Elburton Villa Reserves are into the last 16 of the George Belli Cup following a dramatic extra-time winner against Torbay Clearance Services SDFL Premier Division leaders Brixham AFC Reserves.
Elburton kicked off just as the skies cleared and the wind dropped, and the large crowd enjoyed an entertaining cup tie.
In a game reminiscent of their league win at Wall Park, the Plymouth side took a two goal lead through Sam Lang and Bayley Williams. Lang scored in the first minute, which got everybody's attention, and the game was on. The first half action was end to end, with both teams threatening, but there were no further goals and the main talking point was a slide tackle and retaliation which led to a booking for either side.
Williams' goal came right after the restart, Brixham losing possession from the kick-off. The away team then piled on the pressure, but wasted chance after chance until the 80th minute, when an in-swinging corner eluded the Villa 'keeper. He dropped the ball right at the feet of a Brixham player who tapped it home. As the game entered the 90th minute, a Brixham winger broke away from the half-way line and put in a great cross for his team-mate to equalise and secure an extra 30 minutes.
Villa were then dealt another blow when the player booked in the first half was sent off for a second yellow card. But this spurred the home team on. As they launched a counter attack, substitute Scott Allen calmly put the ball past the out-coming 'keeper to put his side 3-2 in front. Brixham pushed and pushed but couldn't find a second equaliser, and it will be the home team in the hat for the next round. Incidentally, they meet again at Haye Road this week, in the league!
That game was one of only four that went ahead in the aftermath of Storm Eunice. Stoke Gabriel and Torbay Police Reserves became the first team to make the Herald Cup quarter-finals as they put seven past Broadhempston United without reply. Zac Norton scored twice for the Bees with Peter Andrews, Jack Cousins, Sam Healey, Gary Munday and Benn Russell completing the rout.
Nathan De'Ath stepped off the bench to score twice for Newton Rovers as they enjoyed a 6-3 victory at Barton Athletic Reserves. The win lifts Rovers above Babbacombe Corinthians and into third place in Division Two, although there is a large gap between them and the breakaway top two. Rovers' other goalscorers were Ben French, Adam Knight, Guney Uven and Nigel Vass.
It was a better outcome for Barton Athletic Thirds in Division Four, as they celebrated a
5-0 triumph over bottom club Discoveries Devon.
Saturday's action will feature a mixture of league and cup games, including most of the remaining Herald Cup Third Round ties. East Allington United host The Windmill at Poole Lane in an all-Premier clash; Kingsteignton Athletic, from Division One, entertain premier outfit Buckfastleigh Rangers and Division Two side Torquay Town aim to upset Premier Division Ivybridge Town Reserves.
Following their shock win over Galmpton United, Division Four leaders Bovey Tracey Reserves welcome Paignton Saints Reserves to Mill Marsh Park, while Watts Blake Bearne will be aiming to bounce back from recent defeats to beat Harbertonford at the Steve Jane Memorial ground. Ilsington Villa travel to fellow Division Two side Ipplepen Athletic Reserves in their bid to make the last eight.
As cup final season rapidly approaches, the South Devon Football league are seeking sponsorship for the Les Bishop (Division Four) and Fred Hewings (Reserve sides) cups, as well as match ball sponsorship. The league can be contacted via their website: sdfl.org.uk
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