Christmas in Peninsula football

Action from the Honiton Town 2-1 defeat to Elmore. Picture; ANDREW SYMONDS

Action from the Honiton Town 2-1 defeat to Elmore. Picture; ANDREW SYMONDS - Credit: Archant

The traditional Boxing Day football schedule is almost upon us and packed with fascinating local derbies in the South-West Peninsula League. 
Before we get to the festive schedule for the likes of Honiton Town and Axminster Town, it is perhaps pertinent to reflect on a weather-battered weekend for the league. 
Only three games survived the saturated conditions in the Peninsula East Division on Saturday, with Torpoint Athletic claiming top spot after a 5-1 win at home to Torrington. 
Brixham have closed the gap on the top three after a 5-0 win over Cullompton Rangers and Ilfracombe Town climbed up to fifth following their 5-1 defeat of Crediton United. 
Millbrook have been flying the Peninsula flag in the FA Vase this season but that adventure came to an end when they lost 3-2 at Wessex League club United Services Portsmouth. 
Weather permitting, the plan for Boxing Day involves an intriguing trip for Honiton Town to Sidmouth Town.  
Sidmouth are currently tenth in the league but a win for Honiton on Saturday would see them leapfrog the Vikings.  
Axminster Town will take encouragement from the heavy defeat suffered by Cullompton at Brixham, as the Tigers prepare to host Rangers on Boxing Day.  
A win for Axminster could see them jump above Holsworthy in the table, particularly as the North Devon side have a tough game against Ilfracombe. 
We then move on to a proper Christmas cracker on Monday, as Honiton host Axminster at Mountbatten Park.  
It is a big game for both clubs and Honiton, in particular, will be desperate to build momentum, as their 2021 schedule opens with a tricky trip to Ilfracombe. 
Axminster, meanwhile, begin the new year with a visit from Torrington and a festive period that the Tigers can look forward to with some relish. 
Everyone will be hoping, especially the Peninsula League fixture secretary, that the weather plays ball over Christmas, as the schedule already looks rammed if the season is to have any chance of being completed on time. 
Honiton are also booked to play Brixham, Dartmouth and Torpoint in January, while Axminster have further fixtures with Ilfracombe, Cullompton, Torpoint, Torridgeside and Elburton Villa in a hectic month. 

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