Sportspy Reports – Sunday September 28th 2008.

Out watching Premier Division side Devonshire Arms FC take on East Lancs United FC in the second round of the Lancashire Sunday Trophy at the new Sunday football venue of Beacon Hill High School.

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Over the last couple of seasons our BFSFA sides have done very well in this competition but at the end of the day the trophy has ended up elsewhere.  Two season's ago Quilligans FC lost in the final and last season both Quilligans FC and SFC Poulton reached the last four once again but neither of them appeared in the final for one reason or another.  Seeing the Cup come back to the Coast would make me a happy man and although it's an extremely difficult competition to win I'm optimistic of our sides doing well in 2008/09.

Today saw the second round and at Beacon Hill High School Premier Division side Devonshire Arms FC were hosting East Lancs United from the Preston Sunday league.  The Devonshire Arms FC are a new side under the leadership of Daniel Rossi who kindly agreed to go straight into the top Division to help make it a more competitive competition.  As we reach the end of September the team are in fourth after picking up two wins from their first three league matches.  The two wins have come against Hydronics and Northern Care and despite putting four past Poulton they still ended up getting beat after conceding seven.  Their defence were missing once again in the Gledhill Cup as they lost 5-2 to Blackpool Rangers.  They'd be hoping to get off to a good start in this particular competition and go a long way.

In truth, today's opposition went into the match as second favourites.  East Lancs United FC are in the fourth Division of the Preston Lancashire Evening Post Sunday Football League where after five games they're currently down in twelfth position after picking up only three points from the first five matches.  

That win came back on August 24th in a 3-2 away win against Uclan Rangers FC. Manager Shaun Hedley's men are already out of the Challenge Cup and the Presidents Cup after losing to Station FC and Ribbleton FC respectively.  In last week's Cup match against Ribbleton they played well in a 3-2 defeat against Ribbleton in which they tossed away a two goal lead.  

For the third week in succession we had great conditions for Sunday football.  After a rare week without rain we again had mild temperatures hardly any wind and blue skies.  Today's referee was youngster Gregory Clayton who'd only finished work at 6am and at 10:55am the bleary eyed official got the game underway early at 10:55 with the visitors in red attacking the water tower end.

The Devonshire Arms FC 2008/09

East Lancs United FC 2008/09

Good to see both Captains wearing the new 'Respect' arm-bands

A new venue for Sunday football this season – 'The Kennel' as it's rapidly becoming known AKA Beacon Hill High School.

East Lancs FC veteran still going strong.

Unsurprisingly, the home side were on top from the start and it was only thanks to the agility of East Lancs' keeper Francis O'Neil that the scores stayed level.  An early tip over the bar brought the decent sized crowd to its feet.

East Lancs player manager Shaun Hedley.

Although having the greater share of possession the Devvy were often guilty of giving it away all too cheaply.  Over intricacy was the reason and when they started to play it simple the goal came.  A ball into the box eventually fell kindly for Ex Quill's player Danny Whittaker who got his head over it and smashed it low into the far corner.  1-0.

The Devonshire wall prepares to defend the free kick.

The East Lancs' kick was cleared away.

Well gathered by East Lancs' keeper O'Neill who was in great form early doors.

Steve Whitmore (Centre).

Devonshire Arms FC manager Danny Rossi.

A good punch.

Danny Whittaker

The first thirty minutes of this match were dominated by the Devonshire captain Bryn Jones who was running the show in the centre of the pitch.  He's got a good touch for a big lad and rarely gives it away.  In addition he wins most of the aerial battles.  On 29 minutes it was Jones who interchanged a couple of neat passes before back-heeling Whittaker clean through from the half way line.  In the above picture he maintained his composure before taking it around the onrushing keeper and slotting it home – great move – great goal.  2-0.

The Devvy go 2-0 up.

The players celebrate…………

As do the barmy Devvy army up on 'Rossi Hill'.

Three minutes later the crowd had even more to celebrate as Bryn Jones scored the best goal of the game.  He ran across the middle of the park, played a one-two, looked up and unleashed an unstoppable dipping shot from twenty-five yards that flew over the keeper's head and into the net.  Top strike too quick for the camera.  3-0.

Kyle Ingham climbs highest for the ball.

Ben Perry-Acton comes off worst after a 50/50 with the East Lancs' keeper and has to be replaced.  The new 'slimline' Craig Byrom is an interested spectator.

On 37 minutes the Devvy were 4-0 up.  A cross from the left met the head of number 15 and his looping header evaded the keeper's grasp and found the back of the net.  4-0.

The referee has to have a word with the goal-scorer after an overly-excitable goal celebration.

Devonshire Arms top player in the opening period, Bryn Jones.

Half time score:  Devonshire Arms FC 4 – 0 East Lancs United FC.

“Keep playing the same way and we'll get more goals”

Young Devonshire fan Danny Smith out watching the match.

More interested spectators enjoying the sunshine.

Lee Feehan (Front)

Devonshire Arms' keeper Mark Arrowsmith.

The second half gets underway.

A rare East Lancs opportunity at the other end.

On 54 minutes Danny Whittaker (Right) pounces on a wonderful low cross from the right back position to sneak in past the defenders and poke it home for his hat-trick.  Yet another fast flowing Devonshire Arms move. 5-0.

The Devonshire supporters were happy with what they were seeing.

It's quite easy normally to make the sign of 'three' with your fingers but not for Whittaker.

No matter on the hour mark he got his fourth.  It looked like a miss-hit Whitmore strike from the edge of the box but he ordered me to write that it was a disguised incisive pass (or he'd kill me) and Whittaker once again was in the right place to stab it home.  6-0.

But the boy shows that he's human by failing to convert this easy looking opportunity.

East Lancs' keeper Francis O'Neill.

Steve Whitmore (Left) commits the only bad tackle of the game (More clumsy than malicious) and rightly receives a yellow card from Clayton.

The resultant free-kick led to the visitors best chance of the game was a well struck free-kick had to be tipped around the post by Arrowsmith who was clearly looking for a clean-sheet.

Lee Feehan.

Hedley brings himself into the action.

On 70 minutes Danny Whittaker scored his fifth and the team's seventh.  A corner from the right was swung in and found the unmarked head of Jones who nodded it towards goal only for Golden Boy to head it past the standed keeper as seen in the above photo.

Three minutes later it was getting silly as he notched his sixth.  A good move this one ended with Whittaker firing home from the angle into the empty net as shown below.  8-0.

The Devvy go close from the deadball situation.

Anthony Stayte.

Carl Bennett.

It's all over as the teams shake hands.

Final score : The Devonshire Arms FC 8 – 0 East Lancs United FC

As the form book suggested this was a one-sided Cup tie for most of the match.  The visitors never really got a grip on the game and their offensive chances were limited to a couple of free-kicks and the hard working running of the small centre forward.  The keeper pulled off some great saves and the 8-0 scoreline doesn't fairly reflect his performance.  To their credit the visitors never gave up and team spirit and morale never once faltered into pointless bickering.  They were beaten by the better side and it's as simple as that.  Even so, I hope they enjoyed the LFA away experience and we wish them the best of luck for the rest of the season.

As for the Devvy they played well after the first fifteen minutes and kept their shape throughout.  A clinical performance with lots of good performances.  The clean sheet will give them encouragement for forthcoming premier Division games.  The win sets up a tasty looking third round tie against local league rivals Blackpool Rangers which gives them an opportunity to avenge the recent Gledhill defeat.  Good performances of note from Jones, Ingham and Whittaker.

This week's deserved winner of the Teamsport90 Man of the match who picked up a football and one of the famous 'Sporty's' was the Devonshire Arms FC player Danny Whittaker.  Six goals to add to the three he scored last week.  Today was just one of those rare days for the offensive midfielder when everything he touch turned to gold.  Always in the right place thanks to both a bit of luck and a high level of fitness he won't have many days better than this one.

Sportspy 2008/09

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