Honiton Town make flying start to new season.
PUBLISHED: 16:58 02 September 2014 | UPDATED: 16:58 02 September 2014
Honiton Town have made a superb start to life in a higher division of the Fresha Devon and Exeter League, writes Steve Birley.
The Hippos enjoyed back-to-back victories, defeating Clyst Valley 2-1 in a midweek meeting before Saturday’s 5-1 triumph at seasoned Division One campaigners Bickleigh.
Town boss Kev Blackwell gave debuts to Matty Long, Jordan Stickland, Tom Perryman, Wayne Baker and Steve Trenchard, the latter returning to Mountbatten park after a year with Awlsicombe United, for the game at Clyst Valley.
The new faces were needed for Town went into the season’s opener without last seasons top scorer Tim Genders and the Players Player of the Year last term, Brad Groves, both missing through injury.
It was certainly a tough baptism for the side taking on a team who last season had plied their trade ion the Premier Division.
Ryan Dunn scored the first goal following up from good work from Joe Mulhall. A close offside call saw the home side draw level leaving before the break. However, it was no more than Town deserved when, five minutes before time, Man of the Match Joe Mulhall rifled home the winner.
Saturday’s trip to Mid Devon to Bickleigh saw Town benefit from an early own goal. It came during a bright opening spell from the Hippo’s, but they were pegged back via a stunning free-kick only for Lewis Couch to tuck away a penalty to give them a 2-1 half-time lead.
The lead was increased thanks to an early contender for goal of the season from Jack Knight who struck a sweet shot from 30-yards that screamed past the home glovesman.
Further goals from Tom Perryman and Wayne Baker saw Town to a 5-1 success.
Boss Blackwell said after the Bickleigh win: “I am certain that Bickleigh were missing a couple of players, even so, a lot of teams will come away from Bickleigh with nothing to show for their efforts so it is fantastic to come back to Honiton with all three points. What is particularly pleasing is that all of the players are showing a fantastic attitude towards each other. There is now real competition for places and the lads are competing together, rather than against each other, and can obviously see the bigger picture as this squad of players can achieve things and I really want them to fulfil their potential if they stick with it and stay patient if they are not in the side.”