Pearce is spot on as East Budleigh net cup win in extra-time
PUBLISHED: 10:46 03 February 2020
In what was an entertaining Football Express tie, East Budleigh Reserves booked their place in the next round with an extra-time winning penalty from Morgan Pearce to settle their meeting with Bishops Blaize, writes Mark Auton.
It was Pearce, who struck first for Budleigh with an early free-kick that deceived everybody including the visiting keeper and it was Budleigh who went close again when Ben Wiltshire and Pearce combined to find Marc Bowles who could not quite find a finish.
Exeter-based Bishop Blaize, who sit top of Division Six sporting a 100 per cent record with a dozen wins from as many league games so far this season, were a good outfit and were having their share of the play, but Jamie Cardwell was sharp in the tackle along side Elliot Wells and Gav Russell dominant in the air for the home side.
Minutes before the interval Budleigh doubled their lead when a long punt from Mark Bown saw Pearce make a challenge and, when the ball fell to Jack Hocking, he rifled it into the back of the net.
Blaize hit straight back, but Budleigh glovesman Daz Cardwell produced a good block to preserve the two goal cushion heading into the break.
Within five minutes of the re-start Blaise had wiped out the lead and it very much looked as if Budleigh were still in the dressing room with sloppy defending and a debatable spot-kick bringing the scores level at 2-2!
Hocking headed straight at the keeper before the game turned on its head as the Exeter side took the lead for the first time in the contest with a shot that flew through a crowded area.
To Budleigh's credit they kept pressing and it was Wells who set up Hocking to squeeze the ball home and force the extra period. It was in the 104th minute of a compelling encounter that saw Lee Mitchell upended just inside the box and Pearce strode forward to drill the spot kick home and win the game for his side.
This Saturday (February 8), Budleigh are back in league action at Lapford (3pm).