A CONTROVERISAL goal led to a bitter defeat for Old Brewery FC at the hands of Wheel Power FC in the Area Sunday Cup Final at Newton Abbot's Coach Road.
A pulsating match between league leaders Power and second placed Brewery eventually finished 4-2 to Power. But a contentious offside decision to allow a goal when the sides were level at 2-2, coupled with two disallowed Brewery goals and a justified penalty appeal, angered their players and fans, threatening to overshadow the fine football on display.
Power started the game as expected, dominating possession and taking a deserved early lead through Ryan Hare, mopping up neatly after a free kick from former Willand Rovers striker Carl Cliff-Brown crashed back off the bar.
Brewery began to battle back in a fiercely contested game difficult for Mohamed Soliman to referee, with firm challenges and strong appeals occurring throughout. Brewery found themselves on the wrong end of one such appeal from a corner, after a goal-bound header was intercepted by a Power defender's arm in the box. No handball, no penalty, said the ref.
Power went on to put the ball in the net, after a long ball up field reached Cliff-Brown, who slotted the ball home to make it 2-0. An unfortunate howler from Power keeper Adam Simpson followed, after he let a simple back pass roll under his foot to spark a Brewery fightback.
Brewery actually had the ball in the back of the net either side of half time, but both goals were adjudged to have been scored from offside positions, the first of which seeming harsh. They did however, equalise through Nick Rudge, sparking end to end action in a surprisingly open game.
It was a good crowd at Coach Road, but Brewery fans were left incensed at what happened next. So soon after having two goals disallowed for offside, Power's Steven Bowker rifled home a goal from close range when it appeared that Hare was in an offside position in the build-up. The referee bravely overruled his linesman to adjudge Hare was not interfering with play when he was in an offside position, and had come back onside seconds later to claim the assist.
Despite a brave Brewery effort to get back into the game, Power went onto show their attacking prowess - and why they are sitting comfortably top of the Torbay Sunday League - with a fourth late on through Chris SrDinko, after a classy quick counter-attack.
A fantastic game to watch, and a superb advert for the Torbay Sunday League, Power's reward for overpowering Brewery is entry straight into the Semi-Final of the Devon County Sunday Senior Cup to play St Martins or Higher Celtic.
For a full gallery of pictured from the game at Coach Road, please click here.