Combe Martin Strike At The Wright Time

Dan Wright's extra-time brace crowns Combe Martin cup winners

A & S Paving Devon Intermediate Cup Final

Combe Martin  3 – 2 Spreyton (AET)

Played at Coach Road, Newton Abbot 09/04/2019

This game didn’t really come to life until the last ten minutes when a free kick crossed in from the right found Spreyton’s Liam Ward six yards out, who coolly slotted past Combe Martin’s keeper Elliot Moore to give his team a deserved one-nil lead. Given the paucity of chances created during the game it seemed that that would be enough to win the match. However, with the clock ticking into added time, Combe Martin grabbed an equaliser to take the game into extra time, Blake Humphries heading in a corner from close range.

Combe Martin found their feet early but despite having the lions share of possession were only able to muster one attempt on the Spreyton goal, Daniel Wright, all alone eight yards out, blasting a pinpoint cross from Chay Isaac over the bar. Spreyton didn’t really pose much of a threat until the 22nd minute when Steve Kinsey headed a cross wide of Moore’s goal when he should at least have tested the keeper.

Combe were struggling to keep up their early pace and Spreyton were now on the front foot but unable to convert the chances they made. In the 24th minute Chris Down was clean through but shot wide with only Moore to beat. A minute later a free kick from Koehan King was flicked over the bar by Moore. Following the corner, the ball broke to Owen Gregory whose shot from the edge of the box went just wide of Moore’s left-hand post. There followed a period with little creativity and half time came with Spreyton on top but the score remaining at nil-nil.

Spreyton kicked off the second half with more control and with Ward sitting a little deeper, they started to find a way through the Combe defence. In the 50th minute Jamie Hatch found some space on the right and lashed a fierce shot against the crossbar. That was followed by a period of defensive dominance when little was created by either team until the 72nd minute when Combe’s David Coggin headed home a corner, only to have it ruled out for a push on the keeper.

Five minutes later Spreyton would have gone ahead were it not for Moore diving to his right to save from Steve Kinsey. With ten minutes left the pressure finally told and Ward put them one up, but that seem to spur Combe on and Humphries header levelled the scores. Four minutes of added time resulted in no further goals and extra time began with the score at one each.

Combe had got out of jail and with their raucous supporters cheering them on they at last took hold of the game. In the 103rd minute Daniel Wright drove a shot from twenty-five yards past Spreyton’s custodian, Chris Gunn-Hawking, who had had little to do in normal time. Then, in the second period of extra time it was Wright again who, in the 110th minute, following an advantage given by the referee after a foul on Adam Bryant, picked up the through ball and fired it across Gunn-Hawking into the far corner of the net.

Spreyton were not finished yet as, with two minutes left on the clock, Ward pulled one back heading in from close range following a melee in the Combe goalmouth. From the restart Spreyton went straight back onto the attack but an equaliser was not forthcoming, and Combe Martin went home to North Devon with the trophy.

Man of the Match - Liam Ward (Spreyton).

The next final is the Westward Developments Devon Women’s Senior Cup Final between Plymouth Argyle Ladies and Buckland Athletic Ladies at Coach Road, Newton Abbot on Friday 12th April, kicking off at 7.15pm.