JUST three days after they fought out a goalless draw in their Trowbridge League Division one match, Westbury United Reserves and Castle Combe returned to Meadow Lane on Tuesday evening to battle it out for a place in the final of this season’s Chantry Digital Ltd-sponsored Knockout Cup.
Westbury, who are already through to this season’s A&B Cup final, will have the chance of silverware on two fronts after they came from behind to beat Paul Sanderson’s Combe side 2-1. The villagers gave a good account of themselves in the first 45 minutes but failed to make an impact in the second period as they looked for a way back into the game.
Westbury had the better of the early exchanges and went close to opening the scoring in the third minutes but Marc Lanfear’s header from a corner failed to test keeper Luke Jones.
An excellent Joe Maloney cross picked out Jon Price who was unable to take his opportunity to break the deadlock as he screwed his shot wide of the target.
Combe started to come more into the game and on 10 minutes they had to chance to test Westbury’s keeper Leo Whitehead, but Jamel Chevolleau fired high and wide from 18 yards.
At the other end Combe’s keeper Jones was called into action and he did well to tip a Lanfear shot over the bar.
A sustained five-minute spell of pressure from Westbury saw them win a series of corners with many chances going begging as they were unable to final the killer touch in front of goal.
On 15 minutes Westbury’s gloveman Whitehead had to be alert to deny Will Gale who broke clear but was beaten to the ball by the quick thinking keeper.
Westbury almost stole the lead on 21 minutes, when Combe’s Chris Scollen nearly headed the ball beyond his own keeper who was at full stretch to keep out what looked to be a certain goal.
Moments later, Westbury were on the attack again, Nick Taylor’s excellent pass picking out Jack Hayward who dragged his effort wide of the target.
Lanfear then wasted probably the best chance of the game when after beating his marker he rolled the ball into the hands of the grateful Jones when he really should have found the net.
Combe may have been on the ropes, but they were full of running and when keeper Whitehead under pressure from Matt White fluffed a clearance White was able to retrieve the ball and square it to Jamel Chevolleau who had a simple tap in to give Combe the lead on 31 minutes.
Five minutes later Chevolleau had the chance to make it 2-0 but he was brilliantly denied by Whitehead, whose save went some way to atoning for his earlier error.
Westbury were level on 39 minutes a free kick from Gary Tugwell picked out Lanfear, who turned the ball home to square things up.
Westbury almost took the lead a few minutes later when Tugwell broke from the half way line and with the Combe defence giving him a free run at goal he drove his 20-yard shot wide of the target.
On the stroke of half time Westbury got their noses in front, an excellent cross from Joe Edwards found Lanfear who rose to head in his and Westbury's second.
Chevolleau, who had been a constant threat to Westbury whenever Combe had the ball, thought that he had got the villagers back on level terms in the 53rd minute.
Another error from keeper Whitehead gifted the ball to the pacy striker and he smashed a shot beyond him but luck was on Westbury’s side as the ball hit the underside of the bar and then smashed against the upright before somehow falling to safety.
After their let-off Westbury went up the other end and almost scored a third with keeper Jones well beaten Joe Maloney’s rasping drive from 20 yards dropped just over the bar.
Combe were next to have a pop at goal, Karl Sharratt picked out Will Gale who drilled an effort into the side netting.
With the tie moving into the final 10 minutes, it was all Westbury as Combe were unable to mount any serious threat on goal that would have taken the game to extra time.
Westbury finished with a flourish with Combe’s keeper Jones grateful that Gary Tugwell’s shot to stuck to his gloves and Lanfear to send a shot wide which had him beaten all end ups.
Westbury did have the chance to seal the tie and but after being upended to gain a penalty Ashley Easton duly picked himself up but fired his effort from 12 yards against the post.
The miss meant a nervy final few minutes for the green and whites but although a very young side Westbury were able to see out time and book their place in the final against either Lacock or Worton & Cheverell.
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