In their second match of the College Cup, Vanbrugh firsts secured their second win, with a two goal victory over a gritty Derwent thirds.
The match was no classic, there were often lulls in the game as Vanbrugh initially struggled to break through the well-organised Derwent defence. Despite their initial struggles, Vanbrugh clinched two goals to steal the three points, keeping a clean sheet in the process.
The first real piece of action fell in the first five minutes of the match. Andriy Tabas, who put in a man of the match performance for Vanbrugh in central midfield, drifted past four Derwent defenders in the middle of the park with ease. He then played a forward pass into Andy Miller who quickly shifted the ball left.
The ball fell to Vanbrugh captain, Joe Lund, who squared the ball right to Joe Watkins on the edge of the area. Watkins subsequently blasted his shot wide, but the move was a glimpse into the cohesive attacking unit that Vanbrugh could be.
However, that was the only glimpse of Vanbrugh’s attacking prowess that the crowd saw in the first half. Despite Vanbrugh dominating possession, they rarely threatened the Derwent goal from open play in the opening thirty minutes. The only real chance they had in the first half was from a corner.
Troy Carruthers lofted an out-swinging ball from the right side to the back post of the Derwent goal. The ball met the head of midfielder Joe Watkins whose looping header looked to threaten to deceive Derwent keeper, Matthew Kenderdine. However, Kenderdine dealt with the header with ease, clutching the ball in his arms.
A relatively quiet first half was brought to a close with the game still goalless. Vanbrugh made a couple of substitutions during the half time break in an attempt to rejuvenate their efforts for the second half. Matthew Potts came on for Troy Carruthers whilst Andy Miller made way for Adam Lewis.
The second half started at a much higher tempo than the first half. Derwent’s Jack Revill almost seemed to go through on goal on the left wing in the opening stages of the second half, only to be dispossessed by Vanbrugh’s Conchur Brennan, who subsequently cleared the ball to the side line.
Minutes later, Vanbrugh broke the deadlock from a corner. The corner came as a result of some good work by Lund. After beating his man, Lund turned inside from the right wing and advanced with the ball before hitting a low shot towards the far post which was turned behind by Kenderdine.
Potts whipped in a delightful in-swinging ball from the subsequent corner on the left wing. Right back, Brad Dunkley, was the first to rise to the flight of the ball, planting a sweetly struck header in the back of the net to hand Vanbrugh a 1-0 lead.
Minutes later, Derwent made their only substitution of the match as Tony Turner replaced Benjy Hollis on the wing. Derwent then had their best chance of the game. Bearn ran through the middle and played a cute pass with the outside of his left boot into the path of Danny Braham.
Braham still had work to do in order to get his shot off, shooting from a tight angle on the left wing. He shifted the ball onto his right foot and struck a finessed shot, which was on target, but eventually saved by Vanbrugh keeper Max Donnell-Ford, who held onto the ball.
Derwent then threatened from a free kick deep in the Vanbrugh half. Isaac Beevor struck an in-swinging, dipping shot-come-cross with his left foot from the right wing which managed to bemuse half the Vanbrugh defence, only to be denied by the far post.
Having come so close to equalising, Vanbrugh’s second goal was a kick in the teeth for Derwent. Lund played a hopeful ball forwards, which fell to the Derwent defence. However, a subsequent back pass proved to be Derwent’s downfall.
The JLD bounce took its first victim of the year as Kenderdine tried to head the ball clear, only to miss-judge the bounce and miss-time his header. Vanbrugh’s Lewis was on hand to take advantage of this mishap as he rose to place a simple header into the Derwent goal to double Vanbrugh’s lead. The match finished 2-0 to Vanbrugh, with the score line perhaps a little harsh on Derwent, who put in a tenacious performance throughout the match.
After the match, Alex Milton, Derwent captain, told Nouse of his pride at his team’s performance: “[I was] really pleased with the performance. The two goals we conceded were unlucky. [We] conceded from a corner and the other one was just a bad mistake, the curse of the JLD. Apart from that, they’ve not really created any chances and we brought the game to them.”
Meanwhile, Joe Lund, Vanbrugh captain, was pleased with the clean sheet, but not overjoyed by his side’s performance. He told Nouse: “I’m pleased with the clean sheet [but] we didn’t play great. We had spells where we did quite well but same as last week, we can’t seem to get it over the whole game. We need to sort that out before we come up against one of the bigger teams. We’re just sort of scraping through at the moment.”
Derwent: Kenderdine, Bearn, Nicholls, Conner, Milton (C), Revill, Beevor, Kirby, Farrage, Hollis, Braham. Substitutions: Turner.
Man of the Match: Alex Milton
Vanbrugh: Donnell-Ford, Dunkley, Brennan, Paulas, Siddle, Picknell, Tabas, Carruthers, Watkins, Lund (C), Miller. Substitutions: Potts, Lewis.
Man of the Match: Andriy Tabas