Feniton prove their worth against the best

HONITON Town boss Paddy Thomas was left to rue a couple of points dropped when his side were forced to settle for a share of the spoils from a 2-2 draw at Witheridge.

The point did, at least, see Honiton climb off the foot off the Division One table.

Thomas said: “That’s points dropped for sure, I can’t fault the way the team battled, as they did so very well, but the plain fact is that we had enough chances to have brought all three points home with us.”

Sam Banks and Dan Broome netted the Town goals and next up for Thomas and his side is Saturday’s visit from a University side who were the last team to inflict a defeat on Town when they beat them 2-0 back on November 27. Thomas says: “I’ll be looking for marked improvement in terms of finishing off a game and we do owe the students one after that November defeat.”

Promotion-chasing Seaton Town were another side forced to settle for just a single point when they were held to a 1-1 at Budleigh Salterton. Mind you, with just a dozen minutes remaining, Town looked like falling to a rare defeat as their near continuous bombardment of the Robins’ goal was not bringing them any joy. However, their endeavours were rewarded when Mark Hancock slotted the leveller. With Sidmouth winning it means that Town now hold a four-point lead at the top with the Vikings in second place having played one game fewer. Next up for Josh Stunell’s side is a visit from Clyst Valley who they beat 3-1 when the pair met at Waterslade Park earlier in the season.

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Beer Albion left it mighty late to seal the points in their game at Hatherleigh with Luke Bartlett scoring the winner just 20 seconds from time! The Fishermen were not anywhere near their best in the first half, but a chat at the break sorted one or two things out and it was a much improved second half display that ultimately earned the them the three points. With some key players missing, most notably, Matt Rowson, Martin Adkin and James Melville, it was a couple of the Beer Reserves’ team who stepped up to help out and both covered themselves in glory.

Joe Adkin in defence and James Green in central midfield were outstanding and got rich praise from the Fisherman’s assistant boss, Jamie Bond, who said: “The two of them were really very impressive, and, after shifts like they both put in, they will very much be a part of our planning for the next game.”

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That next outing for the team is a Saturday home game with Wellington, when they will look to continue their marvellous, season-long unbeaten record at Furzebrake and both Adkin and Matty Rowson look set to return.

Feniton did something that only three other teams have managed to do all season long – bring something home from a visit to table topping Morchard Bishop! Richard Austin fired the Blues ahead and it remained that way until a second half equaliser for the home side. The point takes Feniton level with Sidbury in the Division One table and sets up this weekend’s clash between the two clubs at Acland Park. If Feniton emerge victorious, they will not only climb above Sidbury, but also put even more distance between themselves and the bottom three.

There was a double dose of weekend action for Colyton that brought the villagers mixed fortunes.

On Saturday, they slumped to a sixth successive game without victory when they went down 4-1 in a Division Three game at Broadclyst. What made the defeat all the harder to swallow for Colyton was that they scored first, with a goal created by Ian Gooding and finished by Callum Somers.

However, they then proceeded to spurn a number of opportunities to increase their lead before Broadclyst took charge.

Adding insult to injury for the villagers was the fact that they ended with 10 men after the sending off of Wayne Waddon. A clearly disappointed Mark Watkins said: “Once again it was a very disappointing afternoon – we didn’t take our chances, we had chances to defend all the goals and we didn’t defend them. With North Tawton picking up an excellent three points we have to realise that we are in a relegation dogfight and we need to stop looking for excuses and work hard as a unit to turn the season around”

It did get much better 24 hours later as Colyton made Grandisson Cup progress with a 2-1 home win over Farway United (see page 67). The visitors led at the break and, in truth, could have been well ahead. However, a much brighter home side took control and levelled in the 70th minute through George Moore. Ten minutes later Richard Tratt struck what proved to be the winner to mark Colyton’s first win in seven games.

Upottery’s Mark Tucker scored for both sides as Dan Prettejohn’s side beat Bampton 5-1. It was an explosive opening 35 minutes that proved to be the difference between the team as Upottery powered in to a 5-0 lead, with Tucker hitting a hat-trick and Ben Willmott and Catalan Pislaru also scoring. For the next 55 minutes the game was played out in the middle third of the pitch, with Pislaru the star man for Upottery.

Bampton got a consolation goal – scored in his own net by hat-trick hero Tucker. A delighted Prettejohn said: “We started very well and looked to be on our way to a big win then eased off but I can’t complain with five – can I?”

Upottery are up to sixth and with the departure from the Division above of Royal Marines AFC reserves it may well be that four teams get promoted which gives Prettejohn’s side a real chance of making a step up next season.

Offwell Rangers were 4-2 winners at Countess Wear Dynamos with Jack Knight bagging a brace and they are back in action this Saturday with a home game against high-flying Pinhoe.

Last week, they had lost their first match in eight and were out for revenge, but allowed Countess Wear to get a good opening goal.

Shortly afterwards, a great volley from Ben Fullick made the game 1-1. Offwell picked up the tempo and scored another through Jack Knight. In the second half, Offwell dominated and scored again through Jamie Doidge and then followed another from Knight.

Sloppy defending from Offwell allowed Countess Wear a consolation goal. Man of the Match was Jack Knight who looked sharp up front.

Seaton Town Reserves dropped a couple of points in their Division Four promotion bid. A 2-2 draw with Sidbury United Reserves was made all the more painful when news of other scores meant that, had Town won, they would have finished the day in joint second spot in the table. There’s a Saturday off for the Town second string this weekend.

Dunkeswell Rovers gave their Division Five survival bid a real boost with a 3-1 victory at Lords XI. The win takes the Dunks some five points clear of the bottom three and they are now just three points shy of ninth placed Cullompton Rangers Thirds. Next up for the Dunks is Saturday’s home game with Westexe Rovers, who currently occupy the third from bottom slot and who are those five points behind having played two games fewer.

Beer Albion Reserves’ Division Five promotion hopes took a knock after a 3-0 defeat at AFC Sidford. This Saturday, the Fishermen travel to Sampford Peverell.

Axmouth United suffered more Division Six woe as they slipped to a third successive defeat, beaten 3-2 at Chagford, who had started the day amongst the sides scrapping to avoid the drop!

United are at home to Uplowman this weekend.

Honiton Town Reserves shared the points with Priory in a 1-1 draw and the same two sides meet again this coming Saturday in the swift return, this time at Priory.

Awliscombe kept alive their promotion hopes with a 3-1 win at bottom-of-the-table Bampton. Another trip beckons this Saturday for the Awls as they go to Hatherleigh.

Offwell Rangers Reserves recorded a fine 4-0 Division Eight win over Tedburn St Mary with Liam Spiller hitting a double and both Vullent Guri and Ollie Cramer also on the score sheet.

Cramer was awarded the Man of the Match award by matchday sponsors, Denhay.

This weekend, the Rangers’ second team travel to Okehampton. Also in the basement Division there was a 5-0 Acland Park win for Feniton Thirds over bottom side Langdon. The Blues third string have no league game this weekend.

No joy for the Colyton Reserves though, they went down by the odd goal in three to Met office.

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