Devon Premier Cup Quarter-Final
CREDITON 3 - BRAUNTON 1
CREDITON welcomed North Devon outfit Braunton to Lords Meadow on a snowy Saturday afternoon (February 11), for a Devon Premier Cup quarter final clash.
The pitch was just about playable after some overnight frost and a light scattering of the white stuff! Braunton arrived in superb form, having lost just one game all season!
Crediton reverted to the classic 4-4-2 formation and had a strong squad at their disposal after going several weeks with a depleted squad, with several players unavailable and injured.
Showing faith in his squad, gaffer Trenaman stuck with his cup ‘keeper Waring, after his heroics in the last round’s penalty shootout.
Riggs returned at centre-half following the arrival of his first child. McCann and Morish were deployed in wide midfield roles and Carpenter partnered Lee in the middle of the park.
Groom and Blake also formed a Crouch and Owen partnership up top. The bench looked extremely strong with the likes of Ord and Bilcock chomping at the bit.
Crediton started the game in sloppy fashion and struggled to get into their rhythm. Goss looked half asleep at the back although reports suggest he woke up five minutes before kick off!
Braunton should have taken the lead inside 10 minutes but Waring denied their No 9 after he failed to connect properly when through one-on-one!
After 20 minutes or so Crediton settled and began to dominate possession, Morish was getting joy down the left and Blake looked dangerous in behind.
Chances were starting to arrive, Lee headed straight at the ‘keeper and Blake fired over from a good position. Carpenter should have opened the scoring after some neat interplay with Blake, but he scuffed his shot whilst in a glorious position.
Braunton still looked a threat on the break as half-time approached but the Crediton back four looked solid after a shaky start.
The opening goal came at a perfect time for Crediton, five minutes before the break, and it was from an unlikely source.
Morish marauded down the left and sent a flat cross to the penalty spot where skipper Lee arrived late into the box and headed firmly into the corner, leaving the ‘keeper rooted to his spot.
The second 45 minutes saw Crediton continue to create the better chances although they could not keep hold of the ball up front.
When they did, it was no surprise that the second goal arrived, Blake controlled and held off the defender before a clever ball sent Morish through one-on-one. There was no catching him as he raced clear and slotted home with ease.
This gave Crediton some breathing space but the two-goal lead did not last long, as five minutes later Braunton got in down the right, a long ball over the top was gathered by Fisher, who crossed for Ashton to tap home.
Braunton then applied the pressure for 20 minutes and Crediton looked on the ropes. Waring made a superb save from a free kick to keep the scoreline at 2-1.
Ord replaced Groom and Bilcock came on for the tiring Morish. However Ord did not last long as he suffered a reoccurrence of his knee injury and 10 minuets later he was replaced by Woodward.
The game was in the balance and Braunton pushed for an equaliser but Crediton looked ever dangerous on the break.
The decisive moment came in the 85th minute. Carpenter, who was operating up front after Ord’s departure, was put through at goal, the Braunton ‘keeper came charging out but Carpenter got there first and nicked the ball past him, getting clattered in the process, the referee had the easy decision of pointing to the spot.
The man with the whistle also felt the challenge denied a clear goalscoring opportunity and punished Braunton further by brandishing a red card.
Bilcock stepped up and sent the new makeshift ‘keeper the wrong way, to ultimately seal the game for the home side.
A superb win for Kirton, who now progress to the semi-finals to face University of Exeter. The tie will be played on Wednesday, March 15 at Cullompton or Budleigh (venue to be confirmed).
This is the first time in more than 30 years the First team has reached this stage of a cup competition and they also have a chance to reach the semi’s of the Peninsula League Cup with a quarter-final clash down at St Austell in just over a weeks time (February 25).
Exciting times at Lords Meadow, with a top three finish in the league still up for grabs.
There will be a coach for players and supporters when Crediton travel to St Austell on February 25, leaving Crediton at 10am. Please feel free to come along and show your support for the lads.