Axmouth continue great start to season

PUBLISHED: 09:27 06 October 2010

Axminster at home to Sidmouth 2nds.

Axminster at home to Sidmouth 2nds.

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Steve Birley’s Devon and Exeter football roundup

IT IS a measure of just how much progress there has been at Colyford Road over the past 12 months that Seaton Town can defeat Alphington in a top flight game and boss Josh Stunell declares: “We are not yet firing on all cylinders”.

Ben Ede and Dan Norman fired Town into a two-goal lead before the Exeter side got one back. Ede struck his second to restore the two goal advantage before the Alphas notched a second with five minutes to go. That ought to have been the signal for a nervous end to the contest, but this current Town side are made of resilient stuff and they had little problem in seeing the game out for a fourth win in five top flight games and they continue to stand just one place off top spot in the Premier Division.

Stunell said: “We were not at our best, but that, in itself, is a real positive to grasp that we are not playing well and yet still registering victories. I am delighted with much of our forward play and we are the top flight’s leading scorers so far. But what we do need to do is get a little more streetwise in terms of tightening things up in various areas of play.”

The next two weekends see Town in cup action starting with this Saturday’s Devon Premier Cup home game with Bere Alston. With a fully fit squad to select from, Stunell says: “It’s a game I’d like to win, but I may opt to use the wider squad and try one or two things that will help us in terms of the bigger picture and, in particular, our league campaign.”

Beer Albion were good value for a share of the spoils with Premier high fliers Heavitree Social United who left Furzebrake with a point, thanks to the excellence of their goal keeper who kept out an 88th minute penalty from John Cooper.

The Fishermen trailed 1-0 at the break, but produced a wonderful second half display that fully merited, at the very least, the point they got from Cooper’s equaliser, scored on 65 minutes after good work from Luke Bartlett and James Melville.

With time running out, Melville was hauled down, cynically, when clean through. The Heavies’ defender, despite being the last man, saw yellow, and Cooper saw his spot kick well saved.

Fishermen’s boss Mark Ward said: “We were poor in the first half, but really got our act together after the break and I felt did enough in the second half to warrant taking all three points. They say luck evens itself out and so, hopefully, later in the campaign, we’ll pick up points we perhaps don’t deserve.”

On Saturday, Beer are again at home when they entertain Topsham Town in the Devon Premier Cup (2pm). Ward expects a tough game: “They (Topsham) are a quality, and ambitious outfit. I’ll be looking to turn to the squad and perhaps promote a couple of players, so that we can see how they cope with such a game.”

The local derby at Mountbatten Park, Honiton, where Feniton were the visitors for a Division One encounter, ended with honours even after the sides scored two goals each.

Dan Brown and Scott Bestow netted for the hosts, whilst John French and Charlie Selley struck for the Blues who were denied outright victory for the first time in their league campaign this term.

Both sides are back in League action this coming Saturday. Town will be seeking to gain their first win at the fifth time of asking in their fledgling League campaign when they entertain Cullompton Rangers. For Feniton it’s also home advantage when they entertain University at Acland Park.

Axminster Town Reserves’ miserable Division Two season continued on Saturday, when they were thumped 9-0 at Sector Lane by Sidmouth Town Reserves. The Tigers have now played four, lost the lot, shipped 24 goals, and sit bottom of the fledgling table.

Colyton climbed into the top half of the Division Two table with a comprehensive defeat of visiting North Tawton. Colyton might have been ahead as early as the third minute, but Callum Somers’ superb header cannoned back into play off the crossbar. Five minutes later they did take the lead when the impressive Brandon Bryant threaded a lovely ball through to Somers, who scored using the outside of his boot. The lead was doubled in the 16th minute when Nathan Maddocks rose majestically at the far post, connecting to direct his superb header goal ward.

Again the post came to North Tawton’s rescue, but this time Bryant was on hand to smash home the rebound. Colby’s third arrived on 24 minutes, when a well- placed Gary Sims corner was met at pace by Somers to head home into the bottom corner.

Teenager Erich Busby completed the first half scoring to send Colyton into the break with a four goal lead. In the second half the visitors added a physical edge to their game and three of their number found themselves in the referee’s notebook.

It was not until the 75th minute that Colyton added a fifth when full back Jimmy Richard made yet another impressive overlapping run down the left flank his cross found Jason Potter at the near post to guide the ball home. It was left to Bryant to have the final word and, in the 84th minute, he blasted home from 15 yards to seal a 6-0 victory. Next up is Saturday’s home game against Newtown when another home success could see the villagers up into a top three berth.

It might seem strange for a manager to praise his side after a 7-1 defeat but there were plenty of reasons for Upottery boss Dan Prettejohn to remain very upbeat after his side’s mauling at Barnstaple Town in the Devon Senior Cup.

The opposition team included a number of players with Western league experience and one, Sam Box, scored four times. Prettejohn said: “The lads really did battle magnificently and I’d have to say that, if we played as we did against any other side, I am sure we’d have got something out of the contest. “They (Barnstaple) were a class act and, when we got back into the game at 2-1, we were very much their equals until their experience and class got them away from us.”

Catalan Pislaru scored the Upottery consolation and, on Saturday, the villagers travel into Countess Wear for a league game.

Dunkeswell Rovers scored five times before the break at Alphington. Striker Steve Morris was the Dunks’ star man as he plundered a hat-trick and the other goals came from James Berry and via an unfortunate Alphas’ defender. The hosts did score a consolation in the second half, but Dunkeswell were always in command of the contest. It’s cup football for Rod Hill’s side this coming Saturday with a trip into Exeter to meet Whipton and Pinhoe.

Feniton Reserves were beaten 2-0 by early season high flying Woodbury. On Saturday, the Blues’ second string host East Budleigh Reserves in a Devon Intermediate Cup tie.

Beer Albion Reserves were single goal winners at Westexe Rovers Reserves and they take a break from the league this weekend with an Intermediate Cup tie at Exmouth Town Reserves.

Awliscombe maintained their marvellous start in Division Six with a fifth successive victory, beating UAU Exeter 4-0. The Awls are one of three sides to remain 100 percent for the season so far (the others being Axmouth United and Exmouth Town). This weekend the villagers have home advantage for a Devon Intermediate Cup tie against Farway United.

Honiton Town Reserves’ boss Ashley Groves was delighted with his sides’ 4-0 win at Chagford where all the goal scoring was completed before the break.

Chas Lane, Josh Gribble, Stuart Mackay and Matt Clothier-Smith, the latter from the penalty spot, struck the Town goals but it was central midfielder Matty Urquhart who took the individual honours with a first class display.

Groves said: “We were very good value. It was a powerful start that effectively set us up to take the points. I am definitely targeting promotion this term for this side and I think there’s no reason we can’t achieve that!”

Next up sees Town travel to one of the three teams in the Division with perfect early season records, Axmouth United.

Axmouth continued their magnificent start to the Division Six season with a fourth successive victory and they are the section’s leading scorers, with no fewer than 24 goals in four outings!

In a lightning start at home to Culm United they were three up inside 11 minutes. Asa Sandman latched onto a superb Daniel Reynolds’ pass and then James Berry and Sandman again, put United in charge. Keeper Matt Yea was left surprised by a long range shot that swerved in the air and that completed the first half scoring, sending Axmouth in at the break with a 3-1 lead.

Just past the hour Sandman’s clever ball got Berry in and he coolly slotted his second of the game. The Mid Devon side struck their second before a purple patch for the home side saw three goals being scored in just five minutes through Christian Burridge, Jon Taylor and Jamie Hughes.

The final word fell to the visitors as they scored the 10th, and final, goal of the contest.

Laurie Forino said: “We are playing very well as four wins from four suggests. In this game we created some 31 chances and that’s excellent going in any level of the game.”

In Division Eight Colyton reserves were 4-0 winners at Feniton Thirds thanks to a Vince Foxwell hat-trick. Ed Bushby scored the other Colyton goal.


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