Hallen 1 Barnstaple Town 3: Les Phillips Cup semi-final match report

BARNSTAPLE Town are through to the Toolstation Western League’s Les Phillips Cup final after overcoming Hallen 3-1.

Town were forced to come back from 1-0 down after making an unusually slow start to the game.

Dave Pearse drew them level in the 38th minute and goals from James Mayne and Jack Jenkins completed the turnaround in the second half.

The goal came 19 minutes in as Josh Digby poked the ball home following a gliding run down the left by Matt Davis.

Unable to get into the game, Barnstaple were desperate to scramble the ball away from danger as Hallen continued to attack in waves.

A lucky break came when Ryan Turner found an inch and drove an effort at Hallen keeper Ben Thompson whose parry was smashed into the net by Pearse.

Whatever Barnstaple manager Barry Yeo said to his side at half-time soon did the trick. They were a different beast as Jenkins and Lee Francis began to control the pace of the game and Turner found room in the channels.

After 64 minutes, a mazy run from Liam Gregory saw the full-back jink into the box and drive a low cross through a crowd of players from which Pearse’s finishing touch went just beyond the post.

Pressure continued as Francis had a shot stopped on the line and Aaron Harper-Penman guided a header narrowly over the bar from Gregory’s corner.

With 10 minutes left, Hallen could hold on no longer and Mayne leapt on to Gregory’s free-kick to give Town a 2-1 lead.

As the home side tried to hit on the counter, Barnstaple finished the game off in the 91st minute through a curling 25-yard free-kick from Jenkins that nestled in the bottom corner.

Barnstaple will meet another Premier Division side, Willand Rovers, in the final at Bridport on Sunday, May 10. Willand beat Town’s First Division title rivals Welton Rovers 8-7 on penalties after a 2-2 draw.

Hallen: Thompson, Harris, Butler, Davis, Hill, Smallman, Cook, Digby, Collett, Andrews, Derosa. Subs: Reid, Mills, Hemderson, Tovey, Winter.

Barnstaple Town: Thorne, Huxtable, A Harper-Penman, Mayne, Gregory, J Harper-Penman, Jenkins, Francis, Holland, Pearse, Turner. Subs: Phillips, Baggaley, Jones, Nicholls, Draper.

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