Sportslighting Devon Under 15 Boys Cup Final
Alphington Youth 3 - 1 Galmpton United Youth
Played at Coach Road, Newton Abbot 03/05/2019
Following a frantic first half which ended with Alphington leading by two goals to one, it was a brilliant run and shot from substitute Daniel Otieno that lit up the second half and made the game safe for his team. The description ‘a game of two halves’ could not have had a better example than this game.
Alphington had the better of the first half in what was a completely open contest with both teams constantly attacking almost at will. William Endicott for Alphington stood out in the centre of their midfield winning the ball back on numerous occasions and spraying passes to the wide men and, with Liam Saunders constantly finding space up front, it seemed that a goal fest might be on the cards.
In the first ten minutes both goalkeepers had performed miracles to keep out scoring chances. First it was Galmpton’s Josh Choat saving with his feet to deny Charlie Way and at the other end it took a full-length dive from Alphington’s custodian Matt Kropkrascki to keep out a fierce drive from Reece Shaw. There was nothing Choat could do however, to prevent Alphington taking the lead as, in the 10th minute, Saunders was left alone in the six-yard box to benefit from poor defending and tap in the simplest of goals. Saunders could easily have completed a hat-trick in the next five minutes as a shot from the edge of the box was well saved by Choat and in the 14th minute he hit his shot from ten yards straight at the Galmpton keeper.
Alphington were to rue those missed chances as a minute later Galmpton caught them on the break. Alfie Slough raced down the left and his powerful shot was beaten out by Kropkrascki straight to Jack Thomson who gave him no chance into the far corner. The Alphington boys got the message and poured on the power, Alex Cherry and Chris Mahon both testing Choat in a five-minute spell of all out attacking play. In the midst of all this Thomson broke free at the other but shot just over from the edge of the box. A goal for Galmpton then might have made all the difference but it was, somewhat inevitably, Alphington that scored next as, with three minutes to go to half time, Joe Howell headed in an excellent curling free kick from Endacott wide on the left, making the score at the interval two one to the Alphas.
Whether it was the raft of substitutions causing the breakup of play but neither team appeared able to settle in to any sort of rhythm in a second half that was the complete opposite of the first. There was a chance for Saunders in the 54th minute that Choat dealt with comfortably but that was all there was to report until, with 17 minutes to go, Otieno left his mark. Intercepting a pass wide on the left at the half way line he raced towards goal leaving several defenders in his wake before rifling his shot across Choat into the far corner of the net.
Despite their best efforts in the last quarter Galmpton were unable to break through and, with score at three – one the referee blew the final whistle to make Alphington deserved winners of the Devon Under 15s County Cup final.
Star player - Alfie Collings (Galmpton United Youth)
The next final will be the Graddon Vending Under 14 boy’s final between Heavitree Youth and Marine Academy Plymouth Junior at Coach Road Newton Abbot on Tuesday 7th May, kick off 7.15pm.