– Derwent win 6-2 after leading 3-2 at half time.
– Strong Halifax performance marred by calamitous defending.
– Halifax captain Garo Heath: “Four of their goals came from us giving the ball away.”
Halifax had an afternoon to forget after a harrowing defensive display led to a 6-2 trouncing at the hands of Derwent. After winning starts to the season, it was evident both sides wished to continue in that fashion, fielding strong starting line-ups, and the intensity of the attacking football, which defined the first half especially, was impressive and great to watch.
Derwent’s Trant, occupying the lone striker role today, terrorised Halifax from the first minute to the last, coming close to opening the scoring shortly after kickoff, but chose the wrong side of the goal after a mazy run and saw his effort go wide. Especially on a 3G pitch that can at times seem frictionless, Trant’s pace is crucial to this Derwent outfit, and today he was relentless, a Ferrari to Guy Bowden’s Ford Fiesta.
Halifax were up for the fight, though, digging into opposition territory when given the chance and attacking down the flanks through Charlie Dunning and skipper Garo Heath, arguably ‘Fax’s standout performers today. The opening goal of the match came from a corner when Henry Collins arrived at the near post to flick the ball past the helpless Derwent keeper and give Halifax a 1-0 lead.
After play was resumed, Joe Easter and Trant combined to try and bring Derwent level. An equaliser was found when fresher Paul Reynolds did well to close down George Wearing, after a Derwent corner, and Guy Bowden inexplicably slid the ball back across his own box to gift Trant, and Derwent, an equaliser.
Garo Heath had a chance to put Halifax back in front, robbing Shelbourn just outside of the Derwent box, but his shot on goal was poor. Up the other end, a great ball from Michael Whittall was heavily contested, leading not only to a number of players on the floor after clashing heads, but also with the ball in the back of the net, with the last touch coming off of defender Bull.
Halifax couldn’t have reacted quicker to throwing away their lead. A momentary lapse from Derwent allowed Dunning to skirt around the edge of the box and play in Heath, who weaved inside and put Halifax level with a confident finish.
As half time approached, it took a special effort from Joe Easter to ensure that Derwent went into the break ahead. Observing that the ‘keeper had drifted off of his line, he effortlessly lobbed him to make the score 3-2.
The wayward defensive lapses, that had marred an otherwise outstanding 45 minutes from Halifax, would only permeate throughout the second, with the ‘Fax ‘keeper fluffing a poor pass back, which would fall to Fotheringham so that he could add his name to the expanding scoresheet.
After Trant added yet another goal to Derwent’s tally, the ‘black and the blue’ had complete control over the game, with Mirhire Overo-Tarimo and half-time substitute Eloka Ntephe dominating the midfield. Yet another mishap would further diminish a Halifax performance that saw them match Derwent at times. The goalkeeper rushed over to collect the ball for a throw-in that his defender would take as Halifax searched for a way back into the game. Before allowing his keeper time to resume his place in goal, the throw-in was taken, and went straight to Ryan Gwinnett who casually lobbed the scrambling ‘keeper.
The side Derwent put out today was only a couple of players short of being their strongest XI, and it showed. Players of the calibre of Joe Easter, Trant, and Overo-Tarimo are rare, and this season other colleges will do well to come away with even a point if Derwent perform every week as they did today.
If Halifax can build upon their attacking flair with a bit more composure in defence, and presence in midfield, then a top-three finish is easily within their grasp.
Halifax captain, Garo Heath: “We outplayed them in the first 20 minutes, dominated, got ourselves ahead, very in control of the game. Then a sloppy individual error, don’t know what Guy was doing, and we didn’t react well [to giving away our lead]. We carried on making stupid errors, and four of their goals came from us giving the ball away. The potential is there but we need to cut out the errors.”
Derwent captain, Ryan Gwinnett: “In the first half we didn’t match them, but in the second half we came out and started playing our football. They gave us a couple of freebie goals which helped us to kill the game and I was really impressed with the performance in the last half an hour.”
Vision MotM: Mirhire Overo-Tarimo