Bees grind out derby win to book spot in cup final
Beesands Rovers 1,
The game was prefaced with a minute's silence, in honour of DJ Foale who had played for both sides in recent years and whose memorial service had been held earlier that day.
Recent weeks have seen the Beesands team decimated with injuries, including the loss of first-choice 'keeper Carl Hoare, who was replaced by outfield player Luke Broad.
A wet, windy and chilly Dartmouth hosted this derby semi-final of which the early action was end to end.
An early Bees attack was cleared and the Pirates' reply was headed clear by Alex Browne. A further Bees free kick, taken by Lang, was headed just over the bar by Guy Watson.
Neither team was allowing the conditions to mar a gutsy match but equally neither team seemed able to strike a decisive blow.
As the half wore on the Bees came under considerable pressure from the Pirates but held out well, Lang and Browne standing solid in the Bees defence.
Pressure was relieved when Browne broke up a further attack and found D Tucker. He in turn passed out wide to J Tucker, who saw his cross cleared.
Subsequent Pirates' attacks were cleared by Browne and then Lang.
The half concluded with a Pirates free kick which was punched for a corner by Broad. The corner was taken short and whipped just past the post.
Bees had expected 'keeper Broad to be tested by long-range shots, but that hadn't been the case.
The second period saw an early Bees attack, with Lee Morgan running through, but it ended with a throw in, from which Browne shot wide.
With the game still seeing both sides have chances, Broad dived bravely at the feet of an attacker and cleared to D Tucker, who battled to retain the ball before threading a ball through for Morgan, who was fouled. From Jon Burt's free kick Morgan headed on to D Tucker, but his effort was just wide.
Broad again dived at a forward's feet to save before a neat exchange of passes between Burt, Bailey, Watson and Morgan was foiled by the 'keeper claiming.
As the half progressed the Bees were getting the upper hand. Successive free kicks for fouls on J Tucker and Morgan saw efforts from Morgan blocked. His presence was now being met with harsh tackling.
In the 75th minute D Tucker passed out wide to Morgan, who went forward and hit the ball across the penalty box for Watson to blast home for a 1-0 lead.
After some good defending from Bees, Morgan headed in from a free kick but was given offside.
The Pirates were battling to level the score but Bees players, some carrying injuries, battled on for the whole 90 minutes, running East Allington into the ground.
Their determination exemplified the Bees spirit this season and saw them close out the match and book their place in the final, leaving Allington disappointed.
The man-of-the-match award went to TJ Lang.
SDFL division three
East Allington reserves 20,
Upton Athletic reserves 0
Allington reserves chalked up their biggest-ever win in this Ronald Cup tie.
The spirited visitors, who only turned up with nine players, never gave up, even when they went down to eight in the second half, a player having to leave the pitch through injury.
Josef Sita and Joe Barnfield got four each, there were hat tricks for Kris Attiwell, Zac Haley and Simon Davis.
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