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By Tony Walsh

Rovers youngsters through in cup REPORT BY JOSH HURST

Paulton welcomed Portishead Town in the 2nd round of the Roger Stone Memorial Cup.

The visitors started the game well and were having large spells of possession. Eventually they found a breakthrough and took the lead 30 minutes into the game through Harry Ford.

Just before half time, Paulton had a few chances to bring the scores level and were unfortunate not to score, heading over from close range and hitting the post.

The home side came out fighting in the second half, however the visitors found themselves 2-0 up within the first 5 minutes, after a Paulton clearance rebounded off an oncoming striker Harvey Williams and went into the net.

However this didn’t stop Paulton from fighting back and the home side then started to create more chances and eventually found a breakthrough with Blaine Lawrence finishing well from close range. He has now scored an impressive 14 goals in 9 games for the club so far this season.

This gave the lads the spirit they needed and seemed to bring a faster tempo to the game and both sides were playing fast attacking football. It was Lewis Bond-Kendall who managed to create the equaliser after a threatening cross was deflected into the goal net bringing the scores level with 5 minutes to go.

The next minute 'Pottis' found themselves deep inside the Paulton penalty area and squared a ball back for the oncoming striker Dylan Hebblethwaite to give the away side what they thought was a ticket to the next round.

In the last minute of play, Paulton were awarded a free kick and after pushing everyone forward including the keeper, the ball was delivered into the box by Bond-Kendall and turned home by Christian Gregory to take the game into extra time in the dying moments!!

Extra time kicked off and both teams were looking tired, the game started to settle back down after all of the chaos that had led up to the full time whistle.

The Paulton defence were struggling to deal with the constant counter attacks from the visiting side and were first to concede, some good build up play took Portishead back into the lead.

After already coming back from being down twice, the boys did not look unsettled and started to take control of the game, Reece Barry slipped a great throughball in for Jake Curtis who finished the ball first time past the oncoming keeper to equalise before half-time in extra time.

With a lot of players feeling the pressure of the extra game time, it was the fresh legs of the substitutes that were looking most dangerous for Paulton however both sides were still creating chances and forced some great saves from the keepers at both ends of the pitch.

With only 3 minutes left and penalties looming, Barry did extremely well down the right wing and managed to deliver a pinpoint cross onto the head of Lawrence who headed the ball home to see Paulton through into the next round of the cup!

A great game of football played by both teams that was full of passion, character and highs/lows for both teams, it must have been fantastic to watch for the neutral!

Updated 21:15 - 13 Oct 2018 by Tony Walsh

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