FA County Youth Cup 1st Round
London FA 2 – 6 Devon
Played at Bromley FC, 27/10/19
Devon got off to a tremendous start in this FA County Youth Cup match, played in bright sunshine on the artificial 3G pitch at Bromley, and were almost out of sight as early as the 11th minute when they went 3 goals up, giving the London FA lads a mountain to climb.
Ollie Holman (Exmouth Town) had almost put Devon in front in the first minute with a low shot that was inches wide of the post. He didn’t have to wait long to register though as, in the 3rd minute, he was able to take advantage of a mix up in the London defence, stroking the ball past the onrushing London keeper to give Devon an early lead.
In the 10th minute Devon went two up as London’s keeper could only help a free kick from Jacob Evans (Torquay United Youth) into his own net. A minute later it was three, Evans again firing home to complete his brace.
London almost got back in to the game in the 13th minute, a rasping shot from Liam Destefanis crashing against the Devon bar and away. Devon were not fazed and kept on the front foot throughout, Mani Skett (Bovey Tracey) and Owen Raven (Lakeside Athletic) linking up well and being a constant thorn in the side of the London defence.
In the 36th minute Skett had a chance to score Devon’s 4th goal when he was found one on one with the London keeper who saved well. Devon were not to be denied however as, right on half time, Skett ghosted past two defenders to set Raven up with a tap in. So, Devon went in for the half time break having basically killed off the game as a contest.
Having made three substitutions at half time London started the second half on the front foot but Devon soon got on top again. In the 50th minute Cole Harford (Torquay Academy) put Skett through and he capped a fine performance by gleefully hammering his shot into the top far corner of the net to take the Devon lead to five without reply.
In the 73rd minute London at last got a goal back from the penalty spot which was clearly going to be little more than a consolation as five minutes later Devon got a sixth. Ryan White (Elmore), on as a substitute for Holman, smashes the bar with a 30 yard shot, the rebound being picked up by Josh Parry (Torquay Academy) who crosses for his Academy team mate Matt Roberts to coolly slot home.
Game over one would think but no. As so often happens when team scores London went straight up the other end to score a second. With 11 minutes left plus added time Devon could not afford to take their opposition lightly but with Luis Edmundson (Buckland Athletic) and Captain Matt Wood (Elmore) keeping things tight at the back there were no more scares.
Devon’s reward for this emphatic victory is a home tie against either Middlesex or Berks & Bucks in the second round.
Player of the Match – Mani Skett (Devon)
Report written by Dennis Smith - Devon FA.