Highbridge Town Reserves thrown out of Seward Cup despite shootout win

Bridgwater Mercury: Taunton and District Football League round-up Taunton and District Football League round-up

LAST weekends Taunton & District Saturday League programme followed the same theme as the previous five, with only four games surviving the relentless wet weather – only one of which was played on grass.

Staplegrove Reserves were beaten 2-1 by last year’s finalists, Pensford, in the Somerset Junior Cup quarter-finals.

While the pitch itself was fine, the wind was blowing a gale from end to the other.

It was Grove that opened the score late in the first half through skipper Chris Hadley who broke from midfield, played a one-two with Adam Smith and buried it in the bottom right hand corner.

Very early in the second half, Grove thought they had doubled their lead when Scott Reynolds headed down to Adam Smith, who shot into the corner via the post. But the goal was ruled out by the linesman’s flag after discussion – and an alleged unsavoury comment to the linesman earned Scott a red card.

As a consequence, Grove had to play 40 minutes with just ten men and they put in a huge effort to keep their opponents at bay. But, with 15 minutes to go, Pensford scored with an unstoppable strike from 20 yards.

It looked like extra time was on the cards, but Grove hearts were broken with just two minutes to go when Pensford grabbed a winner.

In the Rowbarton Charity Cup second round, Nether Stowey Reserves beat Bridgwater Wolves 5-4 on penalties after a 1-1 draw after extra time. Jake Brown scored for Stowey but Gareth Mountstevens equalised for Wolves.

Stowey were in impeccable form from the spot and scored all five – Wolves’ final kick ballooned over to send Stowey through.

Highbridge Town Reserves were 5-4 winners in a dramatic penalty shootout with Ash Rangers in the Seward Cup, but a breach of competition rules saw the game awarded to Rangers.

Ash led 3-1 with ten minutes to play thanks to goals from Harvey Puddy, Senna Clapp and Matt Harris, but Highbridge kept going and were rewarded with two late goals to get things level.

In theory, the game should then have gone to extra time but Highbridge had arrived late causing a 20-minute delay to the kick-off – and that was holding up the County Junior Cup game, so League officials decided they had to go straight to penalties, which Highbridge won 5-4.

However, that all became academic, as the rules of the Seward Cup state that any player having played more than five games in either Division 1 or 2 cannot play in the competition.

Highbridge had fielded a player that had represented their first team nine times in Division 1 this season, so the game has been awarded to Ash Rangers.

Credit to Minehead in Division 2, who were the only club to get a game played on grass.

Their opponents were Wyvern Rangers and a win for them would have seen them go top of the table – but it wasn’t to be as the home side came out 3-1 winners thanks to goals from Chris Newbold, Harry Hall and Ryan Wilkins. Ryan Bradford scored for the visitors.

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