Perryman sparks life into Hippos after dismal first half in South Devon

Tipton fc. Ref miscsp 44-17TI 2485. Picture: Terry Ife

Tipton fc. Ref miscsp 44-17TI 2485. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Honiton Town went down 5-1 when they travelled to South Devon to meet table-topping Stoke Gabriel.

On the day, the Hippos failed to themselves justice and it left manager Kev Blackwell lamenting: “What was always going to be a tough away fixture against a confident home side was made all the harder by us simply not turning up for the first half!

“They [Stoke Gabriel] scored three times from either mistakes or slips on a greasy pitch at crucial times. Stoke Gabriel are top of the league for reason however they did not need to be on top form to bank these latest three points.

“Our body language on the pitch was poor, and the work rate and desire was also absent. That first half was most certainly ‘one to forget’ but some words at half-time looked to put things right.”

He continued: “In actual fact the best bit of advice came from the players themselves on how they should conduct themselves and the actual reason that they’re there which is to play football and enjoy playing football.”

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A change at the break also made a big difference to the Town second half performance with Tom Perryman introduced and he was quickly probing the home left back. Tony Cox scored to reduce the arrear to 3-1. Minutes later Ben Ede was brought down in the area, and felled by a home player on a yellow card! However, a late flag was raised to call the move ‘off-side’. It all added to the Hippos’ frustration and two, albeit clinically taken, late goals sealed the Town fate.

Blackwell said: “When Ben [Ede] was brought down a penalty would have given us a glorious opportunity to make it 3-2 – and the home side would have been playing with 10 men! But, in the blink of an eye they score a fourth and that ended the game as a contest.”

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Bizarrely, Town are not without a game until Boxing Day with their next scheduled league game being the December 26 away game at Axminster Town.

Blackwell says: “I find it absolutely astonishing that we don’t have a fixture now until Boxing Day. Frankly, it is ridiculous that we have had fixtures crammed in during midweek’s at the start of the season.

“We will keep up with training, and hopefully the players will be able to keep themselves fit and be raring to go at Axminster – an outing that will come 25 days after out last game!”

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