Darley Dale u7s 2
Leabrooks u7s 0
It was a foggy start for both players and supporters at Cavendish for this eagerly-anticipated Secondary Cup semi-final clash and, with the winners progressing to the final at Matlock Town’s ground, it was all to play for.
Leabrooks got the match started and were quickly on the front foot but anything they threw at Darley was expertly dealt with by the defensive duo of Jack Heath and Edward Bradley.
After five minutes, Leabrooks broke down the right hand side, the cross evaded everyone in the box, and fell to their winger, who seemed certain to score.
However, Angus Talbot in the Darley goal charged out and it was enough to make the player drag his shot wide. That seemed to make Darley come out of their shell.
They took control of the game with tricky winger Euan Sutherill tearing down the left wing almost at will, and with the excellent Obi Roper holding the ball up, the ball rarely left the Leabrooks half.
The first goal came after ten minutes. Alfie Hodgkinson picked up the ball on the halfway line. After beating one boy, he continued his run, he rode another challenge on the edge of the box, and with just the keeper to beat, rifled the ball into the bottom left hand corner of the net, leaving the Leabrooks keeper with no chance. It was no more than Darley deserved.
The second half began with a Darley change, Bradley being replaced by Ben Molyneux, but the pattern remained the same.
With Darley on top, they got their just desserts six minutes in when the pocket rocket Charlie Finney scored a goal that would have had Hansen and Shearer out of their seats.
From five yards outside the area, he collected the ball, had time for a quick look up, and smacked it into the top corner of the net.
To Leabrooks’ credit, they never gave up and pushed hard to get back into the cup tie but the Darley boys put their bodies on the line and made sure there was no chance of a comeback.
So it’s Darley who march into the final and can look forward to a match on the hallowed turf of Causeway Lane.
(Submitted picture by Dominic Hodgkinson)