LYME Regis Reserves must hit the road again if they are to reach the Dorset Intermediate Cup Final for the first time, writes Sid Hansford.
The Ressies, who lifted the Dorset Junior Cup in 2000 and 2012, were upgraded to the Intermediate level when the club’s first team left the Perry Street League and moved up in the Devon & Exeter League some four years ago.
Since then manager Gerard Hitchcock and his side have been drawn away a remarkable eight times out of nine with the only home tie resulting in a walkover win in the round one this season when Okeford United failed to show.
The quarter final brought a thoroughly convincing 5-0 win at Dorset League Division One outfit Maiden Newton & Cattistock back in December when Harvey Brimicombe (2), Ben Vine, Steve Batey and Jake Bearpark waded in with the goals which could well have reached double figures.
On paper, opponents Wareham Rangers Reserves are clear favourites to win the semi final. Four steps separate the teams in the Football League pyramid with the hosts sitting ninth in the Dorset League Division One and Lyme currently sailing along on top of the Devon & Exeter League Division Five. However, as the Maiden Newton result shows, this counts for little.
Lyme have a renowned cup pedigree, with 15 county trophies having resided at the Davey Fort home down the years, and Hitchcock and his team will be focussing on making that 16 when they head east
The other tie sees AFC Blandford, who were knocked out at the same stage last season, welcome Dorset League Division One stablemates Swanage & Herston Reserves. The Royals won the corresponding league game 7-2 and will fancy their chances against the Swans who have nonetheless won their last two away matches.