Lyons solo strike sees off Abbots
TOOLSTATION LEAGUE Larkhall Athletic secured their place in the second round of the Les Phillips League Cup thanks to what manager Wayne Thorne termed a "scrappy" 1-0 win over a resilient Oldland Abbotonians side.
Jamie Lyons prevented a game of few chances from heading to extra-time, scoring the only goal with an excellent individual effort just before the final whistle.
Larkhall started strongly, dominating possession and winning numerous corners to keep the Abbotonians defence on the back foot. However, Athletic could only create one clear-cut chance in the first half, which Ben Thomson put wide from close range.
As Larkhall grew frustrated, Oldland pushed forward themselves and Chris Snoddy had to make a good save to keep out an Oldland free-kick.
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After the break, Toolstation Division 1 underdogs Oldland continued to outmuscle their Premier Division opponents and, despite all their possession, Larkhall lacked the cutting edge needed to break down a determined defence.
That was until, with extra- time looming, a piece of solo skill from Lyons broke the deadlock and set up a meeting with Ilfracombe Town in the next round in February.
"The game wasn't easy on the eye but we have had enough games this season when we've played the opposition off the park and still lost or drawn, so a scrappy win is not to be sniffed at," said Thorne.
Larkhall's attention is now focused on their FA Vase tie at home to Longwell Green Sports on Saturday before they return to league duty with a trip to Bristol Manor Farm on Tuesday night.
"We are hoping for the start of a long Vase run to match our success last season," said Thorne, whose team reached the fifth round of the competition in 2011-12.
Elsewhere in the Les Philips Cup, Odd Down beat Bristol Manor Farm 4-1.
Twaine Plummer scored a first-half double for the Bath side and Troy Simpson added a third before Sam Rees pulled a goal back. Lee Brisbane settled matters with the hosts' fourth.
Matt Minnis fired a double in Bradford Town's 3-0 win over Division 1 strugglers Wellington. Liam Milburn was also on target for Town.
Bitton's trip to Cheddar had to be delayed until Tuesday following an armed robbery at Bowdens Park last Friday.
The wait was worth it, though, as Mark Salter's 75th-minute winner saw off the plucky lower-league hosts.
Keynsham Town were knocked out by Hallen, who took control early on through a Tom Collett brace.
The visitors halved the arrears and also grabbed a second but not before James Derosa had scored what turned out to be Hallen's winner.
Corsham Town exited the competition after a 3-0 defeat at Winterbourne United. Two goals from Jack Pitcher and one from Aaron Wilson did the damage.
Saturday's FA Vase second-round programme also sees Odd Down travel to Bodmin Town of the South West Peninsula League, while Bitton visit New Milton Town, who sit 19th in the Wessex League Premier Division.
Bradford face a home derby date with Trowbridge Town in the second round of the Wiltshire Senior Cup, while Corsham make the trip to Wessex League outfit Amesbury Town before hosting Portishead Town in Division 1 on Wednesday night.
Keynsham have home league matches with Elmore and Devizes Town on Saturday and Tuesday respectively.