Bideford Blues and Appledore Juniors will field two teams in the finals of this year’s Devon County Cup competitions.
On Sunday, the under-16s beat Exeter-based City Raiders Youth 2-1 with goals by Aaron Hastie and Nathan Coates to set up a place in the Wotton Printers U16 Boys Cup final against Marine Academy Plymouth Junior on April 17.
Also on Sunday, the Blues’ under-15s side beat Plymouth-based Plympton Youth 2-1 in the semi-final of the Sportslighting U15 Boys Cup.
Ollie Luxton opened the scoring for the North Devon side after good early possession by Plympton.
Luxton latched onto Samuel Corbett’s long throw-in on the right and used excellent balance and strength to hold off the challenges from behind while wrong-footing the keeper.
Plympton pulled one back after the break and continued to pile on the pressure, hitting the woodwork three times.
Bideford countered and were awarded a penalty when Sami Gillett was brought down clumsily in the box. Gillett took the spot-kick himself and slotted it low into the bottom corner.
Last ditch challenges by Lloyd Flack, Jack Johns, Scott Daniels and Adam Lawton were needed as Plympton piled on the pressure in the final 10 minutes, but the Blues held firm to book a place in the final against either South Dartmoor CC Football Academy or Plymouth Marjon Youth on May 15.
Under-15s coach Stuart Corbett said the team showed ‘immense resilience’ to contain such a physical and technical team.
He also appealed to local businesses to help sponsor a new kit for the cup final.
“Before thee game, the referee pointed out the lower part of both teams’ kits clashed so we had to improvise and play in blue tops, black shorts and red socks – an awful combination,” he said.
“The kit we’re in is already two years old and getting very tight for some players.
“If anyone can help new sponsor a new kit, it would be terrific to wear it for the final, which is being played at Newton Abbot and will also be broadcast live on Facebook.”
If you’re interested in helping out the under-15s with a new kit, call Stuart on 07920 206423.