Honiton Town have no time to dwell on cup exit as they are in Monday night action at Crediton

PUBLISHED: 10:33 07 October 2018

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Honiton Town crashed out of the Throgmorton Devon Premier Cup when beaten 4-2 at Mountbatten Park by visitors Bocca Seniors from the North Devon League Premier Division.

Not for the first time this season the Town team selection was hit with major selection woes owing to problems with availability.

Both Town and the Barnstaple-based opposition made bright starts to the contest, but it needed some superb goalkeeping from Hippos glovesman Alex Bowring, playing behind a make-shift home back line, that meant the first half ended with the visitors holding just a one-goal advantage.

During the break, Town boss Kev Blackwell tweaked things and the Hippos looked to be getting on top in the early exchanges of the second half, but it was the visitors who struck again to hold a 2-0 lead.

Town hit back, and it was no more than they deserved when Lewis Couch bundled the ball home from close range to score for the second game running.

However, Bocca Seniors have made a good start to their league campaign and they look a settled side which played a part in the way they stepped up a couple of gears to score twice more and hold a 4-1 lead.

A neat finish from Kieran Conway reduced he deficit, but there was to be no great home comeback and the Hippos slipped to a cup exit.

Joe Gamblin from Chippie Joes had no hesitation in awarding the Town Man of the Match award to the excellent Alex Bowring.

Town boss Kev Blackwell said: “They [Bocca Seniors] look a good – and settled –side. They certainly have an impressive attack, but the score line does flatter them. The post match mood in the dressing room reflected how Town followers will no doubt have felt – disappointed with the outcome from a contest that saw our lads give their all, but we were found wanting at times and that probably proved to be the difference on the day.”

Regarding the pre-match selection difficulties, the Town boss said: “It’s difficult to be over critical re the availability woes for I fully understand that the lads all have lives outside of the football, but it is very frustrating for the lads that have committed every week and equally displeasing to have two or three lads return to the squad to find that numbers have diminished elsewhere.

“I know that, speaking to other local football team managers, we are not alone in terms of problems with consistency of availability. From a managers point of view it’s a nightmare as it makes it so difficult to work on systems, team shape, and many other facets of the game when the staring eleven is changing as much as it does.”

He continued: “That said, I was extremely confident of the side that we selected was capable of putting in a performance and I wanted to build on our last few outings where the spirit and effort had returned to the side.

“I suppose, on reflection, I had made an atmosphere that was perhaps was not as intense as normal.

“I take responsibility for that, and the whole afternoon probably had a feeling of a friendly - I might be wrong, and I know that the lads worked hard, but it had that feel about and that’s probably how I set things up.”

The Hippos don’t have long to dwell on the cup exit for they are back in action on Monday night (October 8) when they travel to Mid Devon to face Crediton United in a South West Peninsula League Eastern Division match. Kick-off at Lords Meadow is 7.30pm. Next Saturday (October 13), Town are also in league action when they entertain Teignmouth at Mountbatten Way (3pm).

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