GRANDISSON CUP HEADS INTO DORSET

Late winner seals it for Lyme Regis...

Heavitree United Reserves 1 Lyme Regis 2

Grandisson Cup Final (at Ottery St Mary FC)

A goal eight minutes from time by Ruben Rogel saw Lyme Regis take the Grandisson Cup into Dorset for the first time in it’s 60th year history.

The Spanish striker collected a neat diagonal pass from Man-of-the-Match Ben Vine and bundled the ball home on the angle after his first effort had been blocked by United’s teenage keeper Ellis Burgess.

Lyme came into the game as slight favourites having won both of their Devon & Exeter League Division One matches against their opponents convincingly. However, both teams finished the season strongly with the Heavies suffering just one defeat in their last 10 matches, and, after a low key opening quarter hour, crafted a couple of half chances with Ryan Harding volleying narrowly over and  top scorer Scott Jones also just clearing the crossbar after some confusion in the Lyme area.

But the opener came at the other end midway through the first half. Vine showed good technique to bring down an awkward pass on the left flank, beat his full back and crossed low into the area to centre forward Brad Rowe who stabbed the ball home from six yards.

The lead lasted 15 minutes without alarm until the Heavies grabbed an equaliser out of nothing. Chris Hickson, who had a fine game on the right wing before limping off in the second half, battled for possession and wriggled free to cross for skipper Harry Slack to guide home a header into the far corner.

They went close to adding a second three minutes after the interval when John Lilley cracked a 25-yarder that flew over the angle of Will Meech’s goal frame. Lyme also had a decent chance in the 55th minute with Julien Simier dinking the ball over Burgess but into the side netting.

Rogel was introduced off the bench in the 71st minute with a view to adding some attacking threat for Lyme and the move proved decisive, although not until after his skipper Dom Rowe had produced a brave block to stop a goal bound Heavitree shot. But it was Vine, the hat trick hero of the 4-3 semi final win over Tipton St John, once again who was behind the winner bursting into space before picking out Rogel whose persistence paid off with the crucial goal in the 82nd minute.

Heavitree threw players forward in a bid to force a late leveller but Meech stood up well to the aerial bombardment. Lyme went close to adding a third on the break with Vine’s curling effort falling to Rogel who appeared to be brought down in the box, but it was the last incident of the match and the huge trophy was heading off to the Davey Fort.

This article first appeared in the Independent. To get the latest articles when they appear, buy the print edition every Sunday or subscribe to our online edition HERE.