Seaton Town on course for the promised land'
PUBLISHED: 16:31 15 April 2008 | UPDATED: 21:42 15 June 2010
Seaton Town have four more games to play and four more contests to win and they will complete a mission that was launched at the start of last season - to reach the promised land of the Premier Division.
Seaton Town have four more games to play and four more contests to win and they will complete a mission that was launched at the start of last season - "to reach the promised land" of the Premier Division. Josh French scored the goal that was sufficient to bank three more precious Senior One points from a 1-0 win at Elmore.
The first of those remaining four games comes on Saturday with a Colyford Road meeting with champions elect Budleigh Salterton.
The Robins were held last weekend by East Budleigh but it's a game Town simply cannot afford to lose with Willand Rovers and Otterton both breathing down their necks.
Upottery were in all sorts of trouble half way through their Senior Two game with Sidmouth Town, trailing 2-0, both opposition scores being own goals accredited to the unfortunate Stuart Coombe. It took a superb second half performance to turn the game on its head and give the villagers another three points as they close in on yet another promotion.
Master marksman Andy Isaac hit a double to get his side back on level terms, the second coming from the penalty spot after recent signing Dan Thompson was felled in the box, and Mark Tucker netted what proved to be the winner.
Manager Merv Sawyer said: "It took some fairly frank half-time debate to remind the players that the promotion bid was effectively on the line and what was clear was that they could be doing a lot better than they had done in the first half - and, to be fair, they gave a fabulous response to those promptings."
Sawyer's side are in action tonight at home to Sidbury United. The visitors sit immediately below Upottery and a home win will see Sawyer's side leapfrog Halwill into second place and move to within one more win of a top three finish. And that could come as quickly as Saturday when they travel to third bottom St Loyes.
Honiton Town might have seen their promotion hopes ended the previous week but they produced the result of the day with a Mountbatten Park win over Barnstaple Town in an extraordinary game that produced 10 goals.
Spokesman Nigel Doe said: "It was certainly an interesting spectacle and I, for one, was left post match thinking it was a case of what might have been."
Not for the first time, the midfield prompting of Dean Goddard was pivotal to an excellent afternoon for Town. Goddard has missed large parts of the campaign owing to service with the RAF, but at Mountbatten Park on Saturday he was very much in charge of the middle third of the pitch. Rory Wheal scored two first half goals, the second from the penalty spot, to take his side into the break at 2-2. In an awesome start to the second half, the home side found the net four times effectively sealing the game, before two late strikes from the visitors gave the result that eye catching 6-4 scoreline. Goddard (2), Rich Newby and Darren Witt scored the second half goals that put Town in charge.
Doe said: "It really was a super show, especially in those opening 20 minutes of the second half."
In Senior Three, the Colyton promotion push remains very much on after they won 4-2 at doomed Motel & Offwell, and then heard the three sides immediately above them at the start of the day had all drawn their games.
James Tucker had suggested to manager Keith Somers that he would score - an added incentive being the manager of the opposition was his brother-in-law! - and Tucker was true to his word, giving his side the lead but only after Nick Pritchard had twice cleared efforts off the line.
The second Colyton goal came from the boot of 16-year-old Adam Wakley, who capped a superb debut for the senior side with a marvellous goal to take them into half-time with a 2-0 lead.
Further goals after the break came from Tucker and Matt Hewer, before Motel & Offwell netted a couple of late consolations.
Axminster Town Reserves had an excellent afternoon in their bid to gain promotion out of Senior Four, and claim the title; they won 2-1 at Bampton to move to within just one more win to guarantee a top three finish - something they would achieve with a Sector Lane win tonight (Wednesday) against Chard Town Reserves, the only side who could now deny the Tigers that top three berth.
The win at Bampton was a classic game of two halves. The home side made the brighter start and, somewhat against the run of play, Terry Emmet put Town ahead, only for the hosts to level. But a second for the Tigers from Leo Maguire took them into the break with a 2-1 lead.
Manager Kevin Turner said: "We played better going down their considerable slope but, given our pre-match problems with availability, this is an excellent three points and we are very close now."
The Senior Four title could yet end up at the club for current leaders Witheridge were surprisingly held at the weekend by lowly Newton St Cyres and, if the Tigers do beat Chard Town, both tonight and again on Saturday at Zembard Lane, then Town's second string will lead the table on Saturday night if Witheridge fail to beat third placed Clyst Valley at home at the weekend. And with Town's last game at home to Witheridge, there really is cause for great expectancy at Sector Lane right now.
Dunkeswell had no game on Saturday and they again sit out this weekend's programme.
Feniton Reserves were held 1-1 at home by Okehampton Argyle and that probably ends any remaining hope at Acland Park of a top three finish.
But Axmouth United are very much in the mix for a promotion berth after they won 2-0 at Dawlish.
United are at Heavitree Harriers tonight (Wednesday) and travel again on Saturday when they take on leaders Countess Wear on their own patch. A couple of wins and James Teed's side will sit just four points behind the leaders and have a game in hand!
Awliscombe went into their home game with Uplowman Athletic knowing that a win could see them take pole position in Intermediate Two, whilst a defeat would see them slip to third. The latter happened as the visitors went back to Mid Devon with a 6-3 win and, with leaders Hemyock thrashed at home, it really left the Awls feeling as if they had missed a great opportunity.
Honiton Town Reserves' game at Hatherleigh Town Reserves was postponed.
Axminster Town 3rds completed a winning 'treble' for the Tigers' camp on Saturday as they claimed victory over Northlew by the odd goal in three.
In Intermediate 3, Colyton Reserves won 8-1 against hapless SC Newton Abbot and, in Intermediate 4, Awliscombe Reserves went down 8-0 to promotion-chasing Amory Argyle.
Seaton Town 3rds won 3-1 against Langdon.
Beer Albion served up another of those displays that marks them down very much as a Jekyll & Hyde side this season.
A Furzebrake visit from struggling Hatherleigh Town ought to have seen the Fishermen bank another three premier points but it was the North Devon side who won the game, taking the points home after a 2-0 win.
Boss Mark Rooke said: "One word sums this effort up - embarrassing. We were absolutely shocking, no ambition, no desire, no oomph, no nothing! It was as bad as it gets and things need to change. Some of the lads need to comprehend that you can't adopt a routine of no training and just turn up and play - this is Devon & Exeter League Premier Division football, not a Sunday morning pub league. If we are not careful, we could quite easily find ourselves sucked into the scrap to avoid the drop into senior football and for this club that would be a disaster."
Rooke's side are at Sidmouth tonight (Wednesday) and are on the road again on Saturday when they travel to Thorverton.
Feniton claimed a 4-0 win over basement dwellers Cullompton Rangers thanks to goals from Andy Jones (2), John French and Jamie Easterbrook.
But Manager Dave Carnall was full of praise for the battling visitors who arrived with only 12 players and were forced to play much of the second half a man short following injury to their player manager.
Carnall said: "Give them full credit; your Pinhoes have dropped out of the league and yet Cully battle on; they made life difficult for us."
Carnall had one particular reason for his side's success: "Sean Devine was an absolute inspiration and, as a manager, if you had half a dozen Seans you'd be in the equivalent of footballing paradise!".
Devine is not in the spring of his footballing career. At 42, he is very much at the forward end of life on the pitch but he performed in this contest at centre forward, then centre midfield and finally at centre back.
Carnall said: "Devine can teach these younger lads so much. His attitude to the game is top drawer and the day he hangs up his boots will be a tough one for this club."
The Blues were back in action last night (Tuesday) with a trip to Wellington and they travel again on Saturday with a visit to Exmouth to meet Heavitree Harriers.
Carnall said: "I felt that the win over Cully probably ended any lingering thoughts as to us being dragged into the relegation scrap. It's still pretty tight down there and I'd like to think we can pick up sufficient points over the next two games to totally banish any worries.