Dunkeswell celebrate win

FENITON slipped to a desperately disappointing 4-1 defeat at Alphington and now sit half a dozen points adrift of safety in the Premier Division.

FENITON slipped to a desperately disappointing 4-1 defeat at Alphington and now sit half a dozen points adrift of safety in the Premier Division.

Two thirds of the season have now passed and unless the Blues begin to climb the table they are destined for life in Division One next term!

Next up for Feniton is an enormously important encounter when they travel to a Wellington side who will start the game sitting one place, and two points above them, in the table, having played three games fewer. Anything other than a win in Somerset on Saturday and a bottom three finish will begin to look unavoidable.

Seaton Town's march towards Division One glory continued but they were made to work mighty hard to secure three points at the expense of bottom of the table Elmore.

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A Ben Ede goal on the stroke of half-time allowed Town boss Josh Stunell to tone down his team talk. The second half saw a slight improvement and, to be fair to both sets of players, the hard surface made for difficult natural football conditions. Stunell said: "The biggest plus we can take from this is that, playing below our best, we have still banked all three points and it's one more game closer to where we want to be come the end of April."

Next up for Town is Saturday's visit of Bow AAC and Stunell is expecting a tough encounter: "They are certainly one of those teams very capable of keeping us out of a top three finish and so we will need to be focused. That said we have a fully fit squad and the games are arriving thick and fast now with the end of the season in sight. Now is the time to find that extra yard to ensure that we get our just rewards in a couple of month's time."

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Beer Albion are very much in the promotion race to reclaim a top flight berth next term. Their latest victory, a 2-1 Furzebrake success over Broadclyst, came courtesy of a brace of headers from Mike Wheeler and Matt Rowson. Beer now head for Saturday's meeting with Morchard Bishop sitting fourth, just a point behind third placed Heavitree Social United.

At the other end of the table Upottery might have been beaten again, but the nature of their loss to high flying Witheridge adds further weight to the argument that the villagers can avoid the drop.

Dean Crabb fired Upottery level but a second goal for the visitors shortly after the re-start put Upottery behind again and a third effectively killed the game off. But they did score the last goal with Crabb slotting his second.

Upottery boss Merv Sawyer said: "It was a performance of real heart and if we can replicate that in coming games we will get ourselves out of the bottom three." Next up for Sawyer's side is Saturday's visit to Westexe, the side who sit immediately above them in the table: "It's a massive game, no avoiding that, if we can get a positive result up there it will boost the cause no end."

Honiton Town did their Division Two promotion hopes the power of good with a 2-0 success over Newtown and that means that Town can head into Saturday's home meeting with leaders Barnstaple Town knowing that any form of positive result will keep them in the race for a top three finish, and with it promotion to Division One.

It promises to be quite a game as Barum have been beaten just once all season in the league whilst Town have been beaten just once at home!

In Division Three, Colyton recorded an outstanding victory, beating fellow promotion hopefuls Royal Marines AFC Reserves 4-1. It was testimony to how well Colyton performed that the Marines barely threatened in the first half whilst, at the other end, Richard Tratt powered in a header for the only score of the first half.

After the break the vital second goal arrived when Marc Potter's fierce shot was only parried and Callum Somers applied a polished finish. Somers added a second when the fleetfooted youngster robbed a defender before racing clear to tuck the ball away and Tratt made it 4-0. The visitors did notch a late consolation to end the hopes of the impressive Colyton keeper, Kris Reid, recording another clean sheet.

Boss Keith Somers said: "It was a really good performance and we thoroughly deserved the win. It's rather sobering to think that shortly, some of the lads we played against will be deployed to Afghanistan, and they go with our heartfelt best wishes for a safe tour."

Local pub, The Gerrard Arms sponsored the Colyton Man of the Match, and the award was handed out to the impressive Nick Pritchard for a masterful display at centre back.

Next up for Colyton, who have moved to within a point of new leaders Sidmouth Town Reserves after the Vikings became the first team to defeat Phoenix in the league this term, is a trip to mid-table Topsham Town whom they thumped 8-1 back on October 31.

Offwell resumed their Division Four challenge after a four week lay-off and showed no ill-effects with a 5-2 win at Crediton.

An early goal from Dan Edwards suggested the potential for a big score but sloppy work in the defensive third gifted the hosts an equaliser before the break.

Despite half-time changes the home side took a surprise lead early in the second period before Jack Knight restored parity and then Karl Allen took centre-stage scoring a superb hat-trick. Offwell boss, Nick Ogden said: "We really looked like a team that hadn't played for four weeks in the first half but, after the break, we raised the pace and, though we were well below our best, we ran out deserved winners. We all know we have to improve and hopefully, with the weather turning, we won't have anymore interruptions. On the plus side when we made the changes it gave them a real headache, and that's why its important to have a strong bench. Karl Allen was Man of the Match for his three goals and an assist, not bad for an old fella at left back!".

This weekend Offwell, who sit third, just four points adrift of top spot, entertain Seaton.

It was a red letter day for Division Five strugglers Dunkeswell Rovers as they recorded a first win of the league season, at the 14th time of asking!

What's more the win was sufficient to lift them off the foot of the table at the expense of the team they beat, Broadclyst.

The visitors scored first but the Dunks had turned it round to lead 2-1 at the break and they added a third before a late second from the visitors.

Dan Snell with two and a Stuart Ward penalty, did the trick for the Dunks for whom the star men on the day were undoubtedly centre back Shaun Wills and midfield pair Jamie Berry and Max McKeown.

Boss Rod Hill said: "It was a great relief to get that first win and now perhaps we can look for a second. There's life in us yet!"

Feniton Reserves shared eight goals with hosts Exmouth Amateurs, this weekend the Blues' second string entertain bottom-of-the-table Broadclyst.

In Division Six, there were defeats for both Beer Albion Reserves and Awliscombe. The Fishermen lost 3-0 at Alphington and host Ottery this weekend. The Awls went down 1-0 at home to Exmouth Town Reserves and this weekend travel to Silverton.

Better news for Axmouth United who beat Heavitree Social United by the odd goal in five. They were 2-0 down in 20 minutes having already had Jamie Hughes sent off for a much disputed handball by then.

After the break they put on a stunning display of commitment. Manager Laurie Forino pulled a goal back from a 20 yard free kick which lit the side up. Asa Sandman levelled and Sandman clinched the win with a header seven minutes from time. Forino said:"All credit to the Heavitree lads who were gracious in defeat, accepting we deserved the win and a great result and demonstration of teamwork proving the vital factor and provide back to back wins for the first time which took us up a couple of places in the league."

This weekend United host UAU Exeter.

In Division Seven, Honiton Town Reserves were beaten 2-1 at Dawlish. This weekend they travel again with a long haul out to Okehampton.

In Division Nine, Offwell Rangers Reserves beat Winkleigh 3-2. This weekend they travel to Countess Wear Dynamoes.

Colyton reserves emulated their first team with a fine win. They went nap at Otterton, setting themselves up nicely for this weekend's meeting with visitors' Cheriton Fitzpaine.

Seaton Town Thirds were 4-0 winners at home to Cheriton, and this weekend they make the long trek up to Winkleigh. Feniton Thirds, beaten 2-1 at Tipton last weekend, this Saturday head for Lapford.

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