Hippos pay heavy price for missing chances

Honiton Town in their new Jewsons sponsored kit

Honiton Town in their new Jewsons sponsored kit - Credit: Archant

Honiton Town paid a heavy price for missing chances as they slipped to a 4-1 defeat at home to Crediton United.

It’s a measure of how well the Hippos have adjusted to life at the higher level that this is only the second time they have suffered a home reversal this term.

Indeed, another good Mountbatten Park turnout would have been celebrating a fourth success in a dozen SWP League Eastern Division outings had the finishing matched the approach play, that saw them arrive at half-time leading 1-0 thanks to a goal from teenage striker Blake Freemantle.

Before the game, the first team squad posed for photographs in their smart new kit – sponsored by Jewsons - while the commercially ‘savvy’ Hippos also arranged for pictures of players in their new tracksuits supplied by some splendid sponsorship from Paul Blackwell of Amaze Pools.

Town made a lively start and there were barely five minutes on the clock when Martyn Hancock forced the visiting glovesman into action. End-to-end football followed with chances fashioned – and spurned – at either end until the deadlock was broken just before the half hour mark when Freemantle got away, skipped round the grounded goalkeeper and rolled the ball home.

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Things stayed that way through to the break, but the Town effort was hit just three minutes into the second half when goal scorer Freemantle, who had caused no end of problems for the visiting defence, hobbled off, finally succumbing to an injury picked up in the first half – the victim of what did seem a ‘zealous’ tackle!

Tom Perryman was summoned from the bench and, for much of the opening 10 minutes of the second half, the Hippos were the team in the ascendency and looking the most likely to score the game’s second goal.

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Sadly, for the large number of Hippos’ followers watching, the second goal would not come and Crediton struck a 53rd minute equaliser. Town hit back, but chances went begging before, in the 67th minute, the visitors took the lead with the Hippos’ defence guilty of not attacking a hopeful ball delivered into a crowded area.

Town were quickly back on the front foot and only a fingertip save – the ball being pushed onto the cross bar – denied Hancock an equaliser.

Town boss Paul Ashford made a double change – sending on Doble and Broom for Hancock and Dixon. More home chances came – and went – before a slick counter-attack ended with an unfortunate Town defender turning the ball into his own net.

A fourth for the visitors in added time consigned the Hippos to a 4-1 defeat, a score line that was harsh on another promising performance – particularly in terms of the play up to the final third of the opposition half!

The Man of the Match award, as chosen by Kevin Pike of Glass Honiton, went to Town’s impressive Chris Long. On Saturday (October 21) Town are again in Mountbatten Park action when they welcome another high-flying side for a league encounter – Newton Abbot Spurs (3pm).

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