North Notts Hockey Club recorded an impressive 5-4 victory against a Derwent side that have remained unbeaten since February.
It was a win that left manager Jay Faulkner with the work-rate and dedication of his players.
He said: “It was a great game with two very committed sides. We knew this would be a tricky game, but we are improving every week especially now we have a good structured training plan.
“We were always confident even with three regulars missing that we could get something from the game.
“Today was a real team performance and it’s what North Notts are all about, No Egos just hard work.
“The club has a great vibe at the moment and we are finally starting to see our younger players come through to challenge for first eleven places.”
Without Matthew Kanalas, Marc Johnson and Joshua Singleton manager Jason Faulkner had to rely on the strength in depth the club is building by bringing in Neil Collins, Youngster Rhys Jepson and Simon Atkin.
With the game switched to Ashbourne due to floodlight problems with Derwent’s home pitch, Notts were determined to use the advantage and try to capitalise on Derwent losing their home advantage.
The game got off to a blistering start with Matthew Cooper rocketing in short corner in the first minute to give the away side the early impetus.
This however didn’t last as Derwent hit back with a field goal after an initial save from Paul Unwin on three minutes.
On nine Minutes a chance for Jason Barton crept wide as Derwent struggled to cope with Notts marauding midfield.
Notts added a second goal on 23 minutes after great work from James Latta and an exquisite pass from Matthew Cooper was converted by Nathan Smith.
Derwent however wouldn’t lie down and found an equaliser on 25 minutes from a short corner the ball squirming past William Butler on the line.
Three minutes after the restart William Butler drilled a ball past the stranded Derwent keeper to again put Notts into the lead.
Notts were now completely dominating the game and, on 43 minutes Notts thought they had gone 4-2 into the lead when Butler again slammed the ball home only to be denied by the umpire who had awarded Notts a short corner.
But Notts were on a role and the short corner was dispatched by William Butler himself to ultimately give Notts the justice they felt they deserved for the disallowed goal.
Derwent threw men forward to try to get back into the game and the home side did just that on 45 minutes through a field goal that Unwin was unlucky not to save.
To Notts horror it seemed the Derwent recovery was complete when the equaliser was scored from a short corner on 48 minutes.
The game defining moment came on 55 minutes when a short corner was duly dispatched by the league’s top goal scorer Allen Butler, who was marking his return from South Africa.
The final 15 minutes was played at a ferocious pace with both sides creating chances, ultimately it was Notts who ran out winners by digging in and showing real grit in the closing stages.
North Notts are also looking for local players interested in playing to contact them at email@example.com or turn up to training on Tuesday nights at 7.30pm at Manor complex.