Lofty perch over Christmas for Honiton

PUBLISHED: 09:00 23 December 2008 | UPDATED: 22:48 15 June 2010

Feniton were without a game at the weekend but the results of sides around them at the top end of the Premier Division keep the Acland Park outfit in the chase for honours in the top flight.

Feniton were without a game at the weekend but the results of sides around them at the top end of the Premier Division keep the Acland Park outfit in the chase for honours in the top flight.With the top two drawing and none of the morning's top six managing to bank three points in their respective matches, it means that the Blues can tuck into their Christmas lunch safe in the thought that they remain the 'best of the rest' behind the clear top two of St Martin's and Exmouth Amateurs.Feniton can further consolidate their 3rd spot with a win over sixth placed Clyst Valley who visit Acland Park on Saturday (2.15pm).There was no action for the previous week's top flight heroes, Beer Albion, although their 2nd team were playing and humbled Culm United 6-0 away. Callum Gribble was the Fishermen's star man as he plundered a hat-trick. Chris Bowles bagged a brace and the other score came from Simon Smith. On Saturday Beer's 1st team make the short trip to Sidmouth Town and a fourth win of the campaign would be sufficient to lift the Fishermen out of the bottom three for the first time this season.Seaton Town went down to a fifth defeat of the league campaign when they lost 3-1 at home to Halwill and that defeat probably means the end of any Town promotion hopes this term.Manager Mark Watkins had mixed feelings post match as he explained saying: "I was devastated with the score line, but really very pleased with the manner of the side's performance which was very good. Indeed Pete Northcott (the Town number two), told me that he felt it was as good a Town display as he had seen and that made him feel a lot better. Sometimes as a manager you get wrapped up in it so much. I believe in these lads and for Pete to say that is very reassuring."Town lost the game to Halwill because they effectively gifted the opposition each of their goals. Young Marcus Wyatt, who had another exceptional game, was harshly adjudged to have fouled an opponent. The free kick was delivered, knocked home, and the goal was awarded, despite the linesman flagging for off side.Town were behind for just five minutes when they too had a free kick. Ben Ede sent it into a crowded area and Mark Perham climbed highest to head an equaliser.The second half was just six minutes old when Halwill regained the lead, and, as Town pressed for a second equaliser, they were hit on the break for Halwill to take the points, 3-1.Off the pitch, Brad Groves is back in training and John Cooper made an impressive home debut - that's a big bonus for Town. Next up is a trip to basement dwellers Culm United and Watkins accepts that meeting with the Mid Devon side is now a must win one.Upottery were once again denied action owing to their troublesome Glebe Park ground which had still not recovered from the previous weekend's rains. The villagers were keen to play as they have only just completed a quarter of their Senior One schedule. They were due to host Broadclyst in a re-arranged game but that fell foul of the problematic surface. Manager Merv Sawyer said: "It's looking like we are going to be packing the games in towards the conclusion of this season. It is very frustrating for, here we are at Christmas with just seven league games under our belt."It's Halwill this coming weekend for Upottery and, with Cullompton Rangers surprisingly beating East Budleigh, it leaves Sawyer's side in the bottom two. He says: "Halwill is now a big game, but you could say, in our current position, they are all big games now."Honiton Town returned to winning ways and a 2-1 success at home to Exeter Civil Service takes the Mountbatten men into a lofty second place in Senior Two. Town have played more games than anybody else in the section but they do have the points on the board.Dave Woodman fired Town ahead and was then denied a second by a linesman's flag, much to the puzzlement of the home faithful. Town had central midfielder Ben Price dismissed on the half hour and so boss Richard Ayres effected a reshuffle with the goal scorer assuming central midfield duties and Tim Genders was given the task of leading the line as a lone striker. The visitors levelled after the break and began to look the more likely of the two sides, but Town defended superbly and, with Genders working so hard up top, the hosts still offered a threat, albeit on the break.It was one such attack that paid match winning dividends as Genders broke clear and showed superb composure to draw, and beat, the visiting keeper to score what proved to be the winning goal. Ayres said: "We deserved that the second half when they were coming at us. The defence played well and Tim, who had worked his socks off for the cause, was a worthy scorer of the winner."Saturday takes Town up the North Devon link road to meet Barnstaple Town and, with the festive break causing all manner of selection problems for Ayres, he really is not sure what sort of side will travel. He says: "The request to cancel the game fell on deaf ears and so we will just have to buckle together what we can. Fielding two sides this coming Saturday is going to be a big problem."In Senior Three Seaton Town Reserves were beaten 4-2 at Pinhoe with Mark Rooke and Gareth Richardson scoring the Town goals.Offwell were left feeling very disappointed after going down by the odd goal five in their Senior Four game at Crescent. This was a contest in which the wind played a dominant part and spoiled what was an enthralling game between two well-matched sides.Despite having the better chances in the first half, Rangers could not find the net. The hosts did, and they went in with a two goal lead at the break.The second half saw Rangers take the game to the home side and goals from Ryan Sellick and Man of the Match, James Dingle had them back all square at 2-2.The comeback was not to have a happy ending though as Crescent bagged the points with a late winner.Rangers' boss Nick Ogden said: "I am pleased with the performance and I honestly feel the better side on the day lost! I cannot question the lads for their character; they showed oodles of it with that second half reply. We did make it hard with some sloppy first half play, but the fight back was tremendous. To lose after getting back into it is a painful thing to take, but maybe we'll get some fortune of our own next time out."That next time out is Saturday's meeting with Dunkeswell when, once again, Ogden will be hoping for more of the same from Dingle.In Senior Five Axmouth United were hammered 6-1 at Broadclyst but, in the same section, there was a very good point for Colaton Raleigh who became only the third team to deny promotion chasing Dawlish Town the three points this term. On Saturday United entertain Kentisbeare.In Intermediate One, Honiton Town Reserves went down 2-4 at Dawlish and Awliscombe were beaten 1-3 at Wellington but there were 11 goals in the Acland Park game with Feniton beating Exmouth Amateurs 9-2. Michael Ebdon was the star of the show with a cultured performance in the middle of the midfield. Ebdon couldn't crown his display with a goal but he had a hand in four of them. Ian Creek led the scoring honors with four, the other goals came from Ben Allen (2), Jamie Doidge, Trevor Anning and Dave James.Axminster Town 3rds won their Intermediate Two game beating Bow 4-2 and in Intermediate Three Colyton scored twice without reply to bank the points from a visit to Halwill.It proved to be third time unlucky for Rockbeare Rangers, as they finally played their twice rearranged Devon Intermediate Cup quarter-final match with Millwey Rise of the Perry Street League.It was a match in which the Rooks failed to create any clear-cut chances and were made to pay for one costly lapse of concentration at the back which paved the way for Millwey Rise to win the tie with the game's only goal. On Saturday the Rooks return top league action with a trip to Silverton.

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