Elmore FC 3 - 2 Mount Gould FC
Played at Coach Road, Newton Abbot 12/08/18
Elmore FC had to dig deep to come out on top in this enthralling Throgmorton Champions Cup Final. The fact that they were down to 10 men from the 57th minute and reduced to 9 from the 83rd minute showed their desire to overcome a strong Mount Gould team from the Plymouth and West Devon Combination League.
Elmore, champions of the Devon and Exeter League, were the clear favourites, having disposed of the South Devon League champions Ashburton 5 – 1 in the first semi-final whereas Mount Gould struggled to a 1 – 0 semi-final victory over North Devon League representatives, North Molton.
Following an uneventful start Elmore drew first blood in the 7th minute when an unmarked Matt Harvey headed home a cross from the left leaving Mount Gould keeper Terry Pelley well beaten. They should have gone two up when Jamie Mudge latched onto a corner from the right but inexplicably blasted his shot from six yards over the bar. Kieran Rapo thought he had doubled the lead when, on 15 minutes, he poked home a cross from the left only to have his celebration cut short by the linesman flagging for offside.
Mount Gould started to force their way back into the game and should have equalised in the 25th minute when Bailey Mabin was put through one on one with Aidan Barrett in the Elmore goal who raced out to block.
In the 33rd minute Elmore had their chance to go two up when Jesse Howe was brought down by a clumsy tackle in the box. The referee pointed to the spot and up stepped Isaac Furness to place his spot kick wide of Pelley’s right-hand post.
Elmore were clearly disturbed having missed that chance and Mount Gould’s Dene MacMillan made them pay, racing up the left wing to cut inside and smash his shot inside the near post, giving Barrett no chance.
Mount Gould were coming on strong as could be evidenced by the number of yellow cards but nevertheless they deservedly went ahead in the 38th minute when Mabin, taking advantage of a lack of communication in the Elmore defence, slotted home from an acute angle just inside the penalty area.
The game was wide open now, but no further chances were created, and half time came with the score a surprising 2 – 1 to Mount Gould.
The second half began with Elmore seeking to get back on top and in the 52nd minute Mudge hit a powerful drive wide when he should at least have tested Pelley. Five minutes later Elmore were down to ten men as referee Anstice deemed a badly mis-timed tackle by Ashton Hewitt on Gould’s Danny Brook to be a straight red card offence. The sending off seemed to galvanise Elmore and within a minute of play restarting Mudge had a clever chip to the far post well saved.
As the second half reached the halfway stage substitutions came into play and on 65 minutes, Luke Mortimore, on for Mudge, saw his powerful shot from the edge of the box well saved by Pelley, pushing the ball over the bar at full stretch for a corner.
In the 72nd minute Mount Gould should have wrapped up the game when MacMillan was put clean through only to be denied by the onrushing Barrett.
Although down to ten men Elmore continued to attack with purpose and the equaliser, when it came, would have graced any game, Jordan Bastin cutting in from the right on 77 minutes, and blasting a left foot shot into the far corner from 25 yards, giving Pelley no chance.
Two minutes later Elmore restored their one goal advantage when Mike Humphreys, on for Tom Tricker, headed in from a corner. Whilst he had given Elmore the lead his visit to the pitch was short lived as, in the 83rd minute he found himself in a tussle with Mabin in his own penalty. Mabin went to ground, the referee deemed that Humphreys had denied a goal scoring opportunity and sent him off. The resulting penalty kick was blasted over the bar by Matty Hawes.
With six minutes left and down to nine men Elmore hung on to see the game out. Mount Gould’s James Alexander had a shot well saved in the 2nd minute of added time and in the 4th minute of added time Brook was sent off.
The last action, in the 5th minute of added time, saw Elmore having to defend a corner with Pelley coming up to add weight to his team’s attack. All to no avail however as Elmore were able to see out this final threat to win the game and step forward to collect the trophy from the sponsor, Carl Throgmorton.
Man of the Match - Jordan Bastin (Elmore FC)