The first of two title deciders in the Under 15s DCL Division Three was extremely close, and was a case of missed opportunities for Codnor has they fell to a 2-1 defeat against Castle Donington.
Nerves were present for both sides, and Codnor’s were not helped by conceding a goal in the very first minute.
Poor marking allowed Ellis Radcliffe a clear run on goal, and despite Hubbard saving the first effort, he then went on to spill the ball into the path of the same player for a tap-in to an open goal.
Codnor did not let this affect them too much, and settled well into the game. A number of opportunities came and went, with Soar, Webster and James causing all sorts of problems, culminating in some great saves from the Donington goalkeeper. On the stroke of half-time, Soar hit the post after rounding the keeper for the third time, but there were plenty of positives to take into the second half.
Codnor began the second half in the same vein, with a large amount of possession, and playing the majority of the football in the Donington half. On 57 minutes, Webster beat three men and burst into the area, only to see his effort again hit the post.
However, Codnor’s pressure soon paid off. James went through on goal, again rounded the keeper but was brought down.
The referee pointed to the spot, James dusted himself down, and stepped up to smash in the penalty, only for it to be ordered to be retaken. James again held his nerve, and finished the penalty well, to the delight of the large crowd gathered at Kilburn.
Chances came and went, until Radcliffe burst into the box and won the game for Donington with three minutes remaining.
The difference between the two sides was evident, as Donington scored twice from four efforts on goal, while Codnor scored once from 14 chances. Codnor played some delightful football, and need to take this into the remaining four games, with a return match at Donington on April 6.
Man of the match was Jack Webster, who worked tirelessly.