Vanbrugh stun Derwent on penalty flicks

Vanbrugh stunned favourites Derwent as they won on penalty flicks to progress to the qualifier final and Varsity in Durham. Heading into the game as underdogs, Vanbrugh put in a solid shift and held their own as the game finished goalless, before coming through 4-3 on penalties.

The game was end to end, with both sides missing great opportunities to take the lead. This lack of cutting edge up top meant that the contest ended without a goal in regular time.

It was underdogs Vanbrugh who applied the early pressure, with Derwent playing on the counter. The first chance of the match came after Derwent’s Lindsay O’Brien turned past her defender before shooting over.

It looked for a moment like Derwent’s quality was starting to shine through, with Alex Lake and Callum McCulloch playing well in the middle of the park. Issy Ashton had a chance to take the lead for Derwent but her shot dribbled wide after being played in by McCulloch.

Vanbrugh had their first real chance soon after from a short corner. The ball fell to Annie De Gray whose well-struck effort whistled narrowly wide. They had another big opening soon after but again failed to make the most of it after a fluffed shot.

After entering the break level, both sides upped the intensity to try and find that elusive breakthrough. Vanbrugh almost took the lead after Ali Walker was beaten in the middle of the pitch but again the final effort sailed narrowly wide.

Minutes later Derwent’s Alex Lake embarked on a driving run through the heart of the Vanbrugh defence and won a short corner for his side. O’Brien’s initial strike was blocked, starting an almighty scramble in which Derwent saw several goal bound shots blocked.

As the game entered the final stages Vanbrugh began to take the ascendancy, with James Swash going close after a ball in from Callum Lennox. A few more chances went begging after that, before Derwent skipper Fred Millar nearly flicked in at the death.

After a goalless match it headed straight to penalty flicks and it looked to be Derwent progressing. Having converted three out of their first three with Vanbrugh missing one, Rosie Cordingley’s flick was saved by Andriy Tabas in the Vanbrugh goal before Callum McCulloch’s potential winner was also saved, meaning the contest entered sudden death. Vanbrugh skipper Rory Blight duly obliged with a strong flick, piling the pressure on opposite number Fred Millar. Millar’s effort however was weak, being easily saved by Tabas and handing Vanbrugh a trip to Durham in March.

Vision MotM: Jenny Beckett (Derwent)

Derwent: Aylett; Beckett, Charlton, McConnell, Baker; Lake, Johnson, Walker; Cordingley, Millar (c), O’Brien. Subs: McLaughlin, McCulloch, McDonald, Van Doornewaard, Freane, Ashton.

Vanbrugh: Tabas; Graham, De Gray, Blight (c), Bader; Lennox, Watters, Harwood, McKenzie, Swash, Rousseau.