Late heartbreak for Brixham as they lose out on cup
- Credit: AL MACPHEE
Brixham Town experienced late heartbreak at Coach Road on Saturday as a Daniel Koita goal five minutes from time saw them lose out 2-1 to North Devon side Witheridge Reserves in the final of the A&S Paving Devon Intermediate Cup.
After a hesitant start by both sides, Witheridge opened the scoring half an hour in, Broom breaking through the defence on the right, dribbling into the box and then crossing to the far post for Joe Southcott to prod home.
It was the spark that the game needed with both teams raising their games and playing some decent football in the hot afternoon sun.
A minute before half-time, following a defensive clearance, Brixham's Josh Piper picked the ball up just outside the Witheridge box, turned and laid it off into the path of substitute Harry Chastney on the right who finished superbly to level the scores.
With both teams evenly matched, the game was heading for extra-time when Koita received the ball on the edge of the box and curled a delightful shot past Cameron Atkinson.
As Brixham prepared to mount a last ditch attempt to salvage the game in injury time, Koita picked up the ball in the Witheridge half, powered past a defender and was clattered by Atkinson on the edge of the area, leaving the referee with no option but to send him off.
Shortly after, the 100-year-old North Devon club were celebrating their first ever county cup, sportingly applauded by the Brixham players.
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It was a valiant effort by Brixham who played some entertaining, positive football and could easily have lifted the trophy on another day.
They will get another chance to take home some silverware when they take on Totnes and Dartington Reserves in this evening's Coast and Country Division Three final to be played at Buckfastleigh Rangers.
The penultimate TCS South Devon Football League cup took place at Bovey Tracey a night earlier with Ashburton taking on Galmpton United.
Callum Noyce has been scoring for fun for the Ashes this season and his early goal was the decider in this one.
As Galmpton were defending a corner, an Ashburton player went down in the box and the referee pointed to the spot, leaving the Greens incensed at the decision and facing an uphill challenge as Noyce made up for his semi-final penalty miss by hitting the back of the net.
Galmpton came close to an equaliser on 21 minutes, Richard Whitman hitting the crossbar but both sides lacked a clinical edge and the goalkeepers were rarely troubled.
One exception was in stoppage time in the first half when Warren Hogg pulled off a smart save from Damien Francis-Furnival who was through on goal.
Francis-Furnival had another chance to double the Ashes' lead on 54 minutes, hitting the side netting after racing clear again, while goalkeeper Lee Davis was forced into showing off his footwork after coming under pressure following a dangerous Galmpton counter-attack.
Callum Nightingale then fashioned himself a chance just after the hour mark, dribbling in purposefully from the left but unable to get his shot on target.
Both sides missed headed chances from free-kicks before Galmpton's Sam Massey evaded two tackles on the left to earn himself a shot at goal, only to be foiled by the recovering full-back and Davis.
Both goalkeepers played very well when called into action and Hogg and Davis both pulled off important saves in the last 15 minutes and both picked up knocks for their efforts.
Tom Arnold had Ashburton's last chance of the game, his low shot saved by Hogg with four minutes remaining. Davis then rose commandingly to pluck a last-minute hoisted ball from the Greens from the air.