Sidmouth Warriors Under-14s net sensational cup win
- Credit: Archant
Sidmouth Warriors were 7-6 winners when they met Central AC in an Exeter and District Youth League KO Cup tie.
The Exeter-based side arrived with the tag of ‘favourites’ as they had won the league and cup double last season.
That said, it was Warriors who had run them close throughout last season.
Warriors fielded new signings, goalkeeper Renato Rodriguez and midfielders Luke Guerin and Pablo Alvarez, and, in what was a highly competitive first half, it was the home team that broke the deadlock when Connor Brown slotted home and the lead was extended when Brown cleverly nodded home from a corner.
Arguably, though, the moment of the first half came from Benedict Teague, who spotted the Central keeper off his line and launched an audacious 40-yard strike from the touchline which hit the inside of the post and bounced along the goal line! Throughout the first half, Christian Teague, Alex Bennett and Samuel Rice were outstanding in defence and the 2-0 lead Warriors took into the break was the least they deserved!
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Central were not double winners the previous season without good reason and they displayed champion quality with a superb start to the second half that saw them score twice in the opening five minutes to draw level at 2-2.
However, this new-look Warriors did not let their heads drop and a swift brace from Luke Guerin - due entirely to his persistence and tenacity - restored the home two goal lead.
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Back came Central and, once again, scored twice in quick succession to square things up at 4-4.
Some of Warriors’ attacking play was scintillating to watch and, when Joe Ashby showed quick feet to cut the ball back, Joe Cole drilled it home to give Warriors a 5-4 lead.
That was not the end of the drama, for Central dug deep and netted a fifth of their own before they scored again to lead for the first time at 6-5.
There were less than five minutes to play when the 11th goal of the game went in, but Warriors did not give up and their tenacity was rewarded when Connor Brown scored to complete his hat-trick and send the tie into extra-time.
The end-to-end action continued throughout extra-time and, just as the respective coaches must have been contemplating who to name to take spot kicks in a penalty shoot-out, Benedict Teague weaved his way into the box before rifling the ball home to seal a sensational win.
That’s two wins from two starts for Warriors, who beat Central Redstar seven days before, defeating the Exeter side 4-3 with goals from Connor Brown, Christian Teague, Luke Guerin and a last-minute winner from Tim Goody.