Penalty Glory For Lakeside Veterans

Lakeside Athletic Veterans beat Beer Veterans on Sunday to win the Scott Richards Solicitors Devon Veterans Cup

Scott Richards Solicitors Devon Veterans Cup Final

Beer Albion Veterans      2 (1) - 2 (4)   Lakeside Athletic Veterans

Played at Coach Road, Newton Abbot 06/09/2020

Two goals from Richard Walker for Beer and singles from Mark Berry and Mark Conday for Lakeside ensured that the destination of the Veterans Cup had to be decided by kicks from the Penalty spot.

Beer Albion kicked off this Veterans final, held over from the spring due to Coronavirus restrictions, but Lakeside soon took control on the new 3G at Coach Road.

As early as the 10th minute Lakeside should have gone ahead. Mark Berry took down a cross floated in from the left and the ball broke to Mark Conday whose shot from 8 yards was deflect wide by a sharp challenge from Dom Tait. Three minutes later Bradley Yeo had a good chance inside the box but sliced wide when he really should have done better.

The game was turning into a battle for midfield supremacy which looked to be going the way of Lakeside and in the 25th minute the deadlock was broken. Beer gave away a sloppy free-kick just on the outside of their penalty area, and up stepped midfielder Mark Berry to try his luck. With everybody expecting Berry to aim for the far top left hand corner of the goal he changed his mind and hit a low drive to the same area. The ball somehow managed to crawl through the body of Jones in the Beer goal to give Lakeside the lead.

Falling behind seemed to put a spark into Beer and just four minutes later when pressing, they were awarded a penalty for handball. Up stepped former pro Richard Walker who calmly slotted the ball home for 1-1.

Straight from the kick-off Lakeside gave the ball away and within seconds the ball ran loose to Walker who, 35 yards out, noticed keeper, Matt England had drifted away from his goal and lofted the ball over his head into the empty goal. Such a special goal and great thinking by Walker, to turn the game on its head and give Beer a 2-1 lead.

They might have gone 3 – 1 up two minutes later as Asa Sandman raced down the right, cut through the Lakeside defence, and fired in a cross cum shot that keeper Matt England did well to turn around his near post.

With 12 minutes of the half remaining Walker had too much to say to the referee and found himself in the sin bin for 10 minutes leaving his team down to ten men.

In the 35th minute Wayne Powney had a great chance to equalise, when he got on the end of a cross from J Dawe but was denied by a great save from Beer custodian Steve Jones. Two minutes later Conday was put through one on one but denied by a great tackle from Mike Wheeler.

Despite fierce pressure from Lakeside the Beer defence held firm and the referee drew a fantastic first half to a close with the score remaining at 2 – 1.

Lakeside went straight onto the attack from the restart and won a free kick just outside the box, Lee Bevan floating a left foot cross in that just eluded Wayne Hillson at the far post. Steve Jones, in the Beer goal, who picked up an injury dealing with a corner at the end of the first half was clearly struggling with his mobility, which became clearer in the 51st minute when, Bevan played in yet another free towards the back post. The ball fell to Conday who poked home the equaliser from close range, beating a diving Jones who clearly aggravated the injury. He was replaced by Mike Hancock, who took over the gloves with Adrian Pyle coming off the bench to replace him.

Hancock was called into action almost immediately, diving at the feet of Yeo to prevent Lakeside taking the lead. He was called upon twice more just after the hour mark when firstly, in the 64th minute, denying Condon at the near post and then, following an excellent move down the left, Powney giving a reverse pass to Paul Baker who put his cross in to Condon, who was again denied from close range.

Despite liberal use of the rolling substitute system both teams were clearly tiring, and few clear cut chances were being created save for, in the 82nd minute, Walker fluffed his hat trick opportunity. Sandman cut in from the right and pulled his low cross back to Walker, six yards out, whose shot to the near post was well saved by England. And so, the game moved inexorably to the penalty shoot-out where Lakeside prevailed by 4 goals to 1.

Man of the Match - Matt England (Lakeside Athletic)