt, Parsonson
Subs: Pegg, Sarrafan, Rogers
Derwent captain Dave Belshaw: “We played some good football today. Marcus has done a good job though, and this is definitely an improved Langwith side, they did well. I felt we had the extra quality where it mattered and that’s what got us the win. We kept the ball well, and have our big guns back for the College Cup, where I hope we can really do something.”
Langwith captain Marcus Campbell: “They are a really good side. We came out strong, and put in lots of effort. We had trouble converting our chances though, so I hope we can sort that out for the College Cup.”