Brixington Blues Under-12s lift League Cup
PUBLISHED: 16:46 09 May 2018 | UPDATED: 16:46 09 May 2018
Brixington Blues Under-12s lifted the Exeter and District Youth League KO Cup when they defeated Exeter Panthers 1-0 at the Ladysmead home of Tiverton Town.
When the sides met in January, in a league game, they shared four goals and this cup final encounter was every bit as close!
Blues were led out onto the pitch by skipper Callum Smith with the ‘Rocky’ theme tune blasting out of the tannoy system!
Panthers began well and their physical presence was clearly a factor as Blues took a while to settle into the game.
Once they found their feet, Blues launched an attack that saw Luke Ewing’s low shot blocked only to land at the feet of Thomas Dean, but his follow-up effort was blocked by the Panthers glovesman.
However, the ball was only parried and, when it landed in the path of skipper Callum Smith, he drilled it home for what proved to be the only goal of the first half.
The combination of the heat and the large pitch suited the playing style and fitness of Blues and as the game went on, despite some good breaks from Panthers, it looked more likely that Blues would double the lead before Panthers equalised.
With the tireless Ewing attacking on the right flank and Cameron Horne (who unfortunately took an early knock) and Samuel Sidgwick attacking the left, there was a continuous supply up to Bobby Pond and Harry Williams up front.
And, with Thomas Dean and Callum Smith commanding the play in the middle, you could see why this side had made another final. The back three of Bradley Higham, Fin MacDonald and Jack McBryan were solid all day and good saves from both Max Neilson, the first half glovesman, and Ben Jeffery, who was the second half goalkeeper, ensured that Blues kept the clean sheet that they thoroughly deserved.
MacDonald picked up the Man of the Match award for his positive contribution and commanding role in the centre of defence.
The introduction of Bradley Cameron and Ethan Edwards in the second half ensured Blues maintained their composure to close out the game.
Despite opportunities to extend the lead - a fine shot from Smith which rattled the crossbar, and a penalty for hand ball conceded by Panthers – the final score remained at 1-0.
A jubilant Blues side lifted the cup for the second time in as many years to the cheers and plaudits of proud family and friends.