The Reserve team fell from the cup with a 3-2 defeat away at Torbay Police, despite battling back from a goal behind twice to drop just short yet again.
The Torbay ‘Police’ side, some of whom looked like they may have come from the cells rather than the employees, started strongly and deserved their goal mid way through the first half after missing some good opportunities. Cullompton slowly came back into the game, looking dangerous at set pieces from which they drew level with Clarkey smashing home from close range.
The highlight of the first half, and possibly the season, came with a vicious challenge from Ben Broome, studs up at groin height. This wouldn’t normally be a laughing matter, but in this case as it was unleashed on not only his teammate but brother, there was a certain quality of entertainment. It’s also the first time I’ve seen a player booked for taking out his own player.
Away from the comedy brotherly assaults, Torbay put a few passes together under minimal pressure, and stroked the ball home into the bottom corner to take the lead into the second half which would prove a very different story.
From the start of the half Cullompton got on top, looking much more solid and starting to threaten from open play as well as set pieces. It was the latter which forced the equaliser, with Clarke hitting a solid header home from a corner. He almost repeated the trick but for a far post defender who did well to hook it clear off the line.
Horler also smashed a solid shot against the base of the post which the keeper watched helpless, as he did again moments later when a Tom Broome ‘shot’ (i.e. cross) hit the far upright. Only one team was surely going to win it from here…
As is often the way in these types of game, Torbay were far from out of it and still threatened on the break. One such break resulted in a shot which the impressive Mark Webber did well to block before falling and being hit by the ball on his arm. A harsh penalty indeed, but looking at the evidence on the Torbay police facebook page one that’s hard to totally disagree with.
The penalty was struck home comfortably, and aside from a few half chances the tale had been told as the referee’s whistle rounded off the day and Cullompton’s hopes of cup glory.