The Bluiebirds scored a last-minute winner to beat Equalizers 4-3
Ilfracombe Town Thirds completed an incredible second half comeback to get their hands on the Arlington Cup.
A last-minute goal from Sean Smith ensured the Bluebirds beat Equalizers 4-3 in Saturday evening’s final at Torrington’s Vicarage Field.
It was the first time Ilfracombe had been ahead over the course of the game, after battling back from 3-1 down.
Equalizers had raced ahead with goals from Steven Isaac, Josh Jarrett and Philip Murrey giving them the two goal cusion 10 minutes into the second half.
James Harker had scored for Ilfracombe just before half time.
It was Harker who began the comeback, making it 3-2 after tapping in.
Substitute Matthew Pudwell levelled things up with 10 minutes remaining when he poked the ball in amongst a goalmouth scramble.
Then in the final minute, Connor Davey’s cross was headed towards goal by David Slade for Smith to poke it home.
Manager Jordan Alcock said: “We went 2-0 down and I was thinking ‘here we go’.
“We managed to get back to 2-1, then they had what I thought was a very dubious penalty and I thought that was it.
“My lads were tremendous. Their fitness showed by going on to win the game.
“To get it in the last minute, I was absolutely delighted and I was for the squad.”
The cup win means Ilfracombe are on for a league and cup double in their first season in Intermediate One.
A crucial fixture in deciding the title race comes on Saturday, when the Bluebirds meet Braunton Thirds in a game of first-versus-second.
“At the start of the season I was quite worried with what was happening and I thought it was going to be a struggle,” Alcock said.
“As it’s gone on, we’ve got bigger and better and now we’re second in the league.”