Throgmorton Devon Premier Cup Final
Bovey Tracey 5 – 4 Torridgeside
Played at Coach Road, Newton Abbot 02/05/2019
These two teams, who are riding high in the South West Peninsular League East Division. shared nine goals between them in an entertaining and sometimes robust final in front of over 300 spectators at Coach Road. It was Bovey Tracey who eventually came out on top courtesy of two penalties converted by Ryan Batley and goals from Sean Finch, Ciaran Bridger and Lewis Perring.
Bovey made the early running and might have gone ahead in the fifth minute as Perring raced down the left and fired in a shot which flew just wide from the angle of the penalty area. Five minutes later they got their first goal, Finch getting on the end of a pinpoint cross from Gavin Collins to head home from six yards to give Bovey a lead their attacking play deserved.
Forced to defend for long periods Torridgeside almost got an equaliser in the 17th minute as a long clearance from goalkeeper Josh Phillips landed at the feet of Brian Levein. He raced into box and shot towards goal only to see Bovey centre back Owen Stockton get back to clear. In the 21st minute Collins could have put Bovey two up but his chop to the far post curled just wide.
Torridgeside started to get more of the ball to their front men and in the 27th minute were level, Sam Fishwick pouncing on a poor clearance to fire the loose ball into the net from 12 yards. Parity was short lived however as a minute later Finch was brought down in the box by a clumsy challenge and Batley fired home the resultant penalty to restore Bovey’s lead, a lead they only held for five minutes as Torridgeside poured forward onto the attack.
The second equaliser came from the head of Neil Bettis who, in the 33rd minute, rose unchallenged at the far post to nod home an inswinging corner from Shaun Copp. Six minutes later Torridgeside were ahead, a low cross from Kyle Paine down the right found Fishwick who coolly slotted his second to put his side in front at half time.
Bovey started the second half on the front foot, in the 47th minute Bridger testing Phillips with a 15-yard shot that he managed to turn aside. On the hour mark Phillips was tested again dealing well with a 30-yard free kick from Batley. Torridgeside were managing to hold on to their lead without too much difficulty and some spicy challenges from both sides were testing the patience of referee Tracy Ford, the first female official to take the middle in the Devon Premier Cup final.
With twenty minutes left there was a turning point in the game when Levein, who was on a yellow card from the first half, needlessly kicked the ball away following a free kick awarded against him and was sent off. The ten men of Torridgeside battled on bravely but Bovey were soon able to exploit the extra man and equalised in the 78th minute, Bridger driving a loose ball across Phillips into the far corner.
Bovey were well on top now but couldn’t find the finish that would win the match. Mani Skett, on for Collins, had the best chance as, in the final minute, he raced clear to drive a left foot shot towards the near post where Phillips, diving full length, managed to push the shot onto the post and out of play before colliding with the post himself. After lengthy treatment he was able to continue, and the referee blew for full time with the scores tied at three each.
The game went into extra time and Bovey were first to show, Perring putting them ahead in the 98th minute with a left foot drive into the to corner that gave Phillips no chance. Five minutes later they should have killed the game off, Josh Moore clean through 8 yards out putting his effort over the bar. The fifth goal wasn’t long coming however as Finch was again brought down as he raced into the box, Batley converting the resultant penalty in the 105th minute.
In the 114th minute Torridgeside got a goal back, Copp curling a wonderful 25-yard free kick into the top corner, giving Bovey custodian Josh Nicol no chance. With a minute left Fishwick was found unmarked on the edge of the box but the sting was taken out of his shot and Nicol saved comfortably. That was the last action of the match, referee Ford bringing a sometimes feisty but entertaining match to its conclusion with Bovey Tracey victors by five goals to four.
Man of the Match - Lewis Perring (Bovey Tracey)
The next final is on Friday 3rd May when the Sportlighting Under 15 Boys Cup Final between Alphington Youth and Galmpton United Youth will be kicking off at Coach Road at 7.15pm.