Elmore AFC v Teignmouth AFC
By Steven Rice
Devon Premier Cup comes to Horsdon.
This weekend saw us welcome Teignmouth back to Horsdon Park for the 3rd time this season.
This time it was for a chance to get through to the next round of the Devon Premier Cup, and against last years winners of the competition.
Having already beaten and drawn with our visitors, we new that this would be a tough game against a physical hard working team.
The pitch was a little sticky on top after some heavy rain recently, and this didn’t help with the standard of game played, neither did some of the physical nature of the tackles that were on display during the game.
It started at a relatively good pace with both sides pushing to open their account with the first goal of the match, but it was the visitors who had slightly the better of the early pressure, as we struggled to find the same form that saw us win on Wednesday night.
On 18 minutes, a bad challenge from a Teignmouth player saw a brief melee break out. And after the referee regained control it resulted in 2 Teignmouth players and Daniel Tapp seeing red cards, and an early shower.
We did gain slightly more control after this, but our visitors were resolute in defence in the way they sat in with a low block, and made it very difficult for us to break down, which in turn we didn’t help ourselves with the lack of width we had at times to try and break them down with balls from width. Those balls that did come in early caused problems when we turned their defence before they could settle into a good shape, but unfortunately we could find the cutting edge to convert any chances created.
Teignmouth were still a threat, and when the opportunity arose for them to counter attack they went after it with gusto, and caused a few problems of their own around our defence, as our shape at times looked a little disorganised in the transition from attack.
As the half came to an end, both sides went in without being able to break the deadlock, and a physical and rather broken first half due to constant free kicks gave both teams a chance to regroup.
The second half started, and know doubt both teams still had intentions of being first on the score sheet, but with all the possession for both teams, again neither could break the deadlock.
We were taking more control of the game, but still lacked any early balls from wide to turn their defence before they could regain shape, and many efforts to penetrate through the middle area of the pitch saw us beaten back on a regular basis.
Chances were created, they came and went with corners and free kicks being whipped into our visitors area, but we couldn’t quite find the quality to finish as better quality crosses were now starting to find their targets better.
As the minutes ticked by, another good cross came in from wide, and this time on 87 minutes found its target, as Ashley Matthews recently on as a sub and playing up front in an unusual role for him, found himself out jumping his marker, and heading home into the corner of the net back in the direction of the cross.
Now 1-0 up with very little time left on the clock, it seemed that we would hold onto this with no further dramas.
Unfortunately the game had more twists, as Teignmouth’s Ben Ashford caught Aidan Barrett in goal with a late challenge, resulting in another red card seeing him getting his marching orders from the pitch and Teignmouth reduced to 8 players.
But their was one more twist to the game, as Jordan Casey foolishly used foul and abusive language at the ref, and resulted in him seeing a red card and receiving his marching orders with only seconds left in the game.
The final whistle came, and not the most entertaining game to watch, but the result is all that we needed to progress into the next round, and hopefully something we can build on as the run up to Christmas, yes Christmas, is now coming upon us.
Next week its back into league action as we travel to Liverton AFC with a 2.15pm kick off.
For those who may be interested in travelling to watch, directions are:
At the Tiago/Drumbridges exit of the A38 take the signs for Old Liverton, a quarter of a mile after the Star Inn, turn left, then next left into the ground.
Postcode: TQ12 6JF.
Hopefully we may see some support to cheer the lads on, all very much appreciated...