Sasha Mole, Torquay United’s goalkeeping hero as they beat Exeter City on penalties to win the Devon Cup
Torquay United substitute goalkeeper Sasha Mole was their hero as the Gulls won the Devon Cup for the first time in their history. In front of 572 fans at Coach Road, Torquay came spectacularly from behind to beat Exeter City on penalties to lift the famous trophy.
The Greeks had the better of a chance and twice managed through Sarah Stacey and Steph Beck to hit the woodwork in the second half when it looked easier to score. But with 85 minutes on the clock, City finally broke through when Connie Pengelly swept home from 12 yards, albeit from a possible offside position.
City, who won the trophy last season and were looking to retain it for the first time, seemed to have finally done enough to break up a spirited Gulls side, but deep in six minutes of stoppage time they had a buoy of rescue when Jaydee Seaman rushed in. on Bethany Everson. Referee Adam Leigh scored the point, and Leah Brookes hit home to send the game to a penalty shootout.
Read more – Exeter City 1 Torquay United 1 – Gulls win the Devon Cup with a 5-4 victory over the Greeks
Mole, normally an outfielder but playing in goal due to the unavailability of the regular keeper, took and scored the first penalty, before saving Beck. Danni Wyatt, Anthea Kaptein, Brookes Again and Sarah Stacey all scored from the spot, before Yellows skipper Emma Hunt had her penalty saved by Abbi Bond.
Mollie Taylor leveled it, before Esme Kilburn-Thompson and Pengelly sent the shootout to sudden death. Tracey Cross scored for the Gulls, leaving Jess Sandland to score – but Mole guessed right to keep him out and spark jubilant scenes.
“It was amazing, I’m speechless,” said Mole, who also received the player of the match award. “That’s what we’re good at, sticking together. We never give up, it’s not in our nature.
“I think all the support we’ve had – from the men with their messages, even the Gaffer, them talking and doing these little videos for us has given us that extra boost, and the fans here tonight have been amazing. We couldn’t have asked for more.
Gulls manager Steve Elswood praised his team’s character for staying in the game and beating their top-ranked opponents. He said: “They are just the most amazing group of women, I’m in shock to be fair!
“We always knew we had a little effort in us, and as time goes on you start to wonder if it was coming, and it just happened. Even with the penalties, we practiced them all week.
For the Greeks, it was a disappointing evening as their excellent season which saw three cup races, plus a possible third place in the standings, ended without silverware. It also ended the possibility of a cup double with the men’s side taking on Bideford next month.
Aaron Wakley and Abbie Britton will need to quickly lift the team’s spirits as they host Chesham United on Sunday with a victory needed to realistically hold on to the chance of finishing third. The season ends the following Sunday with Southampton Women currently two points clear of City.
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