Football action possible at only 17 district venues ...

PUBLISHED: 12:19 03 March 2010 | UPDATED: 00:59 16 June 2010

A HALF century of matches was cancelled as the weather continued its seemingly endless assault on the Devon and Exeter League season.

A HALF century of matches was cancelled as the weather continued its seemingly endless assault on the Devon and Exeter League season.

Incredibly, in the 17 weeks since the final Saturday of October, there have been just two weekend programmes that have seen a full 70-match programme completed!

Action was possible at only 17 venues, of which just two staged top flight football and Feniton's meeting with Exmouth Amateurs was not one of them.

With Acland Park unable to stage a game, it underlines the amount of rain that fell on Friday night and Saturday morning!

This weekend, the Blues have a tough looking engagement at a Heavitree Social side who have suffered just two top flight defeats this season.

The Seaton Town bid to bring Premier Division football to Colyford Road continues to gather momentum and, on Saturday, they opened a nine point gap between themselves and second placed Cullompton Rangers by defeating the visiting Mid Devon side 4-2.

In front of a 200-plus crow,d the home side went ahead when Marcus Wyatt pressured a visiting defender who promptly lifted the ball up and over his own keeper - from 25 yards!

Josh French then headed home, only for the linesman to rule it out, and the Mid Devon side were level by the break, courtesy of a goal scored following the non clearance of a corner.

Town took charge after the break as Robbie Fellingham crossed for Wyatt to head home - and then the games outstanding individual, Charlie Cross, marked his magnificent contribution with a goal.

The visitors again found a response - there's the pick of the game's goals - before Dan Norman climbed off the bench to score in his first outing for Town since moving in from Sidmouth Town.

The goal, his first for Town, also his 22nd of the season to date!

Town boss Josh Stunnell said: "It was a very good performance and we are beginning to find an excellent consistency of team play.

"It's no fluke that we are playing well, because the team are all working hard for each other.

"But now the hard work really begins.

"It worried me post match that one or two were suggesting the job's done - it most certainly isn't; there's plenty of football left in this season.

"But if we stay focussed and fully committed, then we will be okay."

Next up for Stunnell's upwardly mobile outfit is Saturday's trip along the East Devon coast to meet third from bottom East Budleigh who they beat 2-1 at Colyford Road on Hallowe'en.

Honiton Town suffered a disappointing Division Two 2-1 home defeat to Axminster Town Reserves.

Town's new boss Nigel Doe felt his side had done enough to warrant taking something from the game. He said: "It was a typical all-action derby in which both sets of players gave their all. From our angle, a brace of gilt- edged chances that went begging did for us. But we have a great chance to put the record straight this weekend with the return at their place."

It was only the third defeat of the league campaign for a Town side who can count themselves unlucky to have come up against the Sector Lane outfit on a day when their first team was inactive.

After Joel Gosling put the Tigers ahead, Daren Witt levelled from the penalty spot before Richie Emmett, who would certainly have been with the Town senior side, came off the bench to fire the winner.

Doe's men will seek to bounce back this coming weekend when they travel to Sector Lane for an instant return meeting with the Tigers. That game will be the home side's 16th of the 26 game league season and that's more outings than anyone else in the section.

Upottery's bid for a third successive game without defeat was undone by the weather. Merv Sawyer's side have been hit harder than most this term. Since December 12, they have played just three times, suffering a single goal defeat to Axminster, drawing with University and thumping Dawlish Town.

The villagers will hope for improved weather to enable them to stage this Saturday's game with Exeter Civil Service which, if played, will be only their fourth game of the mid season period in 12 weeks!

Colyton's top of the table game with Phoenix was washed out and that leaves Keith Somers' promotion hopefuls with 15 games to negotiate in the remaining 67 days of the season starting with Saturday's trip to Kentisbeare.

No action for Division Four promotion hopefuls Offwell Rangers and they are without a league game this coming weekend. Third placed Rangers next play on March 13 at second from bottom Crediton, after which they have a run of four successive home games.

Seaton Town Reserves remain very much part of the race for a top three finish and they entertain second placed Countess Wear Dynamos on Saturday.

The Exeter side will start the game two places, and four points, better off than Town's second string.

There was no local action in Division Five. This weekend Feniton Reserves travel to Sampford Peverell whilst Dunkeswell Rovers are also in Mid Devon, at Thorverton.

When the weather bites badly you can generally safely travel to Furzebrake, Beer, to watch football - and that was again the case on Saturday when the Fishermen inflicted only a third Division Six defeat of the season on Awliscombe United, beating their fellow East Devon rivals by the odd goal in three. Justin Adkin was the match winner, bagging both the home side's goals.

Beer are now unbeaten in nine games with their last defeat being by the odd goal in five at Awliscombe back on October 31. Since then the Fishermen have banked all but four of the 27 points they have played for to make great strides towards the top of the table which, if they win at Exmouth this Saturday, and other results go their way, they will reach come 5pm this Saturday afternoon.

Two defeats in February have seriously dented the Awls own promotion bid. They remain very much in the mix, but will be keen to return to winning ways this Saturday when they go to Alphington Reserves.

No Division seven games survived; this weekend Honiton Town Reserves have home advantage for the visit of Culm United's second string.

In the bottom Division, there was only the one game that beat the weather and it saw Colyton Reserves win 6-1 at Winkleigh. It was a day for the Colyton young guns to shine as all the goal scorers were teenagers!

Erich Busby bagged a brace whilst his twin brother Ed also notched and the other goals came from Brandon Bryant, Chris Long and Duane Guy, the latter also setting up four of the goals.

On Saturday, Colyton stage an East Devon derby with the visit of Tipton St John. Offwell Rangers Reserves have, arguably, the day's toughest ask for local sides this coming Saturday when they travel to face a Topsham Town Thirds who remain unbeaten this season.

Also in the bottom section, Seaton Thirds travel to Hemyock and Feniton Thirds are away at Countess Wear Dynamos.

By Stephen Birley

East Devon football


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