Stapleton at the double as Dunkeswell Rovers power into last eight of Devon Cup
PUBLISHED: 18:12 09 January 2019
Dunkeswell Rovers are into the last eight of the Devon Intermediate Cup after a 6-2 victory at Bickleigh over Elmore thirds.
The tie finally took place at the fourth time of asking and it is to the Dunks’ eternal credit that they managed to serve up such an accomplished all-round show given that they were taking to the pitch for the first time in seven weeks!
Indeed, the Dunks fell behind to an early goal – though the pitch – one that resembled a ploughed field in places – played a big part in the goal as the ball bobbled and fell kindly to an Elmore striker who rifled the ball past Chris Palfrey in the Dunks goal.
Parity was swiftly restored when a Jacob White effort was cleared off the line, but only out as far as Steve Morris, who marked his return to Dunkeswell colours after a spell at Upottery, by drilling the ball home.
Goals from Dan Stapleton and Rhys Andrews saw the Dunks ease into a 3-1 lead, but the home side got a goal back only for the Dunks to be given a gilt-edged chance to go in at half-time two goals ahead, but Josh Cann saw his penalty saved by the home glovesman.
After the break it was the superior fitness of the Dunkeswell players that came to the fore. Despite seven weeks without match action, the team has trained regularly, and it paid off as they added a fourth when White set up Stapleton for his second of the game. It was soon 5-2 with left winger Ben Kidson the scorer and the final goal came when Sam Farmer struck the sweetest of shots that hit the back of the net from the halfway line!
The Dunks’ matchday sponsor, Chris Palfrey Carpentry, went for winger Ben Kidson as the Man of the Match, but he also added that there were some very strong contenders for the individual playing honour.
In the quarter-finals, which are set for Saturday, February 9, the Dunks will travel to North Devon to meet Appledore Lions. This Saturday (January 12) it’s back to Macron League Division Five action with an East Devon derby at Awliscombe (2.15pm).