Honiton Town drop points but go further clear at top of Macron League

Honiton 2nds at home to East Budleigh. Ref mhsp 40-16TI 9156. Picture: Terry Ife

Honiton 2nds at home to East Budleigh. Ref mhsp 40-16TI 9156. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Honiton Town conceded a goal for the first time in 2017 and came mighty close to losing their season-long unbeaten record, netting a late equaliser to share the spoils with Newton St Cyres, in a 2-2 Mountbatten Park draw.

The point the Hippos took from the game, coupled with a surprise defeat for title rivals Newtown, actually meant that Town ended the weekend a point better off than they had begun with.

However, Town boss Kev Blackwell was left ruing the fact that his side had let slip a massive opportunity to make a big statement in terms of the Macron League top flight title race.

The day had all begun so well for Town who took a lead through teenage striker Blake Freemantle who scored his third goal in as many recent senior outings.

However, a missed penalty was followed by some sloppy defending and, midway through the second half, the Town faithful were beginning to wonder if this was the day that the Hippos finally surrendered their magnificent unbeaten record.

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During the second half Town glovesman Matty Long was restricted to a spectating role for long periods, but, at the other end of the Mountbatten Park pitch, chances went begging until Lewis Couch curled a sweet strike into the top corner of the net.

Thereafter, it was a case of half-chances only as Town dropped the two points, but the visitors will have felt they were more than deriving of, at the very least, a point themselves.

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Town boss Kev Blackwell said: “It was all most disappointing. There were no real individual stand-out shifts, but, credit where credit is due, the lads deserve much praise for the fact that, on an afternoon when clearly little was going right, they kept plugging away.

“I suspect that spirit they showed is going to be very useful as the business end of the season rolls into play.

“I take full responsibility for the slow start and the in-game decisions that should have been made to give us a better chance of taking all three points. I am accountable, but I won’t allow certain things to continue and we certainly can’t be complacent as we go into the final knockings of the season.”

Blackwell continued: “I will be making sure the lads are fully prepared for Saturday’s meeting with Exmouth Amateurs and I will ensure that the lads are fit, fired up and ready for kick-off.”

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