The Windmill Fightback To Win Senior Cup

The Windmill came from behind twice to defeat Kentisbeare on penalties and win the Firewatch Devon Senior Cup Final

Firewatch Devon Senior Cup Final

Kentisbeare 2 – 2 The Windmill (AET)

(The Windmill win 4 – 2 on penalties)

Played at Coach Road, Newton Abbot 18/04/2019

Despite having lengthy spells of possession in both halves, neither team were able to break through their opponents’ defences in a furious first half where chances were created by both sides but, a combination of do or die defending and profligacy in front of goal meant that by half time neither goalkeeper had had much to do.

The best chance of the half must surely have been in the twelfth minute when Kentisbeare’s Luke Abrahams broke down the left of the Windmill defence to chip an inviting cross to the normally prolific Jake Searle who somehow manage to screw his header wide from five yards. Three minutes later it was Abrahams turn to miss the target, unmarked six yards out, putting his header from a corner over the Windmill crossbar.

The Windmill, grateful for those misses started to get into the game but wasted two chances in the space of a minute. First, in the 16th minute, a cross field pass from Alex Cox found Vinni Innis clean through on the left but he blazed his shot high and wide and then, in the 17th minute an inviting free kick to the far post from Brennan Moore was headed wide by Jason Bignell.

For the next 15 minutes Windmill poured on the power but were unable to make it tell. In the 21st minute Harrison Burton in the Kentisbeare goal was penalised for fielding a back pass in the area but Windmill failed to take advantage. Burton then had to deal with a left foot shot from Sam Doyle before saving point blank with his legs from Jackson Presland who, in the 32nd minute, got on the end off a pull back from Doyle. The clearance went straight to Searle who raced through the Windmill defence but blasted over.

Kentisbeare had ridden out the storm and with their captain Shane Myles starting to pull the strings from midfield began to get on top. They thought they had broken the deadlock when, in the 36th minute, Abrahams headed home a cross from Searle, but it was ruled out for offside – no VAR.

That was the last real action of the half and the two teams went into the break with neither defence having been breached.

The second half started much the same as the first with both sides probing for openings, the best falling to Presland in the 48th minute, his shot deflected for a corner.

Ten minutes into the half came the opening goal in what was turning out to be an enthralling open game, a Kentisbeare corner from the right flicked on at the near post for Searle to head home at close range.

In the 66th minute Windmill were level, Bignell lashing home after a goalmouth scramble following a corner. As the game progressed with both sides showing their attacking intent it was somewhat surprising that there hadn’t been more goals. That changed as the game drew to a close. In the 84th minute Kentisbeare’s Sam Tapp saw his shot brilliantly tipped over by the Windmill custodian, Steven France. Kentisbeare were not to be denied however as, from the resulting corner, Chris Hawkins headed home at the far post. Three minutes later Searle had the ball in the net only to have it disallowed for pushing.

The Windmill came back strongly and with the game about to go into added time they got the equaliser their constant pressure deserved, Presland heading home a cross from Doyle to send the Windmill support into raptures.

Four minutes of added time were played out and the game went into extra time where Searle had two good chances to win the game for Kentisbeare. In the 98th minute he was denied by a good save from France and then in the 108th minute blazed his shot over when put through one on one with France. Two minutes later there was a huge chance for Windmill substitute Lloyd Russell to cover himself in glory but his header from six yards was well saved by Burton.

And so to penalties, which proved to be a bit of a damp squid after the excitement the match. France saved the first penalty from Hawkins and Kentisbeare’s second penalty, taken by Searle, crashed against the bar and came down but didn’t cross the line. In the meantime, the Windmill spot kickers were going about their business giving Burton no chance with any of them. With the score at 3 – 2 in favour of Windmill, Russell smashes home their fourth spot kick to give his side victory.

Star player - Shane Fyles (Kentisbeare)

The next final is the Wotton Printers Devon Under 16 Boys Cup Final Cup, Alphington Youth v Blues South West at Coach Road on Tuesday 23th April kicking off at 7.15pm.