Honiton Town all set for midweek meeting with ‘benchmark side’ Feniton

PUBLISHED: 08:57 02 September 2015 | UPDATED: 08:57 02 September 2015

Football flag. Ref exsp 7256-33-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

Football flag. Ref exsp 7256-33-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn


Honiton Town have made a superb start to life in the Fresha Exeter and Devon League Premier Division and went into last night’s meeting with Feniton unbeaten after three early campaign matches, writes Steve Birley.

The Hippo’s are certainly making their presence felt and what makes their great start all the more remarkable is that just two season’s ago manager Kev Blackwell and his Mountbatten Park men were starting a campaign off of Division Two football!

Town were in action at Elmore for last week’s midweek encounter and emerged with a highly creditable share of the spoils from a 1-1 draw.

They shocked the highly-fancied Eagles by taking a first minute lead through Joe Mulhall, but the home side levelled later in the first half.

After the break Lewis Couch came close to winning the game with one of his trademark free kicks, and Chris Long hit the post after some excellent team play.

On Saturday the Hippo’s were 3-1 winners at Clyst Valley.

Mulhall was once again amongst the goal scorers with the other Town goals coming from Jordan Stickland and Lewis Couch, the latter rifling home another superbly struck free-kick.

A late penalty for the home side denied Town a clean sheet success.

Town boss Kev Blackwell, speaking before the Tuesday night test against Feniton said: “To have taken seven points out of nine from the first three matches is a brilliant achievement, especially as all the games were away from home. If we didn’t know how good this league was before the midweek game at Horsdon Park, we certainly did after it! It tested us mentally and physically as Elmore certainly kept the ball moving very well on what proved to be a heavy and strength sapping pitch.

Then on Saturday, after such a touch midweek outing, we asked the lads to do it all again and the rigours of Wednesday night took their toll with Chris Long pulling out during the warm-up and several others appearing with more bandages on than Tut en Kamen! However, yet again the lads rose to the challenge.”

Not only is it a squad game this season, but the efforts of those off the pitch have also been doubled with John Connett stepping up to run the line despite his own injury problems and Pete Farmer rushing around sorting kit and equipment - this along with the efforts of Tish and Alan Mackay makes my job easier. Whilst the players can rightly take credit for on the pitch I am thankful to have such a fantastic off the pitch team as well.

“For a few years, I have been saying how I want Town to be rubbing shoulders with the likes of Feniton and so to finally get the chance to test ourselves against such vaunted opposition is very special.”

However, Blackwell did suffer a pre-season blow with the departure of his number two Garry Osborne.

Blackwell explained the parting saying: “Our good start to the season has been tinged with some sadness with my right hand man and friend Garry (Osborne) deciding to step down. His son Liam, is doing extremely well with the Arsenal set-up and quite rightly Garry must put his focus there. I thank Garry for all of his efforts with the team and myself - no doubt he will be about for a beer and still plans to cheer on the lads as and when he can.

“However, as they say, as one door shuts, another opens and Nick ‘Oggy’ Ogden has agreed to step in and help and join our team on a match day. Nick brings with him a wealth of experience, something that will only benefit the team and myself. Nick will have forgotten more than I will ever know about the game and I know the lads are pleased to have him onboard - some of whom worked with him previously at Offwell.”

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