Wet weather footy chaos
PUBLISHED: 11:41 07 April 2010 | UPDATED: 01:06 16 June 2010
JUST seven games survived the Easter Saturday rain as the weather continued to disrupt the Devon and Exeter Football League season
JUST seven games survived the Easter Saturday rain as the weather continued to disrupt the Devon and Exeter Football League season.
Acland Park, Feniton, is a ground much more durable than many and they were once again able to play football there on Saturday when so many others saw their surfaces reduced to something more like a soggy Yorkshire pudding!
The Blues went into their meeting with the only side sitting below them in the top flight, Otterton, knowing that anything other than a victory and they would be able to set their sat navs next season for a campaign of Division One football.
Fittingly, given the Easter festivities, the Blues match winner on the day was the aptly named Jamie Easterbrook.
Stuart Blackmore had fired the Blues into the lead only for the basement dwellers to level through Charlie Page, sending the sides into the break at 1-1.
It looked like staying that way as both sides created, and missed, chances to win it before in the closing minutes Easterbrook's thunderous header cannoned back off the crossbar and onto the back of the Otterton keeper from where it flew into the net!
The three points leaves the Blues with every chance of escaping the drop. They have eight matches to play, only one of which is against a side currently sitting higher than eighth. What's more, with the exception of a Saturday, May 1, trip to Hatherleigh and the very last game of their campaign at University on Friday, May 14, all the other seven games are home or away against other East Devon sides as they meet both Exmouth Amateurs and Budleigh Salterton, home and away as well as trips to both Otterton and Sidmouth Town.
There should be sufficient opportunities in the run-in for Feniton to ensure that they start next season still in Premier.
First up of those eight games is against the current eighth placed side, Exmouth Amateurs at their Warren View home this Saturday (3pm).
Seaton Town are red hot favourites to become the latest East Devon side to grace the Premier Division next season. They, like the rest of the Division One sides, were forced to sit out the Easter Saturday programme owing to waterlogged pitched.
Town are in action tonight (Wednesday), when they travel to meet the side sitting immediately below them in the table, Cullompton Rangers.
They beat the Mid Devon side 4-2 at Colyford Road just last month and completing the double over Rangers would see an 18 point gap between the sides which, with just nine games to follow for the Mid Devon men, would mean Town almost home and dry in terms of claiming, not only that coveted promotion berth, but the Division One title with it.
On Saturday Town play their penultimate home game of the season when they host a Sidbury side who are the only team in the Division that they have yet to meet this season.
Honiton Town were in Easter Monday action when they beat visiting North Tawton by the odd goal in seven, but had goal keeper Ben Kayes to thank for a last minute penalty save that saw them to a priceless win.
Sam Farmer and Dan Broom bagged braces as Town led 4-1 by early in the second half 93-1 at half time) before the visitors powered back.
New boss Kevin Blackwell said: "We deserved to win the game but so nearly threw it away by not finishing them off and then, of course, were reliant on that last-gasp super save from Ben .
Town have a busy schedule in their bid to gain promotion. They begin their final burst of 10 games with a visit from Westexe Rovers on Saturday in their penultimate home game, after which they have one more home and eight away encounters to play in 30 days with their final game being a Tuesday, May 11 trip to Barnstaple Town.
Town follow the Saturday home game with a trip into Exeter next Monday night (April 12), to face Exeter Civil Service Reserves.
Upottery's battle to avoid relegation to Division Three continues this Saturday with a visit to mid-table Uplowman who beat them 2-1 at Upottery back in September.
Merv Sawyer's men have 11 to play and a big gap to close between themselves and the fourth bottom side, Westexe Rovers.
They'll have to do the bulk of their points banking on the road, for they are left with just four at home and seven away to play with their campaign closing with the Wednesday, May 19 home game with University.
Monday night football could hold the key to the Upottery bid for they are away on three successive Monday nights, starting with next Monday's trip to Axminster Town.
Colyton's bid for a top three Division Three finish was put on hold because wet weather struck.
A similar fate struck throughout the Division with the exception of the Lympstone and Lapford game. Keith Somers' men are in action this Saturday when they entertain third bottom Lympstone, who they have yet to meet this term.
Colyton will look to come out of the Lympets game with maximum points to set them up nicely for a real top-of-the-table encounter the following Wednesday night when they go to Phoenix Club, one of just two sides to currently sit above them in the table.
In Division Four promotion hopefuls Offwell Rangers are at Dawlish United on Saturday.
They were simply irresistible on Easter Monday afternoon when they outplayed Division Four leaders Sandford, beating them 5-2.
Having had their Easter Saturday game washed out, the Rangers players were clearly itching to get into action and they dominated from start to finish with their nap hand of goals made up by Lewis Couch (2), Jamie Doidge, Jack Knight and Karl Allen.
A very proud Nick Ogden said: "I believe this group of lads can do big things together and, against the table toppers in our Division, they proved just that.
"I am so proud of each and every one of them. I asked for big performances and got them all over the pitch from front to back. Lewis Couch showed just how capable he is, Chris Webb covered every blade of grass and used the ball so intelligently and Jamie Doidge gave a near perfect centre forward display.
"But every player in the squad deserves a mention because that's what we are about. We have a team with no number one players, it's more all for one and one for all."
Next up is a tough trip to Dawlish of which Ogden says: "If we play as we did against Sandford then it'll be a tough game for Dawlish too!".
In Division Five, Dunkeswell Rovers waited 14 games and six months of the season to record their first win of the campaign when they won 3-2 at home to Broadclyst on March 13 and on Easter Saturday, they beat the same opposition in the return at Broadclyst. That win took them above their hosts and off the foot of the table for the very first time this term!
Steve Morris bagged a brace for the Dunks whose other scorer was Richard Berry. Two wins over the new basement dwellers can now kick-start the Dunks' relegation avoidance effort, one that will gather pace should they win at Woodbury this coming weekend.
Feniton Reserves are in for a busy time next week for they face playing five games in nine days, starting with Saturday's home game against Cullompton Rangers.
The Blues are straight back in action on Monday night at Bickleigh before, on Thursday night, they travel to Cullompton and complete a run of four straight away games with a Saturday (April 17) trip to Dunkeswell and the following Monday night's visit to Colaton Raleigh.
In Division Six, Beer Albion Reserves managed to stage the division's only game as they beat Exmouth Town 6-2, thanks to four second half goals.
Callum Gribble netted a hat-trick and other Fishermen goal scorers were Jason Webber and sub, James Melville, who bagged a brace. It's very tight at the top with the Fishermen now fourth, just three points behind the leaders.
Next up is a real six pointer with the visit to Furzebrake on Saturday of second-placed Cheriton Fitzpaine.
The Fishermen won the meeting in Mid Devon 2-0 last month and a similar result on Saturday would lift Beer above the Cherries in the table.
Awliscombe are not out of the promotion picture as just six points and five places separate them from table topping University 4ths. The Awls entertain Heavitree Social this coming weekend.
At the opposite end of the table Axmouth United are in desperate need of points and this coming weekend entertain Exmouth Town who will arrive sitting fourth from bottom, one point and two places better off than Axmouth.
In Division Seven just one game survived the weather. This Saturday, Rockbeare Rovers travel to Hatherleigh and Honiton Town Reserves entertain Clyst Valley Thirds. In Division Nine Feniton Thirds are well up with their games, they have just six to play and are not next in league action until Wednesday April 21!
Colyton Reserves sit eighth and on Saturday they are at Morchard Bishop whilst 10th placed Offwell Reserves are involved in an East Devon derby at Seaton Town Thirds.
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