Honiton Town exit cup at first time of asking

Honiton Town action at Willand Rovers Picture: ROB MITCHELL

Honiton Town action at Willand Rovers Picture: ROB MITCHELL - Credit: Archant

Honiton’s unbeaten start to the season was well and truly ended when they went out of the Graddon Vending Devon Premier Cup at the first time of asking, beaten 6-2 at Hatherleigh Town.

Town started well with Lewis Couch orchestrating things from midfield. However, a defensive error gave the home striker the opportunity to fire his side ahead – and he did just that!

The impressive Couch levelled things up from the penalty spot and, when Correy Couch went forward to nod home his brother’s well-delivered free-kick, the Hippos held a 2-1 lead.

The home side, beaten on their own turf in the opening Fresha League game of the campaign, stormed back with two quick-fire goals, both easily ‘defendable’ by a strangely subdues Town back line, saw the home side into a 3-2 half-time lead.

The second half was nothing short of disastrous for the Hippos as they had two players shown red cards! In fairness, one of them, handed out to Ryan Gibbs, was seen as ‘softer than soft’ by players on both side’s, while the second, dished out to Jordan Stickland after picking up two yellows, was warranted.

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Playing two men short it was no surprise that Town shipped a further three goals to end up well beaten.

Manager Kev Blackwell said: “If our first half show was one to forget, the second was one to seal in concrete and bury in the North Sea! We felt hard done by with the red card for Ryan (Gibbs) - the Hatherleigh players were laughing in disbelief at the decision, while we all looked on in horror at the decision made.

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“It can often be a thankless task in the middle for the man in black, but its good to see a young referee starting out in the game, no doubt he would have learned a few things from this game that he can take into his future matches.”

He continued: “I have no complaints with the result or the effort from the lads, it simply was not our day! Hatherleigh were good value and I wish them well in the next round. For me, a real plus is that we got taught a big lesson away from the league campaign. The lads know that this sort of display will not be tolerated again. We have players coming back from fitness, the reserves are high on confidence, so I am not short of quality players to pick.”

On Saturday Town Saturday travel to Newtown for a Fresha League top flight game.

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