LES PHILLIPS CUP: Wells City 1 Ilfracombe 2 (aet).
Ilfracombe Town needed extra time to finish off a stubborn Wells City, but it would have been finished earlier without the heroics of player manager Ray Johnson in the home goal.
Combe started strongly and it took only three minutes for their first shot to be registered. Shaun Copp’s strike whizzing just wide. Ten minutes later Ross Middleton squared a corner to Tom Rossiter, who smashed it hard and low into the bottom corner only to see Johnson make a brilliant one handed reaction save. He was called upon again five minutes later with another save from close range and Combe were starting to wonder what they’d need to do to beat him.
It was 0-0 at the break, withWells yet to register a meaningful strike on goal.
The second half was much of the same, James Mayne and Craig Allen were commanding the back line, Ben Layland and Kane Dryden were dominating midfield and Rossiter and Ryan Turner always looked dangerous upfront.
Combe nearly broke the deadlock from a corner, James Mayne rising highest to power a Shaun Copp corner just over the bar.
The game started to fizzle out as both teams tired in the warm sunshine. Combe still couldn’t find a way past Johnson and almost got punished as Wells striker Rob Dumphy found space, only to lob the ball over.
Manager Middleton made changes as Combe looked for the winner, but the 90 minutes ended at 0-0.
It didn’t take long for them to find the net in extra time, however.
Edd Yeo raced on to a through ball to lob the outrushing Johnson, who was finally beaten in the home goal. But no sooner had Combe scored than Wells hit back, the ball was lost in midfield and when it wasn’t dealt with at the back, Joe Morgan made no mistake to put Wells back in the tie.
In a crazy 10 minutes of extra time Combe then took the lead again, Josh Heafield putting in a great cross for Edd Yeo to power home with a header at the near stick.
The second goal seemed to finally put Wells out of the game and more chances came Combe’s way.
Shaun Lewis raced clear and round the keeper only to see his shot cleared off the line. Ryan Turner hit the cross bar with a long range strike. But, fittingly, Johnson had the final say as Lewis pulled the ball back for Copp and it looked like a certain goal only for the Wells keeper to again pull off a brilliant reaction save and the game finished 2-1.
Combe entertain Winterbourne in the league on Saturday.
LES PHILLIPS CUP: Bishop Sutton 10, Barnstaple 3.
BARNSTAPLE bowed out of the Les Phillips Cup in a bizarre 10-3 defeat away to Bishop Sutton.
Struggling for players, Barnstaple travelled with a bare 11.
They lost one of these 15 minutes into the second half and were left to continue with two others struggling.
In a game littered with mistakes on both sides there could have been even more goals, said Barnstaple manager Dave Griffiths.
Town were 4-0 down within 30 minutes. before pulling one back for a 4-1 half-time score.
But Sutton then raced away again with three more goals by 65 minutes before Town netted their second from the penalty spot and then hit another three goals spell before Town struck their third..
New recruit Staurt cameron from Barnstaple AAC, Carl Bassett and Ollie Knowles were the Barnstaple scorers