Seaton ready to push for promotion

PUBLISHED: 09:00 18 February 2009 | UPDATED: 23:03 15 June 2010

P2230-08-09AW Woodbury (red&white) V Offwell (yellow). pic by Alex Walton

P2230-08-09AW Woodbury (red&white) V Offwell (yellow). pic by Alex Walton

Copyright Archant Ltd

FENITON let slip a two-goal lead in their Acland Park meeting with Bickleigh on Saturday afternoon, writes Steve Birley.

FENITON let slip a two-goal lead in their Acland Park meeting with Bickleigh on Saturday afternoon.Goals from Andy Rogers and Dave O'Connor had the home side deservedly well in charge and it was not until the second half that the visitors got one back. They pinched a point with a late penalty. With Thorverton winning it means that Feniton slip back to fourth place in the Premier Division table.Next up for Sean Devine's side is a trip to Manstone Road to meet Sidmouth Town, who will start the game four places but just five points worse off than the Blues.Beer Albion went down to another narrow defeat, beaten 2-1 at Clyst Valley, and with just 10 games left the situation regarding preserving their top flight status looks forlorn.Next up for the Fishermen is a trip to Bickleigh and they really need to bring something back from the Mid Devon visit.Seaton Town are now very much part of a cluster of clubs eyeing a place in the top flight next term. Mark Watkins's upwardly mobile outfit completed the double over struggling Cullompton Rangers with a 3-1 win at their Speeds Meadow home. Jack Lamb-Wilson was hauled down in a manner more befitting a rugby contest and Mark Perham tucked away the spot kick to give Town the lead but a Jacob Hayes back pass let in the home side's centre forward for an equaliser that took the teams in at the break all square.With the clock ticking down and Town seemingly unable to turn their clear dominance into goals, boss Watkins turned to his subs' bench. With 15 minutes remaining, he sent Jamie Poynton and Cameron Vere into action and, within two minutes, the pair had combined to great effect.Vere got clear down the right, fed the ball in to John Cooper and, when he laid it off to Poynton, it was dispatched calmly into the back of the Cully net.The victory was sealed when Ritchie Durrant, who had also come off the bench, to replace the injured Ben Ede on 53 minutes, took a splendid pass from Marcus Wyatt before firing into the net.Watkins said: "It was no more than we deserved and the fact that we were able to change the course of the contest from the bench illustrates the strength in depth we have built at Colyford Road." There's no game for Town this coming weekend as scheduled opponents Elmore have a County Cup tie to negotiate but, after that, there are three successive home matches. Watkins is targeting a big haul of points saying: "We have got ourselves amongst the chasing pack and that's where I want to stay. The next three games are vital to the cause and I am looking particularly at the two meetings with Willand Rovers."Upottery finally managed to get a game played - their 10th league outing of the season - and once again they lost, beaten by the odd goal in five by Bow AAC. However, there was much in the performance to please the villagers' boss Merv Sawyer, who said: "Without doubt that's the best 90 minutes' performance we have produced this season and there was plenty in that show to suggest that we can yet mount an escape from the foot of the table."Dan Broome and Mark Reed netted the Upottery goals but it was some unfortunate defensive errors that led to their ultimate defeat. Goal scorer Broome and Andy Isaacs were both in fine form as a strike duo. Next up is a trip to Westexe Rovers and Sawyer said: "They are the one team we have beaten in the league this term and so we can travel with plenty of confidence."Honiton Town went down 3-0 at University but the game may well have had a very different outcome had Town not missed a penalty with the students two goals to the good. Mark Bowles was the spot kick culprit. Town boss Richard Ayres said: "Had the kick been successful we may well have gone on and taken something from the game. As it was they didn't get their third, the decisive one, until near the end, by which time we were battling to find a way back into the contest."The Town boss continued: "The difference was the fitness of the University side. Our recent lack of games shone through and now we need to get a response in our next outing." That next game sees Town take on Exmouth Amateurs. With his side now just seven points off the relegation zone, Ayres is clear as to just what is required to banish any fears of being dragged into the mire at the foot of the table: "We need another dozen points and the sooner we can get those banked the better." Turn to page 47.

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