Goalkeeper scores in shoot-out - before saving final penalty

Torbay Weekly

Torbay sides Barton Athletic and Brixham AFC Reserves will get their respective TCS South Devon Football League Premier Division campaigns underway on Saturday with home ties against tough opponents.

While Brixham host last year's Manor Building Company Premier Division Cup runners-up Watts Blake Bearne, Barton take on an East Allington United side that has already lifted some silverware.

The Pirates clinched the TCS SDFL Charity Shield last Friday night after late penalty drama at Totnes and Dartington’s Foxhole ground.

The game went down to the wire with the Pirates beating Meadowbrook Athletic 6-5 on sudden death penalties following a goalless 90 minutes.

The hero of the night was veteran East Allington goalkeeper Richard Teague who made a surprise start and ended up scoring in the shootout before saving the decisive penalty.

Wearing a fluorescent yellow jersey, Teague foreshadowed the role he was going to play in the game.

He was also the brightest part of a dull first half with most chances coming from corners.

Meadowbrook comfortably won the corner count but failed to deliver much to trouble Teague and captain Dan Hurrell who competently dealt with anything that resembled a chance.

The only other player who looked likely to do any damage was Brook’s Ben Bowhay. He had the best effort of the half, forcing Teague into a smart save with a shot from the edge of the area.

After the break it was a different story with East Allington orchestrating the better chances, including hitting the crossbar, in a much more entertaining half.

Meadowbrook did look dangerous on the counter though, bolstered as they were by the introduction of experienced journeyman Luke Durham.

The Pirates had their best chance to go in front on 71 minutes when Finley Bullen was felled in the box.

Bullen took the penalty himself but Dave Carroll, the experienced former Totnes and Dartington goalkeeper, beat his effort away and Fin Watson was wide with the follow up.

With seven minutes remaining there was a huge shout from East Allington when Carroll leapt to claim the ball, fell backwards and was forced to hurl the ball away from his goal.

The Pirates were convinced the ball had crossed the line but with no goal line technology to fall back on, the referee waved away the goal appeals.

And while there was no VAR to consult either, the East Allington bench were eager for their club photographer to review her video footage!

With light fading, penalties followed straight after the 90 minutes were up.

If Bullen was nervous about taking the first spot kick, it didn’t show as he confidently dispatched his shot past Carroll to open the scoring.

Bowhay hit an equally confident shot to get Brook off the mark.

Goalkeepers taking penalties are now a common sight in football matches but it is still rare to have both ‘keepers trading spot kicks.

At three apiece, up stepped Teague for East Allington and despite Carroll getting both hands to the ball, the power of the shot beat him.

Carroll is no stranger to penalty taking himself but when the roles were reversed, he saw his shot beaten away by his opposite number.

However, Teague had moved off his line and Carroll made certain to level the scores again after the re-take.

After Durham tucked away Brook’s fifth penalty it was down to sudden death.

East Allington scored before Teague pulled off a great save to round off the match - possibly his last for the club - in perfect fashion.

“The first half was a bit scrappy in places, I think we were a bit slow out of the gates,” said East Allington manager Luke Harvey.

“Second half, I said we just needed to slow the tempo down, get hold of the ball and start playing it around. When we started doing that we took control of the game.

“Our second half performance was brilliant and they fully deserved to win. I think we should have finished it off in the 90 minutes but there you go, we didn't.

“I never had a doubt about Fin. Even when he’s missed one, he’s one of those strikers where it’s like water off a duck’s back. He scores us 30 goals a season so you never have to worry about that. He’s got guts and to stand up and take the first penalty, I’m proud of him for that.

“I didn’t know (Richard Teague) was going to play until a couple of days ago. I thought it was going to be tight and when he put himself forward I thought to myself that, if it goes to penalties, I’m going to need a goalkeeper with that kind of experience.

“He’s been a great servant to the club and it’s just fitting that, with this potentially being his last game, he’s come away with some silverware."

There was also one game played the following day with Tom Weymouth scoring twice for Buckfastleigh Rangers in their opening TCS South Devon Football League Premier Division game away at Ivybridge Town Reserves. Josh Zimmerman also scored for Rangers in a 3-1 victory.

The rest of the league gets underway this Saturday.