Axminster Town joint boss on midweek derby win: "Richly deserved"

PUBLISHED: 13:15 22 August 2019

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Axminster Town made it back-to-back wins in their new South West Peninsula League Premier Division East campaign as they won 3-2 in a well-contested midweek evening East Devon derby at Honiton Town.

The Tigers, fresh from their 5-0 home win over Plymouth Marjons were quickly into their stride at Mountbatten Park and took the lead with a stunning strike from 17-year-old right back Brad Loaring.

Ten minutes later the Tigers doubled their lead with a Tyler Wellman strike and they remained on top throughout the first half.

However, after the break the home side hit back with two goals in three minutes either side of the hour mark.

Town, clearly shaken by the speed with which the home team had hit back, took a while to settle again, but once they were back into their stride they looked the most likely of the two teams to get the games fifth - and probably decisive - goal, and they duly did!

Fittingly it was influential skipper Dan Peach who rifled the ball home in the 81st minute to give his side all three points.

Tigers joint boss Josh Stunell said: "We deserved to win, but lets give them [Honiton] credit for the way they did hit back early in the second half and they certainly made us work for the ultimate spoils."

He continued: "We said at half-time that what we needed to do from the re-start was adopt good game management, but sadly the lads certainly did not follow the game plan! That said, the Tom Perryman strike that gave them hope was out of the top draw strikes goal wise and, as so often happens when strikes like that 'fly in' it lifted them and the second goal came along very quickly.

"To give credit where credit is due though, what the lads did do is roll their sleeves up once we had been pegged back and there really was only going to be one winner in the final quarter of an hour."

Stunell added: "The fact that we were quite uncomfortable in the closing stages - they missed a great chance on 85 minutes - was simply down to us and we need to sharpen up our general game management."

Stunell had special praise for teenage full-back Loaring who opened the scoring. He said: "Young Brad's strike was simply awesome. It's got to be an early contender for goal of the season. He came to us from Chard in the summer and has settled into his role very comfortably indeed. I am sure he has a very bright future ahead of hi in then game."

Next up for the Tigers is Saturday's home meeting with Newton Abbot Spurs.

Stunell says: "I fancy that this will be our toughest test of the fledgling season to date. They [Newton Spurs] are always well organised and carry a threat and I don't doubt the 2019/20 Spurs version will be any different."

As for team news for the Tigers - they will certainly be without the holidaying Callum Garrett who also missed the midweek win at Honiton.

However, Jamie Barfoot, who missed the midweek derby - his place being taken by Town joint boss Johnny Hurford - is back available and he comes straight into an otherwise unchanged Tigers side. Kick-off at Tiger Way on Saturday is at 3pm.

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