It was a roller coaster weekend for Devon clubs involved in the FA Cup and more drama guaranteed on Saturday, when our County sides switch competitions to the FA Vase.
Tiverton Town progressed to the next stage of the FA Cup after a thrilling 3-2 victory at Burnham FC in Berkshire. Tivvy had to recover from a nightmare start, falling behind inside two minutes but River Allen kept his nerve from the penalty spot to level matters 10 minutes later.
Burnham went back in front midway through the second period and were looking at a possible upset before Tivvy rallied again, drawing level for a second time through Jared Lewington, and Allen scored his second on 80 minutes to set up a home tie with Bristol Manor Farm on September 21.
Tavistock needed two attempts to become the other Devon side to move forward to the second qualifying round of the FA Cup, winning 2-1 at Shepton Mallet and both goals coming from in-form striker Jack Crago.
It has been a brilliant start to the season for Crago, who also scored a double for the Lambs as they fought back from 3-1 draw to force the replay. Tavvy will now welcome Highworth Town in the next round after the Southern League outfit held off a valiant effort from Exmouth Town to win 4-2.
Along with Exmouth, last weekend proved to be the end of this season’s FA Cup journey for three other Devon clubs. Bideford went down 5-3 at Cinderford Town in a thrilling game, Willand Rovers produced a fine second-half display at home to North Leigh but eventually lost 2-1 and Plymouth Parkway were beaten by the only goal of the game at home to Southern Premier League side Merthyr Town.
Moving on to the FA Vase this weekend and eight Devon clubs are involved, starting with Tavistock travelling to Cheddar. While the Lambs play a division higher than their hosts on Saturday, Cheddar are a dangerous outfit, having won their opening four games in the Western League First Division.
It is another all-Western League tie for Exmouth Town, as they travel to Cadbury Heath, who sit five places below the Southern Road outfit in the Premier Division table. Three of the other ties will see Devon clubs from the Peninsula League East taking on Western League opponents.
Bovey Tracey have been outstanding so far this season, winning six of their seven games in the league and will fancy an upset at Radstock Town, while Ivybridge Town have found their form recently and can look forward to a visit from Roman Glass St George. Newton Abbot Spurs arguably face the toughest task from this group, as they travel to a dangerous Wells City.
In a reversal of the divisions, Buckland Athletic have a mouthwatering trip to a Cornwall powerhouse in Bodmin Town. The Bucks were showing better form recently but went down 4-0 to Bitton last weekend and Bodmin are always a very tough proposition.
The final fixture is an all-Devon affair between two teams from Peninsula football, as Cullompton Rangers travel to Sidmouth Town. Just four points separate the two sides in the league and it is sure to be a cracking game at Manstone Lane.
FA Vase Fixtures
Cheddar v Tavistock
Cadbury Heath v Exmouth Town
Radstock Town v Bovey Tracey
Ivybridge Town v Roman Glass St George
Sidmouth Town v Cullompton Rangers
Bodmin Town v Buckland Athletic
Wells City v Newton Abbot Spurs