NEWTON Abbot Spurs were unceremoniously dumped from the third round of the Walter C Parson Cup on Saturday after a 4-1 defeat at Camelford.
Brooklyn Wilkins starred with two goals and an assist for the Cornishmen, enjoying the company of Olly Taylor and Ross Beare on Camelford’s side of the score sheet. A Toby Pullman penalty conversion was the only joy Spurs brought back across the border.
‘It was a disgusting first half,’ said Spurs boss Marc Revell, whose side found themselves three goals down at the half-time break.
'The second half was how I expected the whole game to be; coming down here and being a bit dogged. The second half was 1-1 – if we had gone in at half-time at 1-1 and been dogged and stayed in the game like we did in the second half, we’d have won. We always play better in the second half; we always play more positively, play more forward and higher up the pitch.
'But to be three down [at half-time] and play so badly, we don’t deserve to get anything out of it – and the result shows that.’
The Camels opened the scoring on 10 minutes when Wilkins latched on to a long ball forward, snuck in on goal through the centre and coolly slotted beneath onrushing goalkeeper Kit Glanville. Scorer turned provider nine minutes later when Wilkins again got the better of the lackadaisical Spurs rearguard and selflessly squared the ball for the arriving Taylor to tuck home.
'We were sloppy as hell,’ Revell admitted. 'The lads weren’t at it and the warm-up was poor.
'I don’t know what was different – they didn’t come out the traps and sometimes the attitude was wrong. My lads didn’t think they’d need to put in a performance to get anything out of today, and that was telling right through the side.’
Spurs goalkeeper Kit Glanville kept the scoreline respectable with two sensational saves off Wilkins in the space of a minute – first a reaction stop at the near post to keep a blistering effort out and then a diving save to tip wide a close-range shot that was bound for the top corner.
'He’s got a lot of credit from the lads,’ Revell said. 'It’s a shame it’s not at home he gets these performances because I know he gets his critics and he doesn’t come across as the quickest mover but his kicking was phenomenal today, which probably goes unnoticed when you lose 4-1.
'I want to praise him for his saves but I want to go more at my back four for their performance to put him in that situation, because he should have had better protection than that, especially with us playing 4-2-3-1 because he should have had a big bank of four, a bank of two and a bank of three protecting him.’
Camelford added a third on the brink of half-time when they caught Spurs off-guard with a quick free-kick which found its way to Beare, who pulled the trigger early and beat the scrambling Glanville.
The Devonians started much the stronger side in the second half and began to ask questions of the as-yet-unchallenged Camels defence. A crack showed eight minutes after the restart as Nick Rudge was clumsily brought to ground in the box. Pullman stepped up and dispatched the spot-kick into the bottom-left corner.
But Spurs’ high-tempo pressure was undone within 10 minutes of their sole goal as Wilkins delivered the killer blow.
'When we were 3-0 down, Camelford could sit off and allow us to play,’ Revell said. ‘Even at 3-1, they conceded a goal then went up the other end and scored, so they might have turned it on again once they saw there was only a two-goal cushion rather than a three-goal cushion.
'The damage was done at 3-0 – I did take positives from the second half but there were too many negatives in the first half to make me very happy about the second half.’
The defeat comes as the third consecutive season in which Spurs have been eliminated from the cup by a Cornish side, with Callington Town beating them 5-3 the season before last and Liskeard Athletic winning a dramatic semi-final 2-1 in the last campaign.
'My intentions were to go one step further than last year and get to the final,’ Revell said.
'If we had won today, that would have put us fourth in the league and in two quarter-finals, which gives you a feel-good factor through the club and it looks like progression on the last few years. I put a lot of value on this cup.
'I treat every game like a cup final because all my passion goes into this side and who I’m managing.’