Knox hat-trick as Hippos twice let two-goal lead slip in 4-4 draw at Elmore
PUBLISHED: 17:58 09 February 2020
Honiton Town returned from their visit to Elmore with their unbeaten run since the turn of the year intact, but no doubt rueing the fact that they twice led a two-goal lead slip as they shared eight goals with hosts Elmore.
Ash Small picked up a fifth minute yellow card for what was deemed a 'late tackle' and, in the early stages, it was the home side that looked more composed on the ball.
However, it was Town who scored first on 15 minutes when Pete Knox got past the last defender before rounding the Elmore goalkeeper and rolling the ball into an empty net.
Four minutes later Knox struck again, this time creating time and space on the edge of the area before drilling the ball into the corner of the net.
Knox was a constant thorn in the Elmore side and he was a whisker away from an early hat-trick with an effort that nestled in the side netting.
Elmore hit back with a 32nd minute goal and they restored parity to the contest two minutes before the break with Hippos' glovesman Ashford powerless to stop a close range finish.
Town began the second half well and had what looked good claims for a handball in the area following a corner, waved away by the match official.
Knox was soon causing trouble for the home back line and saw a shot fizz fractionally over the bar. Tom Perryman, who had a good game on Town's left flank, sent a cross deep to the far post where Lewis Couch headed it home to put the Hippos back into the lead.
Town continued to play on the front foot and, shortly after a Hancock header hit the top of the bar, Ash Small beat the offside trap before squaring for Knox to turn the ball home, completing his treble and putting the Hippos into a 4-2 lead.
However, within minutes, Elmore had a third of their own to give them renewed hope they might get something out of the game.
The hard-working Perryman created a chance for himself that the Elmore glovesman gathered comfortably and then Town boss Aaron Doble made changes with Perryman and Small making way for Caleb Freemantle and Archie Knox and then, as the contest moved into added time, Couch was replaced by Sellick.
It was in the third minute of added time that the match official awarded the home side a free-kick near the corner flag and, when the ball was crossed into a crowded area it was an Elmore head that directed it into the Hippos' net with what proved to be the final action of a compelling encounter.
Town are back in action this Saturday (February 15) when their unbeaten record in 2020 will get put to the test as they travel to title-chasing Bovey Tracey who have won each of their last five games scoring 29 goals in the process. The Hippos were beaten 2-0 by Bovey when the sides met at Mountbatten Park on September 7.