FUTSAL REPORT: CAMBRIDGE UNITED 8 FS DERBY 5
Cambridge United’s stellar season continued on Sunday as the U’s booked their place in the play-off final, with an 8-5 victory over FS Derby at the University of Cambridge Sports Centre.
Luis Mendonca’s side are now within one game of securing a place in the Futsal Super League, after Luke Chadwick, Monty Boutell and goalkeeper Jose Lima all starred in a fine semi-final display.
Having never played Derby before, and knowing they were coming back off a tough defeat at the hands of Enfield after extra time in the quarter finals of the FA Cup, Mendonca's boys had to be 100% focused if they were to get the win and progress to the final.
The U’s did just that, starting the game with a high tempo, which saw Chadwick getting on the scoresheet in the second minute of the game. Cambridge kept piling on the pressure and through forced mistakes they managed to finish another counter-attack as Chadwick found the net again.
Soon after that Bouttell made a name for himself as the 16-year old went past two players and put the ball under Derby's keeper to make it 3-0 United.
Around the 10 minute mark and with the game well in the control of Luiz Mendonca’s side, Pereira and Hardwick on the counter again went charging forward and the latter placed the ball into the empty net.
Derby knew they had to react to get a foothold in the game before the U's ran away with the score line, and they repeatedly struck at Lima's goal until eventually they found a break and reduced the score to 4-1.
From a Derby corner Chadwick picked up a loose ball before and accelerated forward before chipping the onrushing keeper to make it 5-1.
However, Derby with yet another corner managed to find an unmarked man to beat Lima the and bring the score to 5-2, just before Martinez found Bouttell on the back post to re-establish the four goal advantage.
A dramatic first half continued with the visitors pulling another goal back before Chadick registered his fourth of the game to complete a 7-3 half time score line.
The second half was a much tighter affair and both teams conceded a fair number of fouls early on.
With six minutes played, Derby found the break they had been looking for and brought the score down to 7-4. But much like they did in the opening 20 minutes, Cambridge regained control of the game when Martinez combined with the U's captain Morcillo to execute a well versed play and beat the Derby keeper.
United continued to play a tactical game and managed to keep the score as it for a large period of the second half, but eventually Derby found another break on the counter and brought the goal difference back down to three goals.
But despite playing a fly keeper in the closing stages of the fixture, the U’s withheld the Derby attack with good composure to see out the result and clinch their place in the play-off final.
The men in amber and black will now have the opportunity to gain a spot in next season's Futsal Super League, if they beat York at the University of East Anglia (Norwich) on the May 15th.