Fixture forecast - chaos!
PUBLISHED: 09:00 23 January 2008 | UPDATED: 21:29 15 June 2010
Copyright Archant Ltd
The persistent wet weather is playing havoc with the current football season - spare a thought for Axmouth United who have had each of their last four Saturday games in the Devon and Exeter League Intermediate Division Two washed out.
The persistent wet weather is playing havoc with the current football season - spare a thought for Axmouth United who have had each of their last four Saturday games in the Devon and Exeter League Intermediate Division Two washed out and, if you include the washout that was Saturday, December 8, then it's five postponements in the last six scheduled matches and just one game played since December 1.However, United should almost certainly break their recent 'duck' as this coming Saturday they are set to play at Acland Park and the Feniton headquarters is rarely left having to call off games.Senior Two promotion hopefuls Honiton Town have had their last four games hit by the weather and Paul Sedgewick's side have not played any sort of competitive football since December 22. They have yet to reach the half way stage in their campaign, that arrives, weather permitting, with this Saturday's trip to Halwill and post match they will have 13 more games to negotiate to complete a season that they hope will end in promotion come early May.One of the worst affected of the local sides is Awliscombe. The Intermediate Two outfit have played just 10 of their 28 game league programme and that means, even with perfect weather from now until early May, they are looking to accommodate 18 matches in the remaining 14 weekends! There was precious little football for the area's sides in yet another soggy Saturday, only Feniton 1st and 3rd teams played - they were both on duty at the club's excellent Acland Park surfaces - and Beer Albion managed to get any competitive football at the weekend. Pride of place amongst those three matches must go to the Feniton victory over table topping Civil Service in a game that saw the Blues crash six goals past a shell-shocked Exeter side who arrived at Station Road sporting a record of just four defeats in 20 outings prior to the Blues bashing! When the two sides met in Exeter back in September it was the hosts who claimed a crushing win, their 7-1 success at the time part of a seven-game unbeaten start to the campaign. But the Blues have seen their season turn since early November. At that stage Dave Carnall's mis- firing side looked all-the-way a serious candidate for the drop but, since late autumn, they have lost just the once and Saturday's superb success over a side with very legitimate title credentials sent packing was a third successive win for Feniton and propelled them into the top three for the first time this season!The game was barely three minutes old when the Blues grabbed the lead. Jamie Easterbrook scored from a Richard Hudson pass and when John French repeated the exercise, again from a Hudson set piece delivery, the Blues went into the break two goals to the good and seemingly on their way to three points. All that changed with five early second half minutes following a couple of very elementary defensive blunders, but back came Feniton and, thanks to some neat approach work from Sean Devine, the impressive Andy Jones was able to put his side ahead again. The lead was doubled in impressive style when full back Stuart Blackmore strode forward and unleashed a fierce drive that flew into the net from fully 30 yards. A superb delivery into the six yard box from Jones was knocked into his own net by a visiting defender to further increase the home lead. The Exeter side reduced the arrears to 5-3 with a superb free kick but Feniton weren't finished and sub Mark Simic netted to give the final score that look of 6-3: "We had to win the game twice but it was a fabulous all round effort. We are in great form right now and, having got ourselves in to what I consider a warranted top three berth now, I want us to show consistency and stay here until the end of the season."Carnall takes his side to Topsham Town on Saturday and that should be an acid test to see if they can indeed 'hang around' in such lofty company at the business end of the table.If the Feniton score line was headline making then the Beer Albion 3-3 draw with second placed Wellington Reserves was equally deserving of being broadcast loud and clear across the footballing community. Before Christmas, Albion were stuck in the lower reaches of the Premier Division and looking very much like a side set for a battle against relegation. Indeed, in a seven game run to the end of November, they banked just half a dozen points but, since then, it's four wins and a draw and only the one 'blip', a disappointing day at Hatherleigh, for the ever improving side. The Somerset opponents arrived at Furzebrake with a team who many consider to be the main title pretenders and, although they led 2-0 at the half way stage, by the end of the contest they were a well beaten outfit, thanks to a stirring second half display from the Fishermen. In particular striker James Melville, who helped himself to a second half treble. Having come back from that half time deficit and then taking a 3-2 lead before spurning an 85th minute penalty, Beer boss Matt Rooke didn't know whether he should laugh or cry: "I suppose post match I am supposed to champion the come-back kings and say that's a point gained, but the other side of the coin is the fact that, having got back all square, and then taking charge, we spurned that late penalty and conceded in the 93rd minute of the contest."I am left thinking very much that that's two points dropped - football, it's a crazy game isn't it?"It was a half time tactical switch that paid dividends for Rooke. He moved Luke Bartlett from the role of 'just in behind' the front two to a more forward position and the twin strike force became a 'three'. Matty Rowson was able to run the channels well, Bartlett saw to it that the ball stuck and was moved around whilst Melville applied the polished finish and it worked so well that a two goal deficit ultimately became a 3-2 lead. With five minutes to go, the home side were awarded a penalty kick and a huge opportunity to nail down the three points. Martin Hancock strode forward and hit the spot kick well enough but the visiting keeper was equal to the effort and, to be fair, pulled off a stunning stop. As is so often the case in such situations, when one more chance fell to the visitors they took it, albeit with the match clock showing 93 minutes."We are playing much better now and I always felt that, with home games to come, we would quickly turn our season round. I am certainly targeting a top six berth now for this side and I will be disappointed if they don't achieve at least that."The only other area side to get action on Saturday was Feniton 3rds who hosted Bradninch in an Intermediate Four game which the visitors won 3-1.