The Navy Inn Hold Their Nerve

The Navy Inn won a closely contested Sunday Senior Cup Final as they beat Headways on penalties

Stitch 3 Sixty Devon Senior Cup Final

The Navy Inn  2 – 2 Headways

(Navy Inn win 9 – 8 on penalties)

Played at Coach Road, Newton Abbot 12/05/2019

Following a hard-fought encounter in near perfect conditions at Coach Road it proved impossible to separate these two teams after 120 minutes of football, the final score being two goals apiece. For the supporters attending, the resultant penalty shoot-out had them on the edge of their seats, until Headways’ Charles Colman stepped up and saw the Navy custodian Luke Fletcher dive to his left to save and win the trophy for The Navy Inn.

In the opening five minutes both teams could have scored, Navy’s Travis Matthews hitting the post with a bicycle kick and Headways’ Nick Cotton forcing a good save at the other end before, in the fifth minute, Matt Slinger gave Headway the lead from the resultant corner, firing in off the crossbar from Nick Cotton’s headed pass.

Within two minutes Navy had wasted two good chances to draw level as Chris Wright shot just wide and Brett Cole hit a post having broken clear. Cleary, Navy Inn were missing their top scorer Ryan Richards out injured having racked up 42 goals this campaign. The Navy team got on top but profligacy in front of goal was costing them until the 38th minute, when Chris Wright struck a free kick to the top right corner from 22 yards to level the scores.

In the 40th minute Matt Slinger should have put Headways back in front but his header from a corner landed on top of the net. Two minutes later Wright was denied at the other end by a good save by Steve Smout in the Headways goal and so the half-time interval came with the scores tied at one goal apiece.

The second half started with both teams keeping it fairly tight as the Navy Inn continued to play out from the back but struggling to find a way through Headway’s five-man midfield. With 15 minutes left in the match Navy Inn completed the turnaround, Dane Hewings, completely unmarked getting on the end of a flighted free kick from the left to head home, giving Smout no chance.

Headways had their backs to the wall but, thanks to resolute defending, went into the last five minutes still believing they could get another goal to level the scores. In the 89th minute Navy’s Dane Fewings missed a good chance to put the game to bed and from the clearance Headways got their equaliser. The Navy didn’t clear their lines effectively and Jack Lee picked up the loose ball in midfield for Headways, drove forward and found Cotton who curled his shot into the far corner. Two each and the fourth official pits the board up showing six minutes of added time.

Both teams were tiring but Navy Inn pressed hard for a winner which was denied them when Jordan Hogan, with the last chance of the match, fired in an overhead kick which Smout, diving full length pushed past the post as the whistle blew for full time.

There followed 30 minutes of extra time during which few chances were created until, with five minutes left, Headway’s Danny Zanuck drew a good save from Fletcher. That was the last real chance before the lottery of kicks from the penalty spot were used to decide the match.

 Star Player - Dane Hewings (The Navy Inn)

The next final will be the Torbay Financial Services Girls Under 14 final between Crediton Youth and Plymouth Aspire Youth again at Coach Road on Thursday 16th May with a 7.15pm kick off.