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News Archive > Sport > Lillywhites seal cup victory

Lillywhites seal cup victory

By Gareth Rowett 10th May 2017

Lillywhites seal cup victory
VICTORS: St Austell celebrate their cup final win

OUTGOING St Austell managers Jason Chapman and Daniel Nancarrow ended their 12 month stay in the Poltair Park hot-seat with a hard earned Walter C Parsons Cup Final victory over Exmouth Town.

Martin Watts' speculative free-kick after 24 minutes sealed victory for the Lillywhites in a match played at Crediton’s Lords Meadow Sports Centre.

Despite the showpiece occasion being like a ‘home’ match for Exmouth, a healthy St Austell following made the long trip and it was they who went home jubilant after a rollercoaster past few weeks.

With both Chapman and Nancarrow announcing their decision to stand down some weeks ago, speculation has been rife as to their potential replacements with sources close to the Voice revealing that former manager Phil Lafferty is very much in the frame and a sensational swoop for Bodmin boss Darren Gilbert is being pondered also.

The departing duo’s final home game in charge resulted in a humiliating 5-1 loss to Tiverton reserves, although the side did get back on track last time out and completed their South West Peninsula campaign with a 2-1 away triumph at Launceston.

Given the sides indifferent form, management situation and the fact prolific striker Liam Eddy was unavailable due to suspension, Exmouth went into the game as overwhelming favourites.

However, St Austell seemed determined to give Chapman and Nancarrow the send off they deserved and the Lillywhites were faster out the traps. A succession of early corners resulted in Exmouth defender Nathan Cooper slicing a clearance narrowly over his own crossbar before Watts broke the deadlock.

Exmouth stopper Ryan Draper should have kept the shot out, but he was deceived by a training ground step-over routine which resulted in Watts’ effort, from nearly 30 yards out, nestling in the bottom corner.

After going ahead, St Austell dominated the rest of the opening stanza and but for a last gasp clearance from Exmouth’s Jamie Dirrane after a penalty box scramble, their lead would have been even more emphatic at the break.

Town did threaten something of a comeback after Dirrane’s heroics, but Lee Phillips dragged his shot wide when in the clear and Luke Durham failed to hit the target when he should have done better.

The first action of the second half saw Chapman pull off a point blank save to deny Town’s Mike Humphrey and if Chapman’s future is away from Poltair Park, with Voice sources linking him to a shock move to Newquay, then his performance in this final, when it mattered, demonstrates what a massive void he will leave.

At the other end, Harry Evans had a header correctly ruled out for St Austell as the second half proved to be a scrappy affair with defensive pairing of Martin Giles and Tom Chambers dealing with Town’s long ball bombardment with consummate ease.

As time ticked down, and Exmouth became more and more desperate, Chapman tipped a corner onto his crossbar, but St Austell held firm to become the fifth different League Cup winners in this, the tenth year of the South West Peninsula League.

By Gareth Rowett 10th May 2017

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