APPLEDORE won the Graddon Vending Devon Premier Cup with a thrilling last-gasp 5-3 win against the Royal Marines at Tiverton s Ladysmead on Thursday night. All but out of it at 3-1 down and the clock ticking in injury time, the Fishermen staged a comeback
APPLEDORE won the Graddon Vending Devon Premier Cup with a thrilling last-gasp 5-3 win against the Royal Marines at Tiverton's Ladysmead on Thursday night.
All but out of it at 3-1 down and the clock ticking in injury time, the Fishermen staged a comeback worthy of gracing only the finest of finals.
Forget Solskjaer and Sheringham; the North Devon men had James Rees and Marc Bettiss to thank for two memorable strikes that will be forever etched in the club's history.
Goals in the 92nd and 95th minute sent the game into extra-time, where Bettiss went on to score twice more to cause an unlikely upset against the Commandos.
Appledore took a first half lead through Matt Downing on 22 minutes but were pegged back by a 36th minute Shea Saunders header.
Memories of the 5-1 home defeat against the Marines earlier this month came flooding back when Richard Hope and Dave Carns gave the Militarymen a 3-1 lead in a five-minute second-half blitz; but with blue ribbons already tied on the trophy, Geoff Copp's men hit back in style.
Rees had already fired a 30-yard free-kick "sighter" that was punched away by keeper James Ashford-Brown and he made no mistake in injury time, crashing a similarly ranged effort into the top corner.
And with momentum energising tired legs, Sean Downing put substitute Bettis through to level at 3-3 and set up an extra 30 minutes.
While the South West Peninsula League Division One (East) leaders will bemoan the fact that the final was their third match in six days, Appledore will remind them that the same game was their sixth in 12.
And there was no stopping them as Bettiss hit two in four minutes to win the cup for the second time in the club's history - and not since 1984.