Beer and Seaton head for cracking derby

PUBLISHED: 20:55 16 December 2010

Youth footy. Honiton under 12's (red) took on Sidmouth Under 12's (green) on Sunday morning. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref mhspwk 50 8395-50-10AW

Youth footy. Honiton under 12's (red) took on Sidmouth Under 12's (green) on Sunday morning. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref mhspwk 50 8395-50-10AW


Seaton Town sit proudly on top of the Devon and Exeter League Premier Division after beating Topsham Town 2-1, whilst the Saturday morning’s joint leaders, St Martin’s, let slip a two goal lead at Budleigh Salterton before going down 3-2.

Town have now won nine top flight games on the bounce and have won six from six at home!

Alex Wheatley, one of the smallest players on the pitch, climbed highest to head home a corner and, after the Tops had levelled, a superb strike from Ollie Highet, settled the issue.

Ben Ede was carried off in the first half but heavy bruising means he will be fit to play next week against Beer.

Town boss, Josh Stunell, felt it was a comfortable success. He said: “We were always in control and I never doubted that we would seal the win. Topsham provided a really physical threat and we stood up well. To be top is great, but it is only December and we must keep our feet firmly on the ground.”

It’s a local derby visit to Beer Albion on Saturday afternoon. Stunell says: “I’m not one for this intense rivalry of them and us. I much prefer to see the local area sporting two sides sharing the limelight at the business end of the table. Of course, the game’s important, but no more so than all the other top flight matches.”

Beer were edged out by the odd goal in three at Clyst Valley but, once again, the narrowness of the defeat owes much to the new spirit flowing through the Fishermen’s ranks right now.

But for the depth of the cross bar the game would have ended in an honourable draw, the hosts scoring in the final minute when a ball thundered against the Beer bar only to bounce down invitingly for the home forward to tuck away.

A superb effort from Matt Rowson gave the Fishermen the lead, but the hosts were level before the break and there was an element of good fortune about it as a cross shot cannoned off the unfortunate James Melville and past Mark Rooke in the Beer goal.

Beer boss Mark Ward said: “We were unlucky as they did score their winner when there was no time for us to find a response. We played okay and it was a game that could have gone either way.”

Ward says of the Seaton Town visit: “It’s certainly a game that, given the fact that some of my side have Seaton connections and all the players know about each other, makes for a real derby. I am sure it will be a compelling game and it may well be that our magical home support helps us over the line.”

Feniton drew 1-1 with fellow Division One strugglers Elmore, who were picking up their first point after nine straight defeats! The visitors were aided by the fact that their Western league side had been forced to call off their scheduled game earlier in the day.

It was, yet again, a case of what might have been for the Blues as boss Mark Kingdon said: “We missed enough chances to have won a couple of games and it’s something we can’t seem to put right at the moment. There’s no doubt that we have a lot of good things about our game and, when it all clicks, I am sure we will see the real Feniton stand up!”

Next up for the Blues is a meeting with improving Sidbury United. Kingdon says: “It’s typical of our luck this season that we are now facing them (Sidbury) as they look to be returning to the sort of excellent form they were showing at the start of the campaign.”

Skipper Stuart Blackmore, who missed the Elmore game, returns to the side this weekend.

Colyton became only the fourth side to deny Division Two table topping Culm United all three points this term when they shared four goals with the Mid Devon side. Next up for Colyton is a home game against Broadclyst on Saturday.

In Division Three, Offwell Rangers won for only the fourth time this term in the League when they were 3-2 winners at South Zeal United, coming from behind twice before sealing the points.

Offwell made a sloppy start and fell behind inside the first 15 minutes. However, the response was swift as Jordan Stickland was quickest to react in the box to restore parity. The hosts got their noses in front before another fine finish from Stickland sent the sides into the break at 2-2. Shortly after the re-start a superb free-kick from Lewis Couch nestled in the top corner of the hosts net for what proved to the winning goal. Stickland was Man of the Match for the fine shift he put in leading the attack. Next up for Rangers is an East Devon derby with visiting Upottery, who have yet to play a league game in December.

Feniton Reserves brought some cheer to Acland Park as they claimed their second success of the season with a 4-3 victory over visiting Alphington.

On Saturday, the Blues second string are at Cullompton Rangers Thirds.

Dunkeswell Rovers were well beaten 8-1 at University and there’s little respite for the Dunks who face a visit this weekend from table-topping, and Intermediate Cup semi-finalists, Woodbury.

Beer Reserves continue to be upwardly mobile and sit third, just a single point off leaders Woodbury, after a 4-2 win at home to Broadclyst.

Justin Adkin bagged a brace to put the Fishermen in the box seat and it was three when younger brother Rob struck. The visitors then got one back before Callum Gribble slammed in the fourth and the final goal of the game came with almost the last kick of the contest – a penalty for the visitors.

Boss Ross Morton missed the game as he was suffering with illness but he hopes to back in charge this Saturday when the Fishermen travel to Heavitree Social United.

The top of the table Division Six clash that doubled as an East Devon derby saw Awliscombe edge out Axmouth United by the odd goal in three.

The first half was a cagey affair as neither side could gain the upper hand. United struck first after the break when Jamie Hughes rifled in a free-kick from just outside the area on the hour mark. Five minutes later a Mark Reed cross was tapped home by Benjamin Gay to restore parity and then the Awls wrapped up all three points when Reed scored from close range after a scramble in the visitor’s goal mouth. The Awls Pete Nelson said: “We were good value for the win but it was as we had expected, a mighty tight affair. They are a decent side and played their part.”

This Saturday, the Awls entertain table topping Exmouth Town who were beaten for the very first time in League and Cup last weekend when defeated by Hatherleigh.

Jamie Hughes was the United Man of the Match and boss Lawrie Forino summed up saying: “It was a cracking game between two well-matched sides. We, perhaps, never got the sort of fluency to our play that has been a feature in recent weeks..” This Saturday they host Bampton.

Honiton Town Reserves picked up their third victory of the campaign when they defeated Silverton 4-0. A fine individual goal from Paul Blackmore set Town on their way and they added further goals from Josh Gribble, Nigel Swain and substitute, Tom Chown.

Boss Ashley Groves said: “It was fully deserved. A great first half in which we scored three times, set the game up for us. Jamie Couch was excellent again between the sticks for us.”

There’s more Mid Devon opposition for Town’s second string this Saturday when they travel to Cheriton Fitzpaine.

In Division Eight, Colyton Reserves went nap with a 5-0 home win over Lapford, that their fifth success of the league season. This Saturday Colyton travel to Lapford.

Feniton Thirds were 6-1 winners at Langdon and they move up to fifth in the table, just four points shy of the leaders.

Offwell Rangers reserves won 4-0 at Otterton and they sit seventh in the table. This weekend the Rangers reserves travel to Met Office.

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