Festive cracker

PUBLISHED: 15:42 07 December 2011

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Axmouth FC 4, Millwey Rise FC 7

Devon Intermediate Cup

Axmouth and local rivals Millwey Rise served up a festive cracker of a derby tie in the Q/F of the Devon Intermediate cup at Bosshill Cross but only after the pitch passed a referee inspection to get the go ahead, writes Laurie Forino.

In the first half the home side started brightly and shaded the early possession and Matt Ellis forced the Millwey keeper into an early save but then fell behind in the 16th minute when the visitors were awarded a free kick, which was perfectly placed in the far corner. Just four minutes later and the lead was doubled as a Millwey player was allowed to run through almost unchallenged to finish neatly,giving keeper Andrew Smart no chance, but he did pull out a fine stop to deny a third on the half hour mark. With the visitors on top, Axmouth hit back as Asa Sandman made ground on the right and as he cut into the box he laid the ball back perfectly for Reece Hales to thunder home and make it 2-1 with eight minutes left of the half. Sadly the Axes couldn't hold out to half time with a one goal deficit and a poor clearance let in the Rise frontman to race through and again make the most of the opportunity to see his side 3-1 up at the break.

Determined to fight back, Axmouth again started the second half swiftly, creating two chances inside the first five minutes which went unrewarded.

They were made to pay with a hugely controversial fourth goal. With Axmouth heads down, four became five as an excellent lob again gave Smart no chance. At 5-1 things looked bleak for the home side but they staged an amazing fightback showing great spirit and attitude and within 10 minutes had made it 5-4. A Matt Ellis header from a Reece Hales cross was followed a minute later by an Asa Sandman goal, again Hales the provider. A penalty, awarded when Sandman was fouled in a melée from a corner, saw Jamie Hughes send the keeper the wrong way as an unlikely comeback looked possible. Sadly the hard work was undone when a poor clearance was duly penalised and, as the Axes rushed forward to attempt to come back again, they were dealt the final hammer blow to go down 7-4.

Axmouth boss Laurie Forino had nothing but praise for his side afterwards. “The lads have done the club proud with that display today against a powerful side.”

. We always knew it would be tough today you only have to look at Millwey's side which has Penninsula and Western League standard players in it so for a newly promoted division 5 side I think we gave them a real game. Take nothing away from them though as they are a very good side with quality strikers who were outstanding today, but at 5-1 down many sides would have thrown in the towel and lost more heavily but my lads showed the great team spirit we have here with not a harsh word or scent of blame between them, they picked themselves and got back into the match and at 5-4 I thought we had them on the ropes only for us to contribute to our own downfall. I can't be disappointed with them though as they were up against a powerful side and if we take that level of performance and attitude into coming weeks I'm very hopeful of challenging for promotion again this season


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