Wotton Printers Devon Under 16 Boys Cup Final
Elburton Villa Junior 0 - 0 Dawlish Town Youth
(Dawlish won 4-3 on penalties)
Played at Coach Road, Newton Abbot 16/04/2023
This entertaining match ended with no score and the destination of the Cup had to be decided by kicks from the penalty spot where Robbie Terry, the Dawlish goalkeeper, who was the principle reason for there being no score, came into his own again, saving penalties from Elburton’s Nick Salop and Jayden White.
Elburton kicked off towards their own goal, but the forward ball that followed was immediately picked up by the Dawlish defence who sent Noah Hitchmough scampering down the right wing. He was unfairly challenged and from the resulting free kick, which Elburton only cleared to the edge of their penalty area. Ben Mitchell for Dawlish, pounced on the loose ball, beat two defenders to smash his shot against the angle of post a crossbar from the corner of the six yard box. A really positive start for Dawlish who were taking charge in the early minutes and pinning Elburton back in their own half.
It was six minutes before we saw anything of Elburton as an attacking force as Dawlish harried and chased down every ball. However, having kept their goal intact Elburton started to push forward and, in the 7th minute Terry was called upon for the first time. Sam Travers took control of a loose ball in midfield and set Riley Crawford away down the right. His cross-field pass found Jayden White racing in from the left, but he was unable get his shot away cleanly and Terry saved at the second attempt.
A minute later Crawford was free again, but as Terry came out to close him down, he fired his shot into the side netting - a real let-off for Dawlish there.
Elburton had found their feet and started to give the Dawlish defence all sorts of problems. Crawford was becoming ever more dangerous as he was finding plenty of space down the right and in the 17th minute he cut inside and again found White coming in from the left. As he raced into the box he was fouled by the Dawlish captain, Riley Grieg-Way, and referee Mark Walker had no hesitation in awarding the penalty. White stepped up to take the kick which was well saved by Terry diving to his left.
Three minutes later White had the chance to redeem himself as he cut inside the box but pulled his shot just wide of the near post. Elburton seemed to have got control in midfield and where, in the 24th minute, Teddy Hobbs found Travers who move the ball on to Jude Holmes. His ball down the line was played back by Crawford for Holmes who blasted his shot over the bar.
Dawlish were leaving gaps at the back but were determined to push forward, Grieg-Way, Jenson Phillips and Ben Mitchell doing their best to break up play and get the ball forward but, the final ball into the box was not of the quality to trouble the Elburton defence. In the 33rd minute Crawford, yet again, found White with a through ball. He raced into the box a drew a brilliant save from Terry.
In the 39th minute Dawlish had their first corner, Zak Khadaroo flicking the inswinging cross just past the near post from close range. From the goal kick the ball was eventually cleared to White who found Crawford bearing down on Terry who raced out of his goal to bravely take the ball off his toes.
The second half started with Elburton on the front foot, but they were unable to break through a resolute Dawlish defence.
With two minutes of the half gone Dawlish Mitchell had a good chance to put his team ahead but his shot from the edge of the box just cleared the top corner of Jack Bamford’s goal. In the 49th minute Bamford was put to the test, having to push away an excellent free kick from Khadaroo, Mitchell only being able to return a shot into the side netting.
During next ten minutes Terry was tested three times and he certainly rose to the challenge, saving from Crawford twice, in the 58th and 60th minutes and the best save coming a minute later. Crawford, braking down the Dawlish right, sent a low cross into the six yard box which was volleyed towards the goal by Charlie Annear, who had just replaced Holmes, Terry brilliantly taking the ball out of the air before it crossed the line.
That was the save of the game and although both keepers were called into action neither team were able to create the clear cut opening that would win the match. The nearest either team came to breaking the deadlock fell to Elburton as White raced towards the six yard box with the ball at his feet. Terry came to meet him and just managed to take enough power off the shot to allow Harry Hitchnough to clear off the line.
Dawlish having just had that piece of good fortune grew in confidence and although they pressed for the remainder of game they were unable to breakdown a resolute Elburton back line and so the game went to penalties where Dawlish eventually came out on top.
Player of the Match - Robbie Terry (Dawlish)
Written by Dennis Smith