League fixture lifeline in weather-hit season

PUBLISHED: 09:00 25 February 2009 | UPDATED: 23:07 15 June 2010

P7881-09-09TI Honiton Town 2nds v Exmouth Ammies.
photo Terry Ife

P7881-09-09TI Honiton Town 2nds v Exmouth Ammies. photo Terry Ife

Copyright Archant Ltd

The Devon & Exeter Football League have rescheduled the remaining fixtures to complete the campaign.

The Devon & Exeter Football League have rescheduled the remaining fixtures to complete the campaign. The decision to change a great number of matches was taken after the poor weather post Christmas that left six consecutive Saturdays with more games cancelled than actually played.A full list of each club's remaining games can be seen, and downloaded, from the League website at www.defl.co.uk.FENITON slipped to a second successive defeat as they went down 3-1 at Manstone Road, Sidmouth.Manager Sean Devine, like a number of regular starters, missed the game but it was still a disappointing outcome for the Blues who have hit a mini slump following the announcement that they are one of four teams seeking promotion to the South West Peninsula League. Better news from Acland Park midweek as progress was made in the Morrison Bell Cup with a single goal win at Peninsula League Ottery St Mary where an Andy Jones goal was enough to bring about some giant killing. Speaking after the two games boss Devine said: "We deserved to beat Ottery but I gather from Mike Court, who looked after the game against Sidmouth, that we were sluggish in all areas and disappointed for much of the contest. That said there's always the next game to restore pride and we could not have a bigger one this Saturday."It's an Acland Park game against title favourites St Martin's on Saturday and Devine says: "It's always good to play the best and test yourselves and it'll be interesting to see how we individually and collectively perform against them."Beer Albion slipped ever nearer the seemingly inevitable drop to Senior One when they were beaten 3-0 at another side who have declared an ambition to take promotion to the next level of the football pyramid, Bickleigh. On Saturday the Fishermen travel to Exeter to meet University.In Senior One Seaton Town were without a game but they will have been boosted by news that only two sides in the top half of the table were able to record wins, Willand Rovers and Bow AAC. This was due to draws at Alphington (v Sidbury United) and Halwill (v East Budleigh). Town boss Mark Watkins said: "Results elsewhere certainly help our longer term cause. The next six games will determine how we fare this season."Those next half a dozen games include five at home, the first of which is against struggling Culm United this coming weekend and, with only Bradley Groves on the treatment table, there's a full squad for the boss to pick from. Honiton Town remain four wins from being able to declare themselves safe from the possibility of being relegated out of Senior Two. Town boss Richard Ayres was very upbeat after the game saying: "We played very well and I am delighted with the clean sheet. We had talked in training and again before the match that the priority on the day was keeping a clean sheet. I challenged the lads to do that and they did themselves proud. Indeed, with a little more composure in front of goal we'd have taken all three points."Ben Welsh had an outstanding game at right back for Town. The same opposition are in front of Ayres' side this Saturday with the return game taking place at Warren View and Town will be able to welcome back a trio of players who missed the Mountbatten Park meeting - Mike Foster, Robin Hunter and Mark Bowles. Ayres said: "We will certainly be stronger for the trio's return to the side."Kevin Blackwell will not be able to play at Exmouth as he continues to miss out with an ankle injury.Colyton continue to enforce the view that they can start life next season in Senior Two as they banked another three points with a single goal victory over Witheridge who had begun the day on the same number of points. The Mid Devon outfit had the lion's share of the first half but, after the break, Colyton took charge and deservedly sealed the points 15 minutes from time when Callum Somers struck his 13th goal of the campaign. It could easily have been more for the home side as they dominated the second half. Club captain Paul Millman rattled the bar and centre back Jason Webber drew an outstanding save from the Witheridge keeper. Derek House, who watched the game both as football club chairman and also chairman of match sponsors Colyton Social Club, awarded the Man of the Match honour to central midfielder Ian Gooding. Seaton Town Reserves made the long trip to Bampton and came home with a point after sharing four goals with the villagers. However, boss Jamie Bond was disappointed that his side were unable to continue their recent winning ways. With the first team without a game the club's number one keeper Dave Perham travelled as fourth sub and was called off the bench after just ten minutes when glovesman Chris Reed got injured. The first thing the senior keeper did was commit a handling error that was punished by the home side for the opening goal. Perham's blushes were spared though when brother Mark levelled. The home side regained the lead before Jamie Poynton ensured a share of the spoils but Town were left to reflect during the long trip home a number of spurned chances, including a last minute open goal, that should really have seen them bank all three points. Bond's team have an even longer trip to endure this coming weekend when they go to South Zeal.Axminster Town Reserves are another side who are well on their way to completing another promotion season. They returned to Sector Lane with all three points after a 2-0 win at Winkleigh. Joe Gostling and Michael Beer scored for the Tigers and next up for Kevin Turner's hopefuls is a home meeting with the same opposition they beat on Saturday!In Senior Four Dunkeswell Rovers and Oakwood shared four goals. The Dunks fell behind early on, levelled through Dan Drummond and then, after the same player had fired them ahead, had the chances to be out of sight before a late Topsham equaliser. Boss Rod Hill said: "We definitely shaded it in terms of possession and chances created but we did not take those chances and so had to settle for the draw."Hill and his side are in Exeter on Saturday with a game at Newtown.Offwell Rangers and Topsham Town Reserves shared four goals as their game ended 2-2 but for Rangers' boss Nick Ogden it was a case of what might have been. He said: "Two points dropped, no two ways about it. The longer the contest wore on the less likely we looked like winning. We really ought to have scored five or six but in the end I have to say I am delighted to get a point. After Lee Beck broke his leg, we showed great character. A more powerful opposition would surely have turned us over on the basis of what we served up."Beck broke his leg 10 minutes into the second half. Karl Allen fired Offwell ahead from the penalty spot after good work from Jordan Strickland. However, an own goal and a soft second gifted the visitors a 2-1 lead at the break. Allen netted his second with another sweetly struck free-kick but, despite creating chance after chance, Rangers could not find a winner and the game ended 2-2. Jordan Strickland was named the Man of the Match but all the combined thoughts of both sets of players post match were with Beck who they all hope makes a full and speedy recovery.The two sides meet again this Saturday in a swift return at Topsham.In Senior Five Axmouth face a battle to preserve their place in senior football after a ninth defeat in 14 games. United lost 4-0 at home to Okehampton 3rds. They will be looking to bank something from Saturday's visit of Exmouth Amateurs or they will be dragged ever closer to impending doom.Awliscombe came close to denting Cullompton Rangers 3rd's promotion hopes. Ben Gay fired the Awls ahead in the 20th minute and it was not until just before half time that the high flying Mid Devon side drew level. The visitors went on to create umpteen second half chances but failed to take any and the home side looked set for a richly deserved point until a late winner. Martin Wilmington said: "We served up a good all round show and were perhaps a little unlucky not to take a point."Beer Albion Reserves went down 5-2 at Furzebrake at the hands of Exmouth Amateurs 4ths.In Intermediate Two, Axminster Town 3rds were beaten 5-2 at Priory and Colyton Reserves lost 2-0 at Bradninch in Intermediate Three.In Intermediate Four, Josh Stunnell hit a brace and Steve Hardie also scored as Seaton Town 3rds kept up their great recent run with a 3-1 victory over Hemyock. Boss Gavin Ward was delighted with his side who played some delightful football at times. No joy for Feniton 3rds as they went down 3-0 at Acland Park against Tedburn St Mary or for Offwell Rangers Reserves who lost 3-1 at Sandford.

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