Report: O'Brien brace seals tenth DSC crown

Report: O'Brien brace seals tenth DSC crown

Thursday Apr 25, 2019

Mickleover Sports 1-2 Alfreton Town

Danny O'Brien's double sealed a tenth Derbyshire Senior Cup crown for the Reds, as Billy Heath's men dug deep to edge past a gutsy Mickleover Sports at Pride Park last night. 

The Reds supporters had travelled in force and were outstanding throughout and they were rewarded for their efforts not just at Pride Park but throughout the season as O'Brien struck in the first and second half. 

Billy Heath made three changes with O'Brien, David Lynch and Dec Bacon all coming in to start. There were inclusions on the bench for three of our academy products, Harvey Grice, Kieron Hinchley and Morgan Brough. 

Alfreton started the game well, their third contest in five days; Josh Wilde found Bacon on the left who won an early corner, Jordan Sinnott took it but saw the ball headed away at the near post before King in the Sports goal claimed the follow up cross.

Sports got their first corner of the game after three minutes but nothing came of it as Sam Ramsbottom was fouled in the area. The Reds nearly took the lead after five minutes after a slick move saw O'Brien back-heel Sinnott through into the box but his cross was inches away from being tapped home by Richard Peniket.

However with nine gone, we took the lead when a flick on from Peniket found O'Brien in the box and he lifted the ball over the on-rushing King and into the net to give us the perfect start and the perfect start for the Reds fans who had made the trip.

Sam was called into action moments later pushing a strike from Prusa which was aimed for his right corner. Our pressing was causing problems as we settled into the final, we had yet to really be stretched in the game and Peniket latched onto another error at the back and saw his shot from a tight angle spilled by King before the Mickleover keeper raced to collect the loose ball as it looked to have crept over the line. 

O'Brien missed from a few yards out after Reece Styche skipped past his man on the right. It was a cracking cross but O'Brien got underneath the effort. Another chance came for us on 23, Sinnott's long throw was held up well by Peniket who set up Bacon, his effort was blocked behind for a corner.

From the corner, O'Brien went short to Sinnott whose unbelievable lobbed effort towards the far post had to be hooked off the line. Sinnott then curled a free kick from the far touchline which went just past the far post, King then denied Peniket's powerful effort inside the box. 

Sports had their best moment on the counter when McDonald sprung past Ramsbottom, he turned and looked to hook the ball into the corner but Nathan Hotte reacted to head the ball onto the bar. 

O'Brien was a constant threat and only a last ditch challenge denied him a one v one against King. Alfreton were in control and aside from a few scrappy moments, there was nothing of danger for the Reds. The passing was fluid and the movement was causing issues throughout the half.

The second half saw Sports really have a go and show more composure and fight on the ball. Mills who had been playing at centre back was now playing as a striker and he was influential in Sports attacking play. McDonald collected a flick on but saw his cross go over. 

Styche's cross for Peniket had too much pace on it as we looked to gain control, McDonald charged down a clearance from Sam and luckily for us the ball bounced out for a goal kick instead of bouncing towards goal. 

Bacon had a penalty shout turned away as he looked to have been dragged back in the box following a corner. Sports were looking dangerous as the Reds started to slow and the fixture schedule started to catch up, Welsh's cross from the right eluded everyone.

Then with 67 gone, Mickleover were awarded a penalty when a neat passing move saw McDonald put through, he took the ball past Ramsbottom who clipped him and the penalty was given. McDonald stepped up and converted down the middle to open the final right back up.

Kieron Hinchley was introduced on 68 and his composure, decisions and maturity on the ball definately caught the eye. Fouls started to become frequent in the second half with Styche caught three times, Mills led a Sports counter but his cross for McDonald was seen out well by Hinchley.

Sinnott's free kick went inches wide of the far post from the left touchline before Peniket was denied with a last ditch tackle after a superb one-two from O'Brien and Platt carved Mickleover open.

Styche curled one over the bar before O'Brien grabbed his second of the night in a crucial moment of the final. Bacon drove down the left and his cross found O'Brien who finished into the far corner. 

That proved the last decisive moment of the game as the Reds dug deep in the second half and battled to an amazing late win, fitting of the final being held at Pride Park. With injuries and many players sidelined, Alfreton will be delighted to have come away with a trophy to cap off a inconsistent season which has seen fantastic and poor results and at least achieve success for the fans with this result. 

Next, it's the final day of the season and the final fixture of the 2018/19 campaign as the bare boned Reds look to sign off with a win as we face Chester at the Impact Arena on Saturday, kick off is 3pm.  


ATFCXI: Ramsbottom, Platt, Wilde, Lynch (Hinchley 68), Hotte (c), Allan, O'Brien, Bacon, Peniket, Sinnott, Styche.

Subs Not Used: Ridley, Nicholson, Brough, Grice. 

Referee: Richard Eley

Attendance: 401 

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