U18's Enjoy Win Against Local Rivals Devon
Devon 1 – 3 Cornwall
Saturday 16th February played at Coach Road
South & West Counties Championship U18 Group Game
On Saturday 16th February the Cornwall FA U18 squad made the short trip to Newton Abbot to take on our local rivals Devon in an important SWCC group match. With both teams needing the win the stand any chance of topping the group it was Cornwall who came out on top with a strong performance and 3-1 victory.
The game started with both teams looking to attack early on and for the first couple of minutes Cornwall were penned back in their own half, however Devon didn’t create any chances and Cornwall weathered the storm, the back line superbly marshalled by skipper for the day Harrison Jewell. Cornwall then looked to get a foothold in the game and after a sustained spell of pressure they took the lead through central midfielder Ben O’Connor on the 8 minute mark. Cornwall built play up patiently and worked the ball over to the right wing, O’Connor who had made his way forward picked up a pass on the edge of box, moved passed a couple of players and curled a lovely left footed finish into the bottom corner.
Buoyed by this goal Cornwall looked to take advantage of their lead and took control of the game, Flack and Wharton on the left increasingly finding space and both going close with efforts. The industrious midfield 3 of Lewis Tonkin, George Tucker and Ben O’Connor ensured that Cornwall didn’t spend long without the ball and were using it well when in possession. A second goal seemed certain but when a whipped in Wharton cross flew across the face of goal striker Jack Hooper couldn’t quite get to it Devon took heart and started to find their way back into the game. Devon did almost get the equaliser when some good work on the left wing saw an on-rushing midfielder strike at goal but Ethan Elwell in Cornwall nets stood up well and made a smart save, the rest of the half ebbed and flowed with both teams going for it but defences holding firm.
Just as it looked like Cornwall would go in with a slender advantage we won a free kick 40 yards out on the left hand side, George Tucker stepped up to take it and clipped a delightful ball in to the penalty area that was met by the head of centre half Mason Long, he got clattered by the onrushing keeper but his bravery was rewarded as the ball looped into the net, a timely and welcome goal that made manager Glynn Hooper’s half time team talk a little easier. Half Time – Devon 0-2 Cornwall.
As expected Devon came out quickly at the start of the 2nd half desperate to get back into the game, Cornwall stayed strong though and withstood the pressure. Despite getting into some promising positions the back 4 and goalkeeper for Cornwall looked solid and assured. The third and final goal came from a quick break started by right back Mike Barton which saw some lovely play through midfield. The ball was played to the feet of the influential Tucker who on the edge of the area then found Cornish 15 yards out, he turned his defender inside out and fired a low shot into the bottom corner to make it 0-3.
Devon threw caution to the wind at this point and piled forward looking for something to get back into the match. On 70 minutes Devon won a penalty after some good work by the winger. Elwell though in the Cornwall goal made a fantastic save diving to his right hand side and the game remained 0-3. The pressure did tell in the end though when for once the Cornwall back line fell asleep a little and a Devon striker nipped onto a through ball and tucked the ball home with 10 minutes to go. Devon sensed a comeback but Cornwall gathered themselves and saw the rest of the game out to claim local bragging rights.
Cornwall Team– 1. Ethan Elwell (Sticker), 2. Michael Barton (Millbrook), 3. Alfie Flack (Helston Athletic), 4. Ben O’Connor (Wadebridge Town), 5. Mason Long (Saltash United), 6. Harrison Jewell (Helston Athletic), 7. Kai Cornish (Helston Athletic), 8. Lewis Tonkin (Helston Athletic), 9. Jack Hooper (Sticker), 10. George Tucker (Bodmin Town), 11. Alex Wharton (Helston Athletic)
Subs – All Used – 12. Jackson Penhallurick (Helston Athletic), 13. Kieran Daughtery (Helston Athletic), 14. Sam Pickup (Falmouth Town), 15. Tom Hands (Mousehole), Jamie Simmonds (Saltash United).
PHOTOS TAKEN BY DAVE DEACON