Coming into the match with 0 points so far this season, Vanbrugh faced an almighty task of knocking Derwent off their recent good run of form. Even before kick off the purples of Vanbrugh faced an uphill battle, missing 8 first team members and having to have stand in keeper Connor Boyle between the sticks. Disappointingly a minutes silence was not carried out prior to kick off for Remembrance Sunday.
The game began in damp early afternoon weather as a cagey affair with both teams defending solidly and pressuring the ball. First chance of the game fell to Derwent with a shot from Josh Bew being pushed out for a corner.
One key battle in the first half was down Derwent’s right side with Eddie Fotheringham causing problems for left back Bryant with sheer pace and tricks, driving on a Derwent side full of confidence.
A period of continuous pressure lead to the opener for Derwent as Hawkins dribbled through the middle of the pitch, with little pressure from the centre backs to score with a powerful finish – 1:0.
Vanbrugh showed fight to get back in the game two chances in quick succession, the best being a shot just outside the 16 yard box from Miller who blazed over under pressure. This ultimately was the last proper chance for Vanbrugh, with Sam Weighall profiting from a corner that was failed to be cleared by the Vanbrugh defence to make it 2:0.
Vanbrugh’s left hand side was being destroyed by the trickery of Derwent’s wingers as they began to fall short in their challenges at the back. Key simple passes were being misplaced and a lack of composure played right into Derwent’s hands, Brennan’s commanding presence a saving grace for Vanbrugh.
What hope of a comeback was severely diminished with a dipping ball into the Vanbrugh penalty box dispatched by striker Bew with a looping header over the stranded Boyle – 3:0.
Fotheringham’s continued influence on Derwent’s attack continued with a free kick looped into the box and met by Weighall to make it an embarrassing 4:0 to Derwent. Talk of relegation from the top flight of University college football was being talked about from the sidelines, as Derwent made it 5:0 with another weaving run by Hawkins dispatched low into the corner. The remaining minutes of the half remained quiet, the only notable event being a nice piece of skill by CB Stanimirovic pivoting away from the Derwent attacker.
To say the second half was different from the first would be an understatement, with Vanbrugh competing in the middle of the park. Carruthers was on the end of three long shot attempts, all gathered easily by the keeper, but shone some light on a dismal afternoon for Vanbrugh. Dedicated forward runs made by Jake Wright proved a good outlet for the tired Vanbrugh defence.
The second half ended goalless, regaining some pride for Vanbrugh but over the whole game they were outplayed by the sheer composure of Derwent who ran out deserved victors. MOTM went to Derwent’s Hawkins for a commanding midfield display and two goals.
Vanbrugh captain Connor Brennan spoke to me after the game.
“The first half was poor by all of us, it took us 40 minutes to get into the game and compete”.
“The second half showed we have the quality to do well and should have put away some of the chances we had”.
Derwent’s victorious captain Tom Shelbourn also spoke on the game.
“In terms of the result we are very happy about that, but disappointed not to push on in the second half”.
“The conditions weren’t great, we tried to play the long ball against the wind, but we got the result and that’s all that matters”.
Full time: Derwent 1’s 5:0 Vanbrugh 1’s
Sunday 8th November 2015 (12:00 K/O)