Dixon nets winner in Hippos away success

PUBLISHED: 10:56 03 October 2018

Honiton Town 2nds at home to Halwill. Ref mhsp 39 18TI 1821. Picture: Terry Ife

Honiton Town 2nds at home to Halwill. Ref mhsp 39 18TI 1821. Picture: Terry Ife

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Honiton Town had to come from behind before deservedly banking all three South West Peninsula League Eastern Division points from a 2-1 win at Alphington.

The Alphas struck first when they seized on a defensive error to net from close range, but parity was swiftly restored when Lewis Couch rifled home a free-kick from the edge of the area.

Having drawn level, the confidence in the Town ranks grew and, after a tactical change during half-time, Town were the better side throughout the second half, despite playing much of it with only 10 men after a red card – and a harsh one too – was dished out to young Conor Flanagan.

There was more woe for the Hippos when Darren Witt limped out of the action, but the team showed real character and resolve and it was no more than they deserved when, after great work from Jake Sellick, who curled in the sweetest of crosses, Chris Long managed to get on the end of it, and, when he laid it off, Joe Dixon, in classic ‘fox-in-the-box’ mode, turned the ball home!

There were some exceptional individual performances throughout the Hippos’ ranks. None more so than from Kieran Conway, who stepped up to keep goal in the absence of regular glovesman Alex Bowring being away, and wore the gloves with real confidence. Jack De Winton also played very well, as did Aaron Doble, but Joe Gamblin, from Chippie Joes, who yet again had the difficult task of selecting the Man of the Match, opted for Chris Long to take the individual honours in what was a superb all-round effort from the team.

Town boss Kev Blackwell was delighted with this charges’ efforts in Exeter. He said: “We continued where we had left off the week before in that narrow defeat at St Martins. It was certainly an extremely pleasing performance, one that displayed the real togetherness and spirit that is building at the club. We will have good days and bad days, but if we show that sort of attitude, whether we win, lose or draw, then I can’t ask any more from the team.

“I did have early reservations when it did seem as if the lads were ‘fearing the worst’ having gone behind, but they showed such depth of true spirit and desire and, even when we fell a man light after what was a seriously harsh decision to dismiss young Conor [Flanagan], who the match official deemed has ‘stamped’ on an opposition player when that simply is not in the youngster’s game! Mind you, to be fair to the referee, he was not helped by this awful thing that I feel blights the game at the moment of opposition players ‘squealing’ left, right and centre at the man in the middle to try and influence decisions!”

He continued: “Myself and assistant Nick [Ogden] are real sticklers for discipline and respect, particularly in regard to dissent. It just feels that we are being harshly dealt with at the moment. Sometimes the slightest of challenges are seeing a yellow card, while, although I don’t want to see anyone get a yellow, similar challenges from our opponents aren’t getting the same outcome.”

On Saturday (October 6), Town host North Devon League Premier Division Boca Seniors in a Devon Premier Cup tie at Mountbatten Park that kicks-off at 2pm.

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