Honiton just need luck in league

Seaton Town boss Josh Stunell had one of those very bitter, very sweet, Saturday afternoons.

The Town boss missed his Premier Division leading side’s trip to Heavitree Social United for, although he was also in Exeter, he was in the labour suite of the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital with Jess, welcoming their third child, a second son Zeni.

Ten minutes into the game at Heavitree his phone bleeped with the news that Dan Norman had fired Town ahead at Wingfield Park, but from thereon in, with the exception of the news of the safe delivery of young Zeni of course, it went downhill as Town shipped three goals to slip to only their second defeat of the league season.

Stunell said: “Rob Ede was in charge of things and he tells me that in general the side did not play well. I gather that everybody was lamenting post match how we had not done ourselves justice but, looking at it from a positive angle, we had done so well prior to the game that we could actually afford a slip-up. Now we will have to see just what this side are made of as they do say you judge a side on how they bounce back and I’ll be expecting Seaton Town to just that next time out.”

That next game is this coming Saturday when they entertain Thorverton. Josh French misses a second successive game but Cameron Vere, who, like French, missed the Heavitree game owing to a County call-up, returns for the game with the Thors.

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Beer Albion were without a game on Saturday owing to many of the side being on the club’s annual ski trip! The Fishermen return to Premier Division action after their exertions on the piste, with a visit to Alphington this coming weekend.

The dismal run for Feniton continued as they slipped to another defeat, beaten 3-0 at University. It was a ninth defeat in 11 games for the Blues who have not won a Division One game since the 3-2 success over Halwill at Acland Park back on September 25.

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This Saturday sees the Blues without a game and so they are next in league action on Saturday, January 29 when they entertain fellow strugglers Honiton Town in a game that will mark the half way point of the Feniton season.

Honiton Town produced an outstanding effort as they took a priceless point from a visit to high flying East Budleigh.

Such was the Town performance that it had many of the east Budleigh faithful scratching their heads as to why the visiting side had still to win a Division One game this season!

The point was the very first on the road this term for Town who had lost all seven of their previous away games! Meanwhile the clean sheet was their first, home or away of the campaign.

If Town can build on this performance – only their third point of the season so far - then they have every hope of mounting a second half of the season recovery. They play Morchard Bishop at Mountbatten Park this weekend before heading into games against fellow strugglers Feniton and Elmore.

In Division Two, Colyton crashed to their sixth defeat of the season after conceding two late second half goals to what is a formidable Uplowman strike force.

Colyton saw more of the ball throughout the contest than their opponents but it was a woeful sequence of poor finishing that was the major reason behind this latest defeat. The side was not helped by a number of players missing which meant regular centre forward, Richard Tratt, being played at centre back where he had an outstanding game. After both Callum Somers and Jason Potters had spurned scoring opportunities, it was the Mid Devon side who took the lead on 16 minutes.

Somewhat against the run of play, Colyton levelled 20 minutes later when Mike Cullum tucked away a penalty after Somers had been felled in the area. Sadly parity was not for long as Uplowman quickly regained the lead, punishing a defensive error to take a 2-1 lead into the break. Just before the hour Mark Somers fired Colyton level but the home side were ahead again from the penalty spot six minutes from time and rubbed salt into the wound with a late fourth. Mark Watkins said: “It was a bad result for Colyton, but we have got to fight, get our heads up and go to Westexe next Saturday and try to win that one.”

There were contrasting fortunes for the two local sides in Division Three with a win for Offwell Rangers and a defeat for Upottery. Rangers were 4-1 home winners over Winkleigh but they can’t build on that result this weekend as they are without a game.

Dan Prettejohn’s Upottery received a seven goal mauling at Topsham Town Reserves and will be looking for better things this weekend when they are due to entertain Chard Town.

In Division Four, Seaton Town Reserves were thwarted in their efforts to play by a waterlogged Crediton United pitch, Town’s second string are at Thorverton this coming Saturday.

Beer Albion Reserves had the boost of James Melville in their side for the Division Five meeting with Whipton and Pinhoe and he fired the Fishermen ahead.

The points were sealed in a close encounter in the second half thanks to a fine goal from Samuel Wyatt. Chris Bowles was the star of the show for the Fishermen with a superb shift at centre half. This Saturday Ross Morton’s side entertain Westexe Rovers at Furzebrake.

Dunkeswell Rovers picked up a much needed point when they shared four goals with visiting Heavitree Social. This weekend Rod Hall’s side travel to AFC Sidford. In the same section Feniton Reserves were 2-0 winners over AFC Sidford and this weekend they host Whipton and Pinhoe.

Axmouth returned to Division Six winning ways chalking up a sixth away success of the campaign with a 4-1 victory at Silverton.

It was a workmanlike performance from United, who were ahead midway through the first half when Charlie Clarke applied a polished finish to a move that had involved both Asa Sandman and Dan Reynolds.

A superb strike from 25-yards by Joe Berry doubled the lead, allowing United to take a 2-0 lead into the break. The first half clean sheet was down to a great collective effort by the United back line of Sweeney, Sweetland, Challis and Dack who, when breached the once, then had keeper Andrew Smart showing his worth with a fine save.

Just before the hour mark a Jamie Hughes’ cross was headed home by Reynolds but, within three minutes, the Mid Devon hosts were on the score sheet themselves.

The three goal margin was quickly restored though when Clarke was felled in the box and Hughes tucked home the penalty to complete the scoring.

New signing Tiago Braga made his debut for United in the final third of the match and he formed an instant alliance with Jon Taylor as they combined to shut the door on any host hopes of a comeback. Next up for United is a home game on Saturday with Priory.

Awliscombe slipped to a rare Division Six defeat, beaten 4-2 at Cheriton Fitzpaine and there’s more Mid Devon opposition for the Awls this weekend with the visit of Silverton.

Honiton reserves were denied action by a waterlogged home pitch and will hope for better things this weekend at East Budleigh.

In Division Eight, Offwell Rangers Reserves were 4-1 winners at Langdon.

Karl Allen struck the only goal of the first half and then, after the break, a Liam Spiller brace and one from Ben Fullick, later named Man of the Match, sealed the points. This weekend the Rangers second string host Winkleigh.

Colyton Reserves served up another excellent team performance to record their seventh win of the season, beating Lympstone 2-0.

Duane Gay had a great game between the sticks and the scorers were Dylan Hawkins and Ed Busby. Next the side are home to Langdon.

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