Buckland Athletic Overcome Ilfracombe Town in Throgmorton Champions Cup Final

Buckland Athletic Reserves 2 - 0 Ilfracombe Town - 4.08.17 - Throgmorton Champions Cup Final - Coach Road, Newton Abbot

South Devon took all the glory on Friday night at Coach Road, as Buckland Athletic Reserves overpowered Ilfracombe Town on the season’s curtain raiser cup final.

The winners of the WBW Solicitors South Devon League and the champions of the North Devon Gazette Football League competed for the Throgmorton Champions Cup at County HQ in Newton Abbot.

It’s a fixture which always holds extra excitement as we push closer to the start of the new 2017/18 season.
However, on this evening at Coach Road it was the South Devon side that lifted the trophy.

Ilfracombe Town started the brighter of the two teams, holding most of the possession during the early exchanges. Buckland keeper Paul Sharples was tested after 3 minutes, stopping a well hit shot from Ilfracombe’s Josh Philips.

Buckland failed to clear their lines and Nick Hayman conceded the first free kick of the game. Fortunately for Athletic, the free kick was not successful as Ilfracombe set a pattern of failing to make best use of their chances during the game.

The kick made no impact on the Buckland wall and the ball was cleared thanks to some robust tackling from Matt Beer, who played hard and created chances the entire game.

Buckland soon started applying pressure of their own, in the 7th minute Matt Beer delivered a sweet free kick into the Town penalty area where it connected with the head of Sam Dicken into the side netting. Dicken was offside but Athletic were starting to get into the game. 

After 10 minutes, Buckland no.9, Jordan Ewing, was substituted for James Colclough. A tough encounter had taken its first casualty.

Tackles were hard and the play stretched the length of the field.  The first 20 minutes didn’t produce a favourite to score first, both sides cleared their lies and found themselves on the attack rather frequently. In the 25th minute Buckland broke into Town’s half and laid siege to their goal for a good minute, eventually having it cleared and conceding a free kick which Ilfracombe were again unable to capitalise on.

A long cross into Town’s box produced a leaping header over Robert Holmes by Sam Dicken for a 1-0 lead to Buckland after 27 minutes. Simon Townsend tested Sharples a few minutes later and Town had the better of the next few minutes, their No. 9 Cassian Blackmore having a penalty appeal waved away by the referee.

It was a rough and ready first half, referee Ryan Hedges keeping control by having a few quiet words with the players, he didn’t need to go to his pocket until added time at the end of the first half when Buckland’s Lee Chapman conceded a free kick just inside his own half. Half time came with Buckland’s lead intact.

Both teams emerged for the second half unchanged. This time it was Buckland who started the brighter with some beautiful football down the wing and winning an early corner. Dexter Allsworth’s acrobatic effort was deflected away for another corner.

Ilfracombe cleared and ran the ball into Buckland’s half but were unable to capitalise on a free kick, which was easily dealt with. Ilfracombe began their quest for the equalising goal and kept the ball in Buckland’s half for the next few minutes. 
After an injury break for Lee Chapman, Ilfracombe won a throw in and made it into Buckland’s box. 

A looping cross to the far post had Paul Sharples and Simon Laughton scrambling to deal with it, and it was deflected onto the crossbar and back into the 18 yard box. Ilfracombe shouted for a penalty but referee Hedges was unmoved.

On 24 minutes Ilfracombe made their first change, No.6 Danny ball was replaced by no. 10 Tom Hannah to add to the attacking options up front. Two minutes later Ilfracombe’s Will Berry burst into Buckland’s half and looked very likely to score until he was downed just outside the penalty area by George Fice, who was sent off for the challenge. 

The extra man didn’t help Ilfracombe. There were periods of pressure on Buckland’s goal but a 90th minute breakout goal by Buckland sub James Colclough sealed a 2-0 victory for the South Devon side. 

Buckland’s Simon Laughton was named Man of The Match 

Match report courtesy of Mason Bell

Photos are courtesy of Miracle PR & Events Photography and can be found on their website. 

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