Upottery on the brink
PUBLISHED: 10:00 30 April 2008 | UPDATED: 21:46 15 June 2010
In Senior Three Colyton's 3-0 win at Kentisbeare keeps alive their slim hopes of a top three finish, although the 2-0 win for Heavitree Social United at Seaton Town Reserves leaves the Exeter side in pole position to claim the remaining promotion berth.
In Senior Three Colyton's 3-0 win at Kentisbeare keeps alive their slim hopes of a top three finish, although the 2-0 win for Heavitree Social United at Seaton Town Reserves leaves the Exeter side in pole position to claim the remaining promotion berth.Feniton Town didn't need to move out of third gear to see off basement dwellers Cullompton Rangers Reserves on their own patch, this despite the hosts fielding Toolstation Premier Division Willand Rovers' skipper Rob Norrish in their midfield. Jamie Easterbrook had the measure of the Rangers' strike force and, with the Blues passing the ball around well, it was always going to be a case of how many they would score once Jonathan French had given them the lead on the half hour mark. The other goals came from Mark Simic, Andrew Jones, Mickey Philips and Mark Kingdom, leaving 'stand in' keeper Richard Austin rarely troubled. Boss Dave Carnall said: "With Russell Whitton injured 'Oz' agreed to wear the gloves and so to win, in the manner we did, was very pleasing. It's important we finish the season as strongly as possible."Carnall has a selection headache this coming weekend which marks the start of the cricket season. Five of the Blues' players will be wearing whites for the cricket club on Saturday and so the Feniton side that takes the field at Hatherleigh will see a number of the club's 2nd and 3rd team players called into action. Carnall said: "We are one big club and recognise the need for the cricket team to get a good start. We have ensured no alarms at the foot of the Devon and Exeter league Premier Division and so Saturday is a real opportunity for one or two lads to mark their cards for the next football season."Beer Albion endured a weekend of mixed fortunes as they won a vital Premier division game and then lost a crucial cup match, each contest decided by a single goal. On Saturday The Fishermen ended any lingering fears of being dragged into the relegation mix with a solid performance to beat Thorverton and end the Mid Devon side's lingering title hopes. The week after the Thors had won the league clash at their place, they found Matt Rookes men in excellent form and it was no more than they deserved when Luke Bartlett scored an opportunist's goal midway through the second half to wrap up the points. The following day, despite having the lion's share of possession and certainly the greater number of chances, Albion crashed out of the Axminster Hospital Charity Cup at the hands of Toolstation First Division outfit Elmore, who left Furzebrake with their final berth booked. An upbeat Rooke said: "On Saturday we were superb. Without doubt that was some of the best football we have played this term and I can have little complaint certainly about the effort and commitment the following day when we had enough chances to win two cup ties but didn't take any and they (Elmore) snapped up the one gilt edged chance to come their way. "That summed up our season for me and, if the side is to progress next season, they need to address the issue of finding a regular goal scorer."Rooke it seems will not be the man in charge at Furzebrake next season. The Albion boss has been frustrated at what he has described as "a lack of commitment and desire" from the 1st team players and he is thought to be considering standing down at the end of the season.Seaton Town's dream of Premier Football next season is hanging by a mere thread and that's despite Saturday's 7-2 win at Exeter St Thomas, a game in which Brad Groves netted four goals. Town's promotion push came off the rails the previous midweek when they crashed 3-1 at home to East Budleigh in a game that manager Mark Rooke said was 'arguably one of our poorest combined efforts of this and indeed many a recent season'. He added: "It was woeful and in general in summed up our problem of inconsistency. League tables do not lie and if, at the end of this campaign, we again finish outside the promotion places, and no matter how small the margin might be, then it proves we have not been good enough."It's hard not to feel some sympathy for Rooke as his side, just as 12 months ago, have fallen at the final hurdle owing to a combination of injury, availability and loss of form at key times from influential players. They began the season with three straight wins and did not suffer defeat until mid December but, since the turn of the year, six defeats have cost them dear. If Otterton can bank five points from their three remaining games, they will deny Town that third place finish and next season they will again be playing in Senior One. Colyton retain a faint hope of promotion out of Senior Three although their destiny depends on results 'elsewhere' going their way. Hosts Kentisbeare proved difficult opposition and Keith Somers' side led just 1-0 at the break courtesy of a close range strike from Matt Hewer although both Andy Widger and Nick Pritchard were within whiskers of adding to the advantage. Paul Millman doubled the lead with a rare left foot goal and Adam Wakey finished the scoring off with a neat third. The Heavitree win at Seaton dented the Colyton hopes but boss Somers won't give up just yet.Upottery are 'on the brink' - following a 3-2 win at home to University at the weekend. This Saturday's game against Newtown leaves the villagers going into the match knowing that a win will see them celebrating a promotion once again and with it a place in next season's Senior One Division. Just one below the top tier at this level represents astonishing progress for a side who five years ago were playing Intermediate football. It wasn't all plain sailing against a typically fit and mobile student side. Leading scorer Andy Isaacs fired his side ahead, somewhat against the run of play, and although the lead was doubled by the break, courtesy of Mark Reed, a goal straight after the restart put the students on the front foot.Fortunately for the understandably 'nervy' hosts, Andy Lord restored the two goal advantage in the 55th minute and it was only a late penalty that gave the Exeter side their second of the game: "They are always a handful and this game was no exception," said Upottery boss Merv Sawyer.He said, of this weekend's mission: "The boys know just how close they are. They have worked exceptionally hard to get themselves into this position and are well aware what is required to see the side over the finishing line. This promotion thing is becoming something of an annual event."Saturday's game with Newtown will be made a little more difficult given the absence of Isaacs who is at a wedding and unable to add to his tally of 27 for the season as his side go in search of the win that will see them promoted again.Honiton were beaten 4-0 by Newtown Reserves but will be assured of a top four finish if they win at North Tawton at the weekend, and Barnstaple Town fail to win at Lympstone.Axmouth United were held 2-2 by Newtown Reserves and post match manager James Teed did not know whether to regard it as points lost or gained. Teed said: "We were shocking. I guess it was a combination of pre -match complacency and general apathy and so, given we trailed late in the game, I'd have to suggest that this may well prove to be a point gained as opposed to the obvious two dropped thinking. We cannot possibly play this badly again - I hope!"United led 1-0 at the break after a fierce Dan Reynolds cross was palmed into his own goal by the keeper who was under pressure from Teed. A penalty that was converted within 30 seconds of the restart put the hosts level and they snatched a 2-1 lead ten minutes later. It was only a 'rocket' that flew off the boot of Gary Sims in the final minute which gave United the point. Teed says of the remainder of the campaign: "It's still in our hands but we need to up the tempo and general level of play a couple of gears for the remainder of our games." The first of those games is tonight.Honiton Town Reserves had suffered successive 3-3 draws to dent their Intermediate Two promotion challenge but a 4-2 win at North Tawton leaves them handily placed to claim, at then very least, a top three berth. Once again on Saturday it was Farmer's double that helped them to victory. A week after both dad Pete Farmer and son Sam had netted in the 3-3 draw with Hatherleigh, the pair combined to conjure up their side's third goal that edged them back ahead in a game they had initially led 2-0. A Nigel Swain header and a goal from Stuart 'Sid' McKay had Town two up at the break but the hosts stormed back to level before young Farmer's corner was chested over the line by Farmer Senior and sub Kev O'Donnell netted the fourth late on. There's sure to be twists and turns yet in the promotion battle with East Devon well represented in the mix with Town, Beer Albion Reserves and Awliscombe all in with a chance.Awliscombe remain very much in that promotion race in Intermediate Two thanks to a 5-0 home win over Northlew in which Martin Wilmington (2), Chris Jones, an own goal, and an absolute 'cracker' from Dave Trenchard made up the goals and Axminster Town 3rds were single goal winners over Beer Albion's second string thanks to a goal from Jose Luis Rodrigues Pinto.
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