McKeown and Winslade net doubles in Upottery win

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

Upottery moved up to seventh in the Macron League Premier Division and are now a single point off a top four berth after a splendid 5-1 success at Newton St Cyres.

Max McKeown and Sam Winslade both bagged braces and the other Upottery goal was scored by Ryan Vickery leaving a delighted villagers’ boss Dan Prettejohn feeling very pleased.

He said of his team’s win: “The lads are playing with real confidence now and are playing as if they believe they belong, not only at this level, but towards the top end of the top flight table.”

He continued: “It’s all about confidence. Earlier in the season we were guilty of letting points slip against teams I felt we should have been beating and now, in the past three games at Okehampton, Exmouth Town and now Newton St Cyres, when I’d have settled for four points from the three games, we have banked all nine!”

Prettejohn had particular praise for Jay Cross who he switched into central defence at Exmouth Town and kept the former Staplegrove man there for the win at St Cyres.

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He said: “Jay is, in my humble opinion, the best midfielder in the league. He’s been performing like a top of the range motor in our midfield, and I have to say that he looked like a Rolls Royce when switched into central defence. He is a very talented player ands certainly plays a big part for us.”

On Saturday (December 2), Upottery go in search of a fourth straight win when they entertain Clyst Valley (2.15pm).

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Prettejohn says: “In a strange way this is a ‘pressure on’ game for us as the aims have switched from ‘can we get something out of the game’ to one where I expect us to win. It will be interesting to see how the lads cope with a different sort of expectation.”

Central defender Gary Moore, whom has not played this season through injury, is now just two weeks away from being back in contention, but the villagers have lost the services of skipper Mark Tucker who broke his ankle in midweek training. Prettejohn says: “Mark [Tucker] won’t let a broken ankle keep him out for too long. I’d expect we will see him back within six weeks.”

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