Match Photographer: James Williamson
Match Highlights Courtesy of In-Play Sports
Match Report by Jamie Griffiths
Melbourne Dynamo lifted the first DCFA County Cup of 2018 when they beat Mickleover Sports Reserves 2-0 on a cold, wet night under the lights at Ilkeston, to win the DCFA Divisional Cup South.
The match was a real battle from start to finish with the pouring rain adding to the impact of each crunching challenge made in a tasty contest.
It didn't take long for the game to come to life as Melbourne nearly took the lead after 4 minutes. Adam Ross chased a long ball down the left and cut inside his defender, only to see his shot his shot blocked and spin to Michael Tristram, who had his shot deflected just wide of the post.
Mickleover responded to that shaky moment well a few minutes later. After good link up play in the final third, Finlay Davies received the ball on the edge of the box but saw his side footed effort box saved by Jonathon Ball.
The Melbourne stopper was at it again five minutes later when he pushed away a long range effort from Jack Walsh. However he wasn't finished there.
Ball then made two outstanding saves to deny Mickleover the lead, firstly he tipped round Jermaine Palmer's effort from close range, when it looked to be a certain goal after Palmer beat his marker in the box. He then thwarted Davies as he saw his long range effort tipped over the bar.
Those saves proved to be crucial for Melbourne as shortly afterwards, they broke the deadlock.
A searching ball over the top of the defence allowed Adam Ross to race away down the left and find Jack Goodband in box with a low cross, the striker then side footed the ball past the advancing 'keeper and into the back of the net.
Half Time: Melbourne Dynamo 1 Mickleover Sports Reserves 0
Melbourne picked up where they left off in the second half forcing Max Bennett into two fine saves, firstly getting down low to save James Smith's headed effort from a free kick and then pushing a fierce low effort from Ross past the post.
Mickleover looked to shake things up with their first substitution when Jaro VVak replaced Harry Stevens after 63 minutes.
The entertaining encounter nearly took another twist moments later when both sides came so close to scoring. Bennett had to be at his very best to deny Melbourne a wonderful second goal, by tipping a curling effort from the left over the bar, before Mickleover came inches away from grabbing an equaliser. Tom Eccleshall found some room on the left and played a lovely ball through the six yard box, but a sliding Jermaine Palmer just couldn't connect with the ball.
Mickleover made a second change when Noah Girvan replaced Daniel Davidson in the 74th minute, but they were left to rue their missed opportunities when the game swung firmly in Melbourne's favour in the 75 minute.
After receiving the ball on the right, Jack Goodband found his way into the box, only to be clattered to the ground, with the referee pointing to the spot. Adam Ross stepped up and converted the penalty, hitting it down the middle of the net to double their advantage.
Mickleover looked to cause a nervy finish to the game by searching for a goal, but found a stubborn Melbourne defence in front of them as they stayed resolute at the back.
As the clock ticked on, Melbourne made a couple of changes with Tom Ballard being replaced by Toby Foxon and goalscorer Jack Goodband being replaced by Daniel Charlesworth.
The full time whistle blew shortly afterwards however causing the Melbourne bench to jump up in celebration as they got to lift the DCFA Divisional Cup South trophy.
Full Time: Melbourne Dynamo 2 Mickleover Sports Reserves 0