Big Barnstaple cup derby win follows mid-week ‘crisis’ meeting

BARNSTAPLE AAC tore up the formbook with a 2-1 win against Barnstaple Town Reserves in the second round of the Devon Graddon Vending Premier Cup on Saturday.

On paper it looked like a game the forlorn North Devon Premier Division side could never win.

Battered and bruised during a wretched start to the season that has seen them ship 24 goals in their last three games, the Ammies were always going to rank as underdogs against the Fresha Devon and Exeter Premier side.

They share the same town in name, their grounds share the same car park, and in truth, both teams enjoyed an equal share of the ball in an even match at Pottington Road.

Mark Beades put the hosts 1-0 up at the break with an exquisite 30-yard lob, his first goal since returning from an 18-month injury layoff.

Dan Found capitalised on a defensive mix-up to equalise for Town with a two-yard tap-in with 10 minutes to play.

And with the game destined for extra-time, Steve Isaac was put through one-on-one in a moment that proved to be the game’s most decisive.

Isaac held his nerve and used the outside of his left boot to bend his effort past goalkeeper Darren Rose and into the bottom corner.

The win was the perfect tonic in a do-or-die week for the Ammies that saw the club unite off the pitch in a bid to try and address the problems this season.

Manager Mark Ellis called a midweek player meeting to clear the air after last week’s 10-2 stuffing against Torridgeside.

“I made it clear I wasn’t happy about it and said it was time for a few players to step up to the mark,” he told the Gazette.

“But we’ve drawn a line under it and they went out on Saturday and completely changed it.

“They showed so much heart and determination and hopefully the cup result could be a turning point in our season, especially with big games coming up against Appledore, Bradworthy, Putford and Torrington.”

Also through to round three are Bratton Fleming, who beat a “physical” Bluebird United side 5-1.

Bratton went in 1-0 up at the break thanks to a Damian Green penalty and increased the lead in the second half with goals by Steven Kingdon and Richard Elston and a further strike by Green.

The Plymouth and West Devon Combination Division One side pulled one back but Marcus Mahoney completed the scoring to round off an excellent all round performance based on work rate and team spirit.

Dolton didn’t touch the ball in the opening 15 minutes of their match against South Devon League premier side Watts Blake Bearne.

But Billy Tubb gave Rangers the lead on 20 minutes before the visitors hit back with goals either side of the break.

Tubb levelled the scores on 70 minutes before an own goal with 10 minutes to go gave Dolton the win.

Manager Neil Batty threw 16-year-olds Will Marsland and Pierce Brant into the mix and both rose to the challenge as part of a great team performance.

“We’ve got a few big players in our side but they are young lads and they were playing against physically big men who could play,” said Batty.

“We were a little fortunate in the first 20 minutes but we stuck at it and grew in confidence.

“After last week’s poor performance against Braunton, it was nice to see the Dolton that normally turns up to games.”

Braunton progressed with a 3-1 win at home to last season’s Devon Senior Cup winners Loddiswell Athletic. Graham Green opened the scoring on his first start for three weeks and despite conceding a goal to the South Devon League visitors, Braunton pulled in front again through Elliot Whitecross and Simon Townsend.

There is to be no South West Peninsula scalp for Boca Seniors this season. The 2009 winners were beaten 4-1 by Division One (East) leaders Galmpton United at the Tarka Tennis Centre.

Things started badly for Boca when they went a goal down in the first five minutes; and they showed little sign of improving when Matt Deakin was given a straight red card for violent conduct three minutes later.

Former Braunton player Ryan Dempsey scored a header – his first goal for the club – to level the scores before the break.

Despite matching their opponents with 10 men, Boca were unable to convert their chances and conceded again on 70 minutes. Two more followed in the last five minutes of the game but manager Darren Todd admitted his side had ran themselves into the ground by then.

“We knocked at the door a lot but didn’t put our chances away,” he said.

“On another day it might have been different but to be fair even they said that the score line flattered them,” he added.

Despite missing top scorer Martin Davey, Shebbear United were winning 4-2 against the “giants” of Upton Athletic with 15 minutes to go in South Devon.

Despite coming under constant pressure against a team of six-footers throughout the match, goals by Greg Mitchell (2), James Vanstone and a 35-yard Shaun Sluggett “screamer” looked to have booked Shebbear’s passage into the third round draw.

But the unbeaten South Devon Premier Division leaders hit the visitors on the break three times in quick succession to scramble a frantic 5-4 win.

Shebbear manager Ben Jenkinson said: “Upton were a really good side and they killed us in the last 15 minutes.

“They kept the ball well and although we’re disappointed to have lost, the score was a fair reflection of the game.

“I’m happy with the way we showed ourselves.”

A poor first half performance hampered Torridgeside’s progression in the cup. The North Devon side went 2-0 down against Staverton & Landscove and despite upping the ante after the break and pulling a goal back through a Nathan Walter penalty, it wasn’t enough to see them through.

Appledore threw away a 2-0 lead at Bere Alston United to lose 4-2 and Bradworthy were also beaten 4-2 after extra time in the tie at home to Brixham United. Nick Lapham and Carlo Chandler both scored for Bradworthy.

North Molton were beaten 3-0 at cup holders Liverton United and Morchard Bishop put five past Torrington without reply.

Monday’s third round draw has paired all North Devon’s remaining sides with Carlsberg South West Peninsula League opposition. Dolton travel to unbeaten premier side Buckland Athletic, while Bratton Fleming travel to current holders Liverton United, of Division One (East). Barnstaple AAC travel to Stoke Gabriel and Braunton have been handed a third home tie, this time against Newton Abbot Spurs.