Axminster Town joint boss speaks about the nine goal thriller at Plymouth

The Axminster Town programme cover for their meeting with Elburton Villa. Picture ATAFC

The Axminster Town programme cover for their meeting with Elburton Villa. Picture ATAFC - Credit: Archant

Axminster Town were involved in a game of nine goals when they travelled to Plymouth Marjons for their latest South West Peninsula League Premier Division East outing.

It was a case of frustrations all round for the Tigers who were culpable - through individual errors - for at least two of the students' goals while, at the other end of the pitch, striker Rich Hebditch scored an excellent hat-trick in a contest that must have been a 'superb watch' for any neutral supporter!

Both sides held the lead at various times with the students striking first only for the Tigers to hold a 2-1 advantage before the first half came to an end with the home side leading 3-2!

Town levelled early in the second half, but then shipped two more to trail 5-3. However, they showed bags of character throughout and when they got a fourth it set up a grandstand finish during which time Jacob Rowe, with almost the last kick of the contest, saw a terrific effort hit the outside of the upright!

Tigers' joint boss Josh Stunell says: "That last-gasp shot hitting the post summed up another afternoon when the footballing gods were certainly not looking after us! That said, we have shipped five goals, though at least two were down to awful individual errors and it's a shame that we have scored four in away games and yet had to travel home with nowt to show for our contribution to a terrific game."

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He added: "You have to feel for Rich [Hebditch] who scored a great treble and yet ended on the losing side.

"He did miss a 'sitter' when we were 2-1 up, but he then more than atoned with his individual performance - he led the line so well.

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Town, who travelled to Plymouth without their talisman Glen Gould, who was unavailable, were also missing suspended duo Mark Scott and Callum Garrett and the injured Jonny Hurst.

Stunell says: "We were missing key players, but the lads who came in gave their all and it was only the individual errors that cost us dear on the day."

The Town joint boss added: "We are hoping to have Cameron [Vere] back with us from this coming weekend and that will give us a massive boost. He will be like a new signing and I am sure his regular appearance in the side will see a change in our fortunes."

On the subject of looking forward, Stunell says: "As Johnny [his fellow joint manager Jonny Hurford] said last week, for us right now its all about getting a settled side out on a regular basis with the long-term target this season of consolidating our place in this division. It's a good standard and there are some good teams at this level. It's also fair to see there are no 'easy games' and teams at the foot of the table are quite capable of giving the high flying teams a run for their money on any given matchday."

Next up for the Tigers is a Saturday visit from Cullompton Rangers - the first of back-to-back home games with Dartmouth the visitors to Tiger Way on Saturday, December 21.

For the Cullompton game, Town will still be without suspended duo Mark Scott and Callum Garrett.

Stunell says: "Mark [Scott] has two games left of his ban and Callum [Garrett] has the one so both will miss the meeting with Cully Rangers who are, of course, a changed team from the start of the season after they recruited a number of former Wellington players along with the Wellington and former Willand Rovers manager Clive Jones who is now part of the Mid Devon club's management team. It's sure to be a good game for they have had some decent results of late.

"For our part it's got to be about us not making the sort of individual errors we made down at Marjons. We do have quality in our squad and I am very confident that once we get everybody back fit and available and add in the quality of the likes of Cameron [Vere] you will see us start to get the results that we believe are in this squad of players currently at Tiger Way."

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