Robins pushed all the way but seal last four berth in extra time.

PUBLISHED: 13:32 31 January 2011

Budleigh Salterton versus Boca Senior Sam Schlaefli

Budleigh Salterton versus Boca Senior Sam Schlaefli

Copyright: I Hitchcock

BUDLEIGH booked a semi-final place in the Graddon Vending Devon Premier Cup on Saturday but they were made to work mighty hard for it, writes Alan Beer.

Boca Seniors play their football in the North Devon League and they earned the right to go head to head with the Robins after a crushing defeat of Exmouth Town in the previous round and so everybody at Greenway Lane expected it to be a difficult game, and so it proved!

Budleigh began well and influential newcomer, former Dorchester Town player Harry Nodwell forced a smart save from the visitor’s glovesman, Darren Dabb, in the 13th minute.

Both goal mouths were rarely threatened then, until the 40th minute when a long clearance from the Budleigh defence saw a mix up between keeper and a defender allowing Danny Williams to slot in the loose ball, only for it to be ruled offside. Just before the break Nodwell set off on a solo run but his shot from 20-yards was well saved by Dabb.

The Robins took the lead in the 54th minute when Khaled Badavi went on a

solo run, cut in from the left side, and drilled a shot past Dabb from the edge of the

18-yard box.

The visitors were very close to levelling on 70 minutes when a fierce shot from

Stephens, 20-yards out, hit the upright. This near-thing seemed to lift the visitors and they were level minutes later thanks to an uncharacteristic error from the otherwise faultless Chris Wright!

A Boca corner was delivered to the area and Wright’s attempted punch clearance ended up with the ball in the back of the Robins’ net!

That was sufficient to take the game into extra time and, eight minutes into the additional half an hour, Sam Bird, on as a substitute, met a corner at

the back post and headed home. Just before the end of the first period of extra-time, Sam Schlaefli set off down the right wing and squared it for Williams to seal a deserved, if hard earned, 3-1 victory and that coveted last four berth.

The Robins now face fellow Eastern Division Galmpton United with the last four game scheduled for March 23 or 24. Liverton and Bickleigh will contest the second semi-final.

On Saturday the Robins return to league action with a visit to Newton Abbot Spurs.

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