Millwey Rise hard done by in cup exit at Elmore

PUBLISHED: 11:14 21 April 2018

Football on pitch

Football on pitch

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Millwey Rise went out of the Football Express Cup at the semi-final stage, beaten under the floodlights at the home of Tiverton-based Elmore Reserves, writes Dick Sturch.

Rise must be wondering what they have done to upset the ‘God of Referees’ when, after the previous weeks travesty of the off-side goal against Black Swan, they were on the wrong side of two awful decisions in such a big game.

The home side started strongly and it took Millwey a little time to get going although the first corner of the game went to them.

The ensuing cross flashed across the Elmore goal without anyone getting the vital touch it needed. Twenty minutes into the game Sam Turner produced the visitors first shot on target.

This stung Elmore into even more activity which resulted in first Harry Butler putting them ahead and then their sustained pressure brought out some terrific interceptions from Millwey’s ‘Man of the Match’ award winner Jack Bennett in goal and the defenders in front of him.

In the closing minutes Matt Lewis fired in a powerful shot which the home side’s keeper did well to hold.

Five minutes into the second period Nathan Wormsley broke clear and his shot left the keeper anxiously watching the ball clear his bar.

Then came the first of the two decisions that wrecked Millwey’s chances of victory and also resulted in youngster, Nicky Land, not only receiving a straight red card, but the hefty fine that goes with it!”

The incident came when an Elmore forward broke through on goal and there was a coming together. No dangerous tackle, no boot raised and, not only that, but there was another defender between him and the goal.

All watching anticipated a yellow card at worst, but the match official decided to wave a red card despite the linesman explaining the covering defender was in play.

Any panel reviewing the incident would have rescinded the red card without a doubt!

The feeling of ‘in justice’ did spur 10man Rise into action and a Turner cross had the goalkeeper scrambling to reach it before Sam Burke got on the end of it.

Then, to their credit they drew level when Womersley from a through-ball from Brad Lee Miller, beat the defender and fired a stinging shot which the keeper pushed away only for Womersley to again beat both defender and keeper with a shot into the corner.

Three minutes later Elmore went ahead once more as Millwey pushed for a second goal and left themselves exposed at the back.

Then came the second decision when, in the penalty area without a covering defender, Womersley bearing down on goal, was blatantly pushed off the ball by an Elmore defender.

Far more clear cut than Land’s unfortunate coming together, but play was allowed to continue without any punishment whatsoever.

Millwey continued to press and clever work by Jack Farrant produced a shot but the keeper held on to the ball and virtually from his kick Elmore broke away to score. Bennett made a great save to parry the first shot, but the ball rebounded to an unmarked forward who fired it into the net for the home side’s third and final goal. Millwey kept pressing, but another goal never came.

This was a thrilling game to watch with both sides playing attractive football. However, in this scribe’s opinion, the action was unfortunately spoilt by the officials’ decision making.

For Millwey Rise, Jack Bennett was outstanding in goal and the Lewis brothers covered every inch of the Horsdon Park surface while Sam Turner also did likewise for a brave battling, and frankly hard done by, ‘Rise’.

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