Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Ilfracombe Town 3-2 Willand Rovers
Ilfracombe held off a late comeback to beat Willand Rovers 3-2 and book an away tie with Torquay United in the St Luke’s Bowl.
An Ilfracombe team missing a few first team players were 3-0 up with ten minutes to play, but things got nervy when they were pegged back by two goals in quick succession from Willand’s substitute striker.
Combe had played well for the majority of the game, and although Willand looked the more comfortable in possession in the early stages they rarely posed much of a threat going forwards.
A poor back pass to the Willand goalkeeper, which seemed to take a bobble, was seized upon by Steve Holland who calmly turned the ball into the empty net to give the home side an early lead.
The Bluebirds doubled their lead before half time when the referee pointed to the spot and Stan Paxton coolly dispatched the penalty.
Combe continued to defend well in the second half and their resilience was rewarded just after the hour mark when a good pass from Jamie Bright put Stan Paxton through. The frontman made no mistake in bagging his second and Combe’s third.
The game began to open up as the two sides started to tire, and Willand took advantage by finally creating a couple of clear-cut chances, which were taken well by their newly-introduced forward.
But Combe held on to book a dream date at Plainmoor to face Torquay in the next round.
“That’s a very good result against a quality team,” said manager Ross Middleton. “A lot of their team has played at a higher level and they struggled to create anything against us all night.
“For 85 minutes we were tremendous, I’m gutted we didn’t keep the clean sheet because the defence deserved it, but with so many injuries we had to fill round holes with square pegs at the end. I even had to drag Shauny Lewis out of retirement to play 30 minutes.
“The boys deserved the result though and it’s great to have the chance to play at Plainmoor in the next round.”