Beer buzzing after win
Devon and Exeter football
Beer Albion boss, Mark Ward, could not be happier with the way his side are performing and Saturday’s 3-1 victory over Exmouth Amateurs took the fishermen into a mid-table position in the Devon and Exeter league top flight.
Luke Bartlett fired Beer ahead, only for the Ammies to level before the break, but a superb all-round second half show saw Beer score twice more through a Matt Hancock free-kick and one from the outstanding James Melville. Ward said: “We were very good all over the pitch and, on the day, it all came together very well. James (Melville) worked tirelessly, leading the line and, if we can bank another three points against Alphington, who we owe one after the recent cup defeat, things will begin to look very rosy for us in terms of our league campaign.”
Beer entertain the Exeter side two weeks after going down to them in a cup tie. Alphington have yet to win a league game this term and Ward says: “The lads know they were poor in the cup tie and it’s an ideal chance to put the record straight.”
There was a Saturday off for Josh Stunell and his Seaton Town side. Other top flight teams did play and the table now sees Town sitting in fourth spot with the top four all having played five games and just a pair of points separating leaders St Martin’s from Town.
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This coming Saturday, Town entertain Newtown who sit immediately below them in the table. Stunell says his team should rise to the challenge: “It’s a good test of our growing maturity as a side. It should also be a good indicator of where we are come full time against a side who are yet to be beaten.”
More woes at Acland Park as Feniton slipped to what is already a third defeat of the Division One season.
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The Blues have not made the sort of start that indicates a swift return to the top flight they slipped out of at the end of last season and they are already 11pts adrift of leaders East Budleigh and five behind the sides sitting third and fourth! A 3-0 defeat at the hands of table topping East Budleigh is no signal for crisis talk but the loss was the third on the trot for the Blues, who last won a League game on the final weekend of September when they beat Halwill 3-2.
Against the table toppers the Blues had a glorious chance to break the first half deadlock when Paul Dowling spurned a one on one and, typical of Feniton’s current fortune, they were hit three times in the second half. An East Devon derby next for Mark Kingdon’s men as they make the short trip to meet a Tipton St John side who have also already been beaten three times. Kingdon says: “It’s a huge game, no escaping that. Defeat won’t end our season but victory will certainly kick-start it.”
If it’s despair at Acland Park, then it’s not far short of desperation at the Mountbatten Park home of Honiton Town where they are now seven league games without a win.
Joe Webber did bag a fine brace of goals but the Town net was breached seven times by hosts Chagford and, as a result, Town remain second bottom of the Division One table with only Elmore sitting below them.
Next up for Kevin Blackwell’s team is a tough looking task at home to high flying Barnstaple Town who beat Town 3-1 just a fortnight ago up in North Devon.
Upottery were edged out at South Zeal United but boss Dan Prettejohn had no complaints, saying: “It was a good game and, unfortunately for us, just one of those days when, had we played till sunset, we’d probably not have been able to hit the back of their net.” Ian Rowlands was once again the star man for the villagers. The centre mid-fielder is in a rich vein of form as he also had exceptional games in the previous two clean sheet victories when the side struck 11 goals.
Next up for Prettejohn is a real cracker with Saturday’s visit of table topping, unbeaten, Pinhoe, but the villagers are also unbeaten at home this term and so this should be a game to watch out for!”
Offwell Rangers went into their Division Three game with Lympstone having beaten them just seven days before. However, revenge was sweet for the Lympets as Rangers were beaten by the odd goal in five. The home side struck first but Rangers were level at the break, through Andy Lord. It got better for the visitors as they took a 2-1 lead after the re-start only for the home side to level straight from the re-start!
With 15 minutes remaining, the Lympets struck the fifth and final goal of the contest to seal a 3-2 win. A very disappointed Rangers’ boss, Nick Ogden, said: “We got exactly what we deserved, for too many of our lads were clearly not up for the physical game served up by the hosts. Sometimes it’s more a case of rolling the sleeves up and getting stuck-in. We are all down at the moment because we know we are better than this but, until every player in the team pulls their weight, we will keep getting beaten!”
Matty Long was named Man of the Match, but there’s a Saturday off this weekend as Rangers are without a game.
Colyton came within a whisker of taking something from a Division Three game at Exeter Civil Service that, for long periods, had looked a lost cause. The game started in heavy rain and the hosts took advantage of a mis-understanding in the Colyton defence to take an early lead.
A clearly out-of-sorts Colyton were making endless wrong decisions and much of the passing was either under-hit or, indeed, over-hit! Richard Tratt did serve up some rare excellence when he scored the equaliser to send the sides into the break at 1-1.
The first attack after the re-start offered Colyton the chance to take the lead, but Callum Somers’s shot was comfortably taken by the home keeper. The miss was to prove very costly, as Civil scored regularly throughout the half to open up a 4-1 lead and they also missed from the spot, thanks to a stunning Kris Reid save. With the game seemingly over, and just ten minutes remaining, it seemed a Gary May strike from the half-way line would serve merely as a consolation. Not so, as Colyton powered forward and substitute Vince made it 4-3 after great approach play from Wayne Waddon.
This was the signal for Colyton to throw everything into the search of an equaliser, but it was not to come and the earlier damage proved pivotal. On Saturday Colyton entertain Sidmouth Town Reserves.
Dunkeswell Rovers went nap at home to Cullompton Rangers Thirds with Steve Morris hitting a hat-trick. Dan England and an own goal made up the Dunks’ scorers, leaving boss Rod Hill to say: “We deserved it and played very well throughout. It will be tough game next, though, at top of the table Dolphin”. The Dunks travel into Exeter on Saturday for that meeting.
Axmouth United keeper Andrew Smart made a superb save to deny UAU Exeter an opening goal before Reece Hales broke the deadlock in the 22nd minute. Jamie Hughes missed from the penalty spot and an equaliser for the visitors sent the sides into the break at 1-1. Five minutes after the re-start, Charlie Hughes fired United ahead and it was quickly 3-1 when a Hughes cross was tucked away by Asa Sandman. A long- range effort from Jake Dack struck the bar and bounced down for Clarke to roll in his second. Back came the Exeter side and they struck their second before goals from Sandman and Dan Reynolds sealed a 6-2 win. United Boss Laurie Forino said: “It was a good performance and, but for the splendid effort from their keeper, we would surely have won by a greater margin. The team are playing with a noticeable good spirit and that’s helping all over the pitch.”
Asa Sandman was named Man of the Match for United, who have no League game this weekend.
There was a cracking encounter played out at Honiton Town reserves where Awliscombe were the visitors and four goals were shared by the sides. In a classic game of two halves, the honours were very much with Honiton before the break as they powered into a 2-0 lead courtesy of a Nigel Swain double. The second half belonged to the Awls and, post match, Town boss Ashley Groves had no complaints:
“It was a superb game and both sides deserved to take something from it.” Town skipper Ben Welch was the hosts’ Man of the Match.