THERE were two penalty shoot-outs in the opening rounds of the North Devon Football League cup competitions. Woolsery came through 7-6 on spotkicks after drawing 2-2 at the end of extra time at home to High Bickington in the Intermediate One Arlington Cup
THERE were two penalty shoot-outs in the opening rounds of the North Devon Football League cup competitions.Woolsery came through 7-6 on spotkicks after drawing 2-2 at the end of extra time at home to High Bickington in the Intermediate One Arlington CupPutford Reserves and North Molton 3rds were in a 3-3 stalemate after 120 minutes of Intermediate Two North Devon Journal Cup action and were only parted when Putford came through a shoot-out 5-4 ahead.First for ClovellyBut even this excitement could not match the rapture at Clovelly, who saved their first win of the season for the cup, winning a thriller of a Senior Division Combe Martin Cup tie at home to Northam Lions by the odd goal of seven.Manager Edward Johns had shuffled his bottom-of-the-table squad around in the hope of changing their fortunes and afterwards praised his players for sticking to their task. They were rewarded with goals by Tom Forrester, Keiran Vanstone (2) and Nick Brazier to earn the "much overdue" first win, although the Lions stayed in the hunt throughout, with the help of two penalties.The Premier Division Brayford Cup brought some good wins by underdogs, including the 1-0 success of 12th-placed Georgeham over fifth-placed Shamwickshire. In a tough battle in the wind and conditions it was a Dave Newsom goal that proved the decider, volleyed in from 20 yards after 10 minutes.Tenth-placed Torridgeside also took a good scalp, beating fourth-placed Combe Martin 2-1. Combe started well when Daniel Bell scored after only seven minutes. Torridgeside equalized on 14 minutes and the scores remained level at half-time, despite both teams having several near misses. The stalemate was broken by a second-half winner direct from a corner by a young and speedy Torridgeside, who always kept Combe on their toes.Appledore Reserves beat Barnstaple Ammies - three places above them in the league in third place - by a 4-3 margin.Second-placed Ilfracombe Reserves had to work hard before overcoming lowly Morwenstow 3-2. Putford enjoyed double cup celebrations, their first team adding to the Reserves' joy by winning 2-0 away to Dolton in the Brayford Cup. Braunton were 4-1 winners at home to North Molton and Bradworthy won 1-0 at Hartland.It was a disappointing cup double for Combe Martin as their Reserves also bowed out in the Combe Martin Cup competition. They were hit for six away to Pilton Academicals, their only reply coming from Daniel Brierley.Bideford Reserves' fine run came to an end when they fell at the first hurdle in the Combe Martin Cup, beaten 3-2 away to fellow Senior Division contenders Braunton Reserves. The young Robins struggled to adapt to the heavy conditions and had the worst possible start when hesitance between keeper and defence allowed their hosts to take the lead within a minute of the start. This knocked Bideford's confidence and they were on the back foot in the early stages.The Robins clawed back to level terms half way through the first half when Keen scored direct from a corner. With the game now a more even affair it looked like the sides would go in at the break level, but five minutes of stoppage time at the end of the half saw Braunton score twice. The first came when two Bideford defenders collided, giving Ali Bright in the Bideford goal no chance when the home striker was left clear, and the second came when the hosts were awarded a controversial penalty.With a two-goal gap Bideford had to push forward, leaving gaps at the back, and it was only a fine save by Bright that prevented Braunton from going further ahead. This lifted the Robins and they reduced the deficit when they were also awarded a controversial penalty, which top scorer Hector Christie dually converted. Bideford started to create chances and came close several times. They nearly forced extra time with the last attack, but with the goal at his mercy, substiutute Matt Cloak lost his footing in the mud.Dean's hat-trickDean Birchall hit a hat-trick and Ryan Issac a brace as South Molton stormed into the next round of the Combe Martin Cup with a 5-1 win at home to Kilkhampton.Birchall opened the scoring after 13 minutes and found the net again five minutes later to set Molton off to a flying start. Isaac lengthened the lead just before the break to establish a comfortable 3-0 half-time cushion.Kilk pulled one back shortly after the restart through an own goal, but Birchall widened the gap again by completing his hat-trick and Isaac finished off with another goal in the final minute.Senior Division leaders Torrington duly made Combe Martin Cup progress with a 2-0 win at home to Shebbear United.Bratton Fleming and Barnstaple Ammies Reserves had a seven-goal ding-dong before visiting Bratton went away winners 4-3.Intermediate One leaders Landkey made their expected progress in the Arlington Cup, winning 4-1 away to Braunton 3rds.But second-placed Torrington Reserves suffered a 4-2 setback away to mid-table Merton.Close rivals North Molton Reserves and Torrington Admirals, in third and fourth places respectively, battled their way through a nine-goal thriller which ended in the Admirals sailing off victorious 5-4.One goal also separated Park United and Equalizers, with Park making progress 3-2.Intermediate Two leaders Lynton left it late, but made North Devon Journal Cup progress with a 2-0 win at home to their closest rivals Buckland Brewer.For an hour the visitors looked to have control. They twice struck the woodwork with long-range shots in the opening half. A Dave Stanton chip beat the keeper only to hit the crossbar and stick in the mud on the goal-line. Minutes later a poor goal kick gave Simon Adams the opportunity to strike the keeper's kick directly back towards goal, only to strike the crossbar.On the hour, Adams powered down the wing and crossed into the goalmouth where the ball was met by Vinny Bott, but somehow his close-range went over the bar.But the tables then turned as Lynton counter attacked following the clearance of a Buckland free kick and a good run down the wing ended with the ball in the back of the Buckland net. And, in injury time, matters became worse for Buckland when Lynton made the match safe with with a second goal chipped in from 12yds.Ilfracombe 3rds were 2-1 winners away to South Molton Res, whose only goal came in the second half, from Graham Shapland.Bradworthy Reserves also go in to the next round after a 3-2 win at home to Pilton Reserves while Mortoehoe made comfortable progress with a 3-0 result at home to Northam Lions 3rds.