Honiton hold highflyers to draw

PUBLISHED: 13:41 27 January 2011

Action between Exmouth Town and Axminster at the Southern Road ground on Saturday. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref mhsp 1094-04-11SH

Action between Exmouth Town and Axminster at the Southern Road ground on Saturday. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref mhsp 1094-04-11SH


HONITON Town produced the performance of the weekend when they held high-flying Morchard Bishop to a 1-1 Mountbatten Park draw.

Town are unbeaten since the turn of the year and, in the past two games, have taken points from the top two sides in the Division. Further proof, if any were needed, that new boss Paddy Thomas is slowly but surely turning things round at the club.

Saturday’s performance, and result, typified the air of confidence sweeping through the team. The visitors took a 20th minute lead but, instead of that being the signal for another bad day at the office, Town responded and were level within 10 minutes.

Sam Farmer provided the inspiration and Dave Woodman applied a polished finish for what proved to be the second, and final goal, of the game.

Thomas said: “We played very well and game by game you can see the confidence being restored to the ranks. The past three results have shown to everybody connected with the club that’s there’s plenty of life left in us and the next step has to be to break our duck in terms of finding a win and then I am confident we will continue to go from strength to strength.”

Sean Lappin was once again outstanding at centre back for Town who are back in action this weekend at Feniton, who, if they can beat, will then be just a single point above them in the table.

Seaton Town boss Josh Stunell wove his particular brand of half-time magic to ensure that his side did not slip to a second successive defeat as they recovered from two down to beat visiting Thorverton 3-2.

The Mid Devon side led 2-0 until just before the break when Marcus Wyatt headed a corner home and that gave Stunell something to work with at the interval. He said: “I championed the lads to keep it simple and focus on just why they are top of the table at present. It worked for, after the break, we looked our more fluent selves and were ultimately worthy winners.”

For the trip to the Alphas, Stunell has a tough task with selection for Mark Hancock, Brad Groves and Josh French, who all missed the Thorverton win, return to the fold. Hancock has returned to East Devon after a spell of travelling and he will be pressing for a recall but Stunell will wait to see what sort of physical shape he is in before he gets him back into the action. Stunell says: “He (Hancock) will need to show me that he is ready for the stage, I don’t know yet what shape he is in post travelling, but he’s the sort of lad who will be keen to get involved again straight away.”

Beer Albion were denied action when their game became one of many to be postponed owing to a frost-bound pitch. The Fishermen will hope for better weather this weekend when they are due to travel into Exeter to meet Heavitree Social United and Mark Ward’s men were also in action last night at Willand Rovers.

Feniton were without a game on Saturday but the point that Honiton banked from their game means that the Blues are in a ‘must win’ game this coming Saturday when they entertain their east Devon rivals at Acland Park.

Mark Kingdon’s side are locked into a miserable run. Since they shared four goals with Honiton Town at Mountbatten Park back on October 2, they have drawn just one of the last 10 and scored only six goals!

In Division Two, Colyton were also out of action last weekend. This Saturday they travel to struggling North Tawton where they will be hoping they can register a sixth win of the season.

Upottery boss Dan Prettejohn was delighted with his charges’ response to the previous week’s lame effort that had seen them well and truly spanked! The villagers shared four goals with high flying visitors Chard Town who escaped with a point thanks to a goal in the fifth minute of added time! The Western League reserve side were one up before Catalan Pislaru equalised and it looked as if a second half effort from Dave Clare was going to bring Prettejohn’s side a sixth success of the league season when Chard struck late in the game.

Keith Lane put in a superb shift for the villagers and boss Prettejohn said: “I am so pleased with the response the team gave us after the seven goal mauling by Topsham. We were also three defeats on the spin so this is very much something to work with.”

Upottery will look to play only their fourth league game since November this coming weekend when they entertain Countess Wear Dynamos.

Seaton Town Reserves’ Division Four promotion push was hit by the postponement of their visit to Thorverton with frost the problem in Mid Devon. This weekend the Colyford Road second string entertain a Bickleigh side who sit third, just two points and two places better off than Town who have played a game fewer.

There was disappointment for both Beer Albion Reserves and Dunkeswell Rovers in their respective Division Five games. The Fishermen, who had gone top of the table just the week before, slipped to a 2-0 home defeat to a Westexe Rovers side who were winning for only the second time this term whilst the Dunks scored twice at AFC Sidford but also shipped five, including three in the final ten minutes. They find themselves hovering just above the drop zone. This weekend the Fishermen travel to University whilst the Dunks host Alphington.

In Division Six Axmouth United gave their promotion push a real boost with glut of goals in a 9-1 win over visiting Priory.

After playing second fiddle in the opening stages to a lively opposition side, Charlie Clarke fired them ahead but the lead was short lived and it was not until the equaliser that United shook off their sluggishness to take charge. Clarke struck again and Stuart Aykroyd also notched to send the hosts into the break 3-1 to the good.

United dominated the second half with both Jamie Hughes and substitute Ashley Poynton bagging braces whilst Mike Challis and Asa Sandman also scored to wrap up an emphatic victory.

The win took United to the top of the table, something that delights boss Laurie Forino who said: “I am thrilled for everybody concerned that we have hit top spot but we must temper the excitement with the fact that the campaign is only just over half-way through and there’s an awful lot of football still to be played. However, to hit the top now is testament to the efforts being put in on, and off, the pitch at the club.”

Awliscombe are also in the frame after they got the better of visiting Silverton by the odd goal in three. The Awls sit fifth, just six points behind new leaders Axmouth United. Next up for the Awls is Saturday’s visit to UAU Exeter.

In Division Nine there was an astonishing haul of goals at Offwell Rangers Reserves where the home side beat Winkleigh 9-5!

At one stage the sides had shared eight goals but then Offwell took control. Liam Spiller hit a hat-trick, Ollie Cramer struck a brace and there were single goals for Karl Allen, Jack Knight and Ian Dure together with an own goal. Match sponsors Ali Kebabs named Dure as the Man of the Match.

The games involving Feniton Thirds and Colyton Reservesboth fell to frozen surfaces.

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