AS cup slip-ups go, they don't come much bigger than the banana skin dished out by plucky Pilton Academicals Reserves on Saturday. Bottom of Intermediate Two in the North Devon League on minus two points, the Academicals travelled to promotion-chasing Buc
AS cup slip-ups go, they don't come much bigger than the banana skin dished out by plucky Pilton Academicals Reserves on Saturday.Bottom of Intermediate Two in the North Devon League on minus two points, the Academicals travelled to promotion-chasing Buckland Brewer for their first round NDJ League Cup fixture.Well and truly up for the cup, they ran out 3-1 winners thanks to an own-goal and strikes by Steven Beer and Mike Gammon.Steven Bennett was the only scorer for Buckland There were also upsets in the Premier's Brayford Cup. Georgeham made the short trip to Lobb Field, Braunton, and held firm to record an impressive 2-0 victory. The home side just edged a scrappy first half hour, forcing good saves from Georgeham's John Higgs, who saw a number of palmed efforts fall to safety off either post. Higgs' defence did well to soak up pressure that eventually took its toll on the match ball which at one stage burst under pressure during a goal-line clearance! But it was a fine footballing move at the other end of the field that eventually broke the deadlock with seven minutes to go until the half-time break. Mike Biggs latched onto a good through ball to fire low to the keeper's right.After half-time, Biggs added a second to set the Hammers up with an interesting second round tie with the Stags of North Molton on February 2.Fellow Premier league high-fliers Combe Martin also fell at the first hurdle in this year's competition. Visitors to Hollands Park, Barnstaple Ammies, put two past Combe before half-time, prompting manager Chris Wilton to read the riot act during the interval."We just didn't turn up," he told the Gazette. "We started badly and got worse and worse. "We tried to run the ball into the mud instead of letting it do the work. It would have been no surprise if we'd have lost the game by double figures."It didn't end quite that badly for Wilton's men. Ammies' Scott Sharpe added to his first half double to crown a hat-trick soon after the break. Midfielder Graham Coomber notched a consolation for the home side with about five minutes left to play.Deputising Ammies' goalie Lee Cole and centre half Kriss Boreham stood out at the back, while the centre forward pairing of Sharpe and Ollie James were a constant threat to Combe. Also in the cup, North Molton continued an impressive run of form of late with a double 8-1 trouncing of Dolton at the weekend. Saturday's Brayford Cup win at Rock Field came courtesy of goals by Dean Plummer (2), Tom Marsh, John Lloyd, Simon Loosemore, Rob Scott, Nick Jones and a Scott Bryant power strike from a third of away up the pitch. Dwayne Rothery (2), Tom Marsh (2), Rob Scott (2), Simon Loosmore and Dean Plummer paved they way for a Torridge Cup quarter final victory, away to the same side on Sunday.The news continues to look good for the Stags, who are busy readying their brand new pitch at Rock Field in time to host the Holman Cup semi finals and then the final on Easter Monday. The new facility, complete with floodlights, is thought to be the same size as Tiverton Town's pitch and has been completely levelled out, with up to 14 feet of earth dug away from the top corner. The club, which owns 14 acres of land that includes two football pitches, a children's pitch, cricket pitch, sports hall and car park, continues to go from strength to strength after an unsteady start as Premier Division newcomers."We had a lot of injuries early on but hopefully we can keep our recent run going and hold our position," said manager David Peters. "We have a tremendously fit side who know how to play at home. A mid-table finish would not be a bad result for our first season in the Premier."Also safely through to the next round of the Brayford Cup, Shamwickshire Rovers beat Putford 2-0 with a brace of goals by Kevin Buck, the first on 20 minutes, and the last, five 5 minutes from time. Shammy will play Bradworthy at home in the next round.Appledore Reserves battled hard to win their cup derby with Northam Lions 5-3, while Bradworthy beat Morwenstow 3-1 in the cup's other derby game.In the Senior Division's Combe Martin Cup, Shamwickshire Reserves took Braunton Reserves all the way as their Sunday afternoon fixture rolled into extra time at a very sticky Pollyfield. A penalty in the last minute of extra time made it 3-2, and set Braunton up with a round two tie against Bratton Fleming, who scored four in their win against High Bickington.Richard Essery, Jason Hammond, Joe Toop and Colin Welch were the scorers, but praise was also reserved for Bratton goalkeeper Daryl Spry, who put in an excellent display between the sticks to keep out a never-say-die High Bick, who came out battling in the second half despite being 2-0 down.The division's second-placed side Chittlehampton bowed out to Torrington, 3-1. Trevor May scored his first goal for Torrington since signing from Northam Lions, while the prolific Danny Jenkins notched his 21st goal of the season.Captain Davey Snead added the third for Torrie.In Intermediate One's Arlington Cup, Mark Pilbrow scored two in Shebbear United's 4-1 win over table neighbours Georgeham Reserves. Greg Mitchell and Matt Facey were also on the scoresheet.In the only other game played, Equalizers travelled to Bude and put in a great performance to run out 4-2 winners. Darren Floyde scored a right foot volley from a corner, while Andrew Parkouse converted from the spot. Substitute Damien Green came off the bench and made an instant impact and neatly chipped over the keeper after a good run down the left side. Lee Holding added the fourth for the Barnstaple side.New club Mortehoe passed their first test in the NDJ Cup, running out 3-1 winners against South Molton Reserves. Andy Woodman, Shaun Dyer and Jamie Duffield were the scorers for Mortehoe. South Molton had picked themselves up to level things on the half-hour mark after Mortehoe had taken the lead on 15 minutes. But the two quick-fire goals before half-time proved to be their undoing. A switch of formation from three to four at the back at half-time tidied things up at the back in part two, but there were no more goals in the locker to force a result.Wayne Jeffry (2), Tim Durbin and Steven Isaac were among the scorers in Anchor's straightforward 6-1 demolition of North Molton Thirds.James Bateman (2), Paul Gumbley, Daniel Larcombe and Gary Robinson were the goal scorers for Intermediate Two league leaders Torrington Reserves in their 5-0 away win at Chittlehampton Reserves. Theo Shell was the only scorer for Park United in their 1-0 win over Putford Reserves.In the weekend's only league fixture, Barnstaple Ammies Reserves held Senior Division league leaders Ilfracombe Town Reserves to a surprise 0-0 draw at Mill Road.