These two sides produced a tremendous game of football that kept the fans of both sides entertained last Saturday. This was always going to be a close game – Okehampton had won the reverse fixture 1 – 0 with a goal in injury time when they last met.
Argyle started off well and produced some lovely moves. Luke Mortimore went close in the opening minutes, but Bovey were not to be outdone and started to put together some good attacks themselves.
Their deep crosses from the left caused the Argyle defenders some problems and on 12 minutes, a cross was played back across the goal where Neil Last fired home with a brilliant scissor kick. Argyle fought back and on 15 minutes Brad Ausden had a goal correctly disallowed for offside.
Then on 30 minutes, the Okes found themselves with a mountain to climb. Luke Alden went up for a header with a defender in the Bovey box and both players fell to the ground. Alden offered his hand to help up the Bovey player who appeared to kick out at him, causing Alden to retaliate and Luke was immediately dismissed for violent conduct.
This left Okehampton with a whole hour to play with only 10 men. However, they rose to the occasion and only seven minutes later, good play from Luke Mortimore saw him find Brad Ausden in the Bovey box. Ausden brought the ball under control, beat a defender and fired home a brilliant low shot into the corner of the net to level the match.
Bovey were always dangerous with the extra man but Argyle came close again a minute before half-time after a lovely attacking move.
Bovey took the game to Okehampton at the start of the second half and their forwards again troubled the Argyle defence but the Okes did well to absorb the pressure. With Okehampton legs tiring, the Argyle managers moved Jake Rowe back from midfield to join Harvey Newman at the centre of the defence bringing on Mitch Cisneros to replace him in midfield.
They also brought on Morgan Reynolds for his twin brother Luke in midfield and Ben Waters for Brad Ausden up front. This was a turning point for the game as on 74 minutes, Luke Mortimore turned and fired in a great shot which rebounded off the post and across the Bovey goalmouth for Morgan Reynolds to score with a tremendous diving header.
The Argyle fans were hoping they would now close out the game but Bovey were having none of it and pushed Okehampton back. On 83 minutes, a cross in from the left struck Harvey Newman on the hand and the referee had no hesitation in awarding a penalty to the home side. Up stepped Lee Hildreth to fire home an unstoppable penalty off the underside of the bar.
The match was now all square as it moved into injury time but to Argyle’s credit the ten men still pushed forward looking for the win. In the last minute of added time, they won a corner on the left. Luke Mortimore’s in-swinging corner was touched on by Newman and just crossed the line for the winner, leaving Bovey with only time to kick-off before the final whistle was blown.
This was a great game between two attractive footballing sides and the match was well controlled throughout by the referee. Argyle’s man of the match was deservedly awarded to Harvey Newman.
Okehampton Argyle firsts have no fixture next Saturday but the Reserves are at home to Sidmouth Town Reserves with a 3pm kick off..