Honiton heartbreak in the dying seconds
- Credit: Andrew Symonds
The pitch looking marvellous, bbq sizzling, bar open and the PA system was banging out some top tunes, what could go wrong, after all the Hippos were only playing top of the league Brixham AFC.
It was the visitors who won a freekick on the edge of the box, which was smashed against the wall but fell nicely to an attacker. Luke Ashford in the Hippos' goal smartly tipped the shot over the bar.
After 25 minutes, the South Devon side started to apply the pressure and made several chances. The first saw Brixham break through the Honiton defence, the mix of a lunge from Ben Ede and the outrushing Ashford saw the ball rebound to an attacker.
A desperate recovery dive was not enough, but Elliot Dyer calmly cleared off the line to safety. Despite the pressure, the Hippos held firm and went into half-time all square.
The second half kicked off and it was Brixham’s turn to be on the receiving end. Stand-in striker Tom Beddow broke through the Fishermen’s back line, but seemed to run out of steam at the crucial point and could only release a tame shot, which the away ‘keeper gobbled up with ease.
Both sides hunted for the elusive winner and the midfield was the main battle ground. Jack de Winton and Elliot Dyer picked up knocks and were replaced with Aaron Doble and Andy Issac.
Again, Ashford made a smart save with his feet and was also involved in the major talking point of the game.
After making a save, he smothered the ball but a few seconds later an attacker came in, kicking Ashford. Everyone expected for the player to see red, but the ref brandished the yellow card. Ashford received some lengthy treatment, which in turn added injury time to the game.
It was in the fourth minute of injury time that the Honiton resolve was broken. The Fishermen pumped a ball into the box and the striker beat Joe Dixon in the air to head home.
It was certainly a bitter pill for the Hippos, who deserved a point from the game, but all three points went to the table toppers and Honiton move onto Ivybridge on Wednesday night.