DERWENT KEPT up the pressure on league leaders James with a commanding 5-0 victory over Vanbrugh on the 3G in the Premier Division.
All five of the game’s goals came in the first half, as Vanbrugh were left reeling in the face of Derwent’s slick forward play, which saw them to two title wins in last year’s college leagues. A significant improvement from Vanbrugh in the second half could not hide the gulf in class.
Joe Hawkins latched onto a ball over the top after 15 minutes, going on to fire a firm finish past Conor Boyle, who deputised in goal. Vanbrugh had two guilt-edged chances to get themselves back into the contest at 1-0. Winger Jake Wright burst through, forcing Charlie Cooper into a sharp low save to his left.
Wright was getting plenty of joy down the right flank, and fired another shot at Cooper, who parried straight into the path of Andy Miller. Crucially, Miller, leaning back, could only direct his shot over the crossbar.
Henry Ferrao didn’t have his finest game but he laid on the second goal for Josh Bew, as Ferrao’s inswing cross was met with a well-directed header in the bottom corner from the UYAFC striker.
Fellow UYAFC forward Eddie Fotheringham was afforded far too much time and space down the right, which indirectly led to Derwent extending their advantage. A corner, earnt by Fotheringham, was driven along the ground to Bew, whose shot cannoned across the goal for Sam Weighall to gleefully plant home the ricochet.
The Men in Blue had Vanbrugh in the palm of their hand by now. Fotheringham drifted over a free-kick, and Weighall, deployed in the centre of defence, was simply stronger than his marker and powered home a headed effort. Hawkins continued to roam free from his station in the middle, and embarked on a surging run, which ended with a toepoke from 16 yards to make it 5.
Vanbrugh had time to regroup at the interval, and despite having nothing to play for battled gamefully in the second half. Joe Watkins’ well hit left-footed volley forced Cooper into a save, while Andy Miller should really have pegged Derwent back when his chip sailed over the bar.
Alex Ingham’s introduction was a small spark of impetus in an otherwise anadine second half, and he dragged a couple of fading efforts wide of Boyle’s right hand post. Derwent have now won their first three games of the season, conceding only one goal.
Captain Tom Shelbourn commented: “We played very well in the first half, but are disappointed not to have kicked on in the second. Vanbrugh out battled us after half time” he admitted.
Vanbrugh skipper Connor Brennan said: “First half we were nowhere to be seen. I think we were intimidated. I was really proud of the second half performance, we could have scored,” Brennan reasoned.“The two Alcuin games will be key if we are going to stay up.”
Derwent Firsts: Cooper; Skodje, Shelbourn (C) , Weighall, Gowforp; Curteis, Hawkins, Wnek; Fotheringham, Bew, Ferrao
Subs: Ingham, Barrie
Vanbrugh Firsts: Boyle; Bryant, Stanimirovic, Brennan (C), McAllister; Siddle, Carruthers, Watkins; Wright, Miller, Edwards
Player of the match: Joe Hawkins