Axminster Town lose first ever league game at new Tiger Way home

PUBLISHED: 11:57 08 August 2015 | UPDATED: 11:57 08 August 2015

Archant

A bumper crowd of 263 saw ten-man Axminster Town lose their first ever competitive fixture at Tiger Way, beaten 3-1 by St Martins.

The visitors opened the scoring in the 11th minute through Dean Billingley and, on the half hour, Town’s Gary Mcauley picked up his second yellow card to leave the hosts a man down for two-thirds of the match.

Goals from Lee Parker and Jack Furzer gave Saints a 3-0 half-time lead.

A second half penalty from Ace High was well saved by Town glovesman Scott Wells-Burr.

In the fifth minute of stoppage time Ben Turner netted a consolation for the Tigers.

Town chairman Ray Self was clearly proud as punch post match about his club’s presentation of all things off the pitch but, understandably, disappointed with the result. However, optimism overrode any disappointment as the chairman alluded too saying: “Off the pitch it was a special night, very special indeed. I could not be more pleased with how things went in terms of the club’s presentation of the opening match of the new season here at our new home, Tiger Way. I am so grateful to the club folk who pitched in to make sure we delivered the goods. That said, of course it is all about football and, for me, the first half performance was certainly not want we are hoping to see. I sat back post match to assess things and have no doubt that the occasion got to some of the players. That’s totally understandable as it was, with such a crowd and all the build-up, quite an occasion to cope with. Losing Gary (Mcauley to that 30th minute second yellow card was a blow that we could have done without. The problems in the first half were centred on the fact we played far too much long ball which left Sam (Dibling) isolated up top. After the break we got the ball down, played with greater intent and matched a very good St Martins side”

He continued: “We musty give due credit to St Martins. I thought they were biog and strong and used the ball to great effect. I think they will have a good season based on what I saw for 90 minutes at Tiger Way.

“I was delighted that Ben Turner got what will now always be known as the first league goal at Tiger Way. Ben (Turner) is one of our own in as much as he has come through the ranks and it was really poignant that, on such a special night, one of our own should score that first one.”

With new boss Ian Burns away on holiday, Gary Mcauley was charged with overseeing the team that Burns had selected. Ray Self said; “Ian (Burns) kept I touch with me via text during the game and we had a lengthy conversation later in the evening. He knows he has a job on in term, so bedding in a new team and I suspect it will not happen over night for us. That said I am confident that he will get things right for us on the pitch to match the magnificent surroundings we now have.”

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