Hitchcock nets five as Budleigh book last 16 berth in Devon Premier Cup

Budleigh at home to Honiton. Ref exsp 43 18TI 3413. Picture: Terry Ife

Budleigh at home to Honiton. Ref exsp 43 18TI 3413. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Budleigh Salterton booked a berth in the last 16 of the Devon Premier Cup after a thrilling 6-4 win at Macron Devon and Exeter League Premier Division outfit Feniton, writes Alan Beer.

The Acland Park cup tie was certainly full of drama as the Robins shipped two goals inside the opening four minutes before storming back to lead 3-2 at the break before increasing that lead to 5-2 only for the home side to score two late goals to set up a nerve-jangling last few minutes during which time Johnny Hitchcock netted his fifth goal of the contest to seal his sides place in the last16.

The game was just 35 seconds old when Fenton’s Adam Pearce struck a speculative effort from out side that was carried by the wind up and over Aland Doble in the Budleigh goal. Minutes later the evergreen Phil Everett sized up a free-kick in a central position and, from 20 yards, curled the ball round the wall and into the net.

Going 2-0 down in such a short space of time, what the Robins needed was an instant reply and they got just that when, in the fifth minute, Johnny Hitchcock did well out wide before crossing into the area where the arriving Ethan Slater drilled the ball home.

Parity was restored on the half hour, and was achieved with a fine ‘team’ goal. Harry Gibbings was involved at the start of the move and recent signing James Leaper also played a prominent part before Hitchcock thumped the ball home from 20 yards. The comeback was complete when, with 10 minutes to go to half-time, Hitchcock scored his second, this time firing home from the edge of the area.

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Early in the second half Hitchcock punished a poor clearance by the Fenny glovesman to complete his hat-trick and make it 4-2 and it was soon 5-2 with substitute Matt Robinson, who has come up through the youth ranks at the club, did well to set up the chance for Hitchcock to score his fourth.

Feniton, to their credit, refused to lie down and they gave themselves hope with 10 minutes to go when Charlie Selley scored. Seven minutes later that hope grew as Selley scored again, but Budleigh were not to be denied and it was that man Hitchcock who scored his fifth of the contest, and a sixth for Budleigh, to see his side into the last 16 draw.

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This Saturday (November 10) it’s back to the ‘bread-and-butter’ of league football for the Robins with a trip to Waldon Athletic.

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