Seaton move on up in Premier
Awls stay unbeaten in Div 6
Seaton Town climbed smoothly into second place in the Devon and Exeter League Premier Division title with a superb performance against previously unbeaten Newtown.
The first half was one of even play with neither side able to master the other’s impressive defence.
A half-time brief from boss Josh Stunell had the desired effect as his side found a higher gear after the re-start and powered into a two goal lead through the impressive Alex Wheatley and Brad Groves, the latter scoring with a thunderous header.
The Exeter side did find a way past the outstanding Dave Perham, deputising for regular glovesman Dan Stapleton, but Town saw the game out to win 2-1.
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A delighted Stunell said: “It was a mature performance, with the key being the influence of Alex Wheatley, Ollie Highett and Mark Hancock, who have had the benefit of Peninsula League experience with Axminster Town. The trio, along with Charlie Cross, were pivotal to the win. I shall certainly start with this same side next time out.”
That next game is this coming Saturday when Town have a double-header weekend with Saturday’s Devon Premier Cup tie in South Devon at Galmpton United followed by Sunday’s Axminster Hospital Cup tie at Alphington (2pm).
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Beer ALBION struck a second successive success with another solid all-round display to defeat Alphington 4-2 and climb into the top half of the Premier table.
The Fishermen made the perfect start as James Melville struck after a downfield punt from the splendid Beer keeper, Mark Rooke, and the same player was again on the score sheet before, in the dying embers of the first half, the visitors scored to go in at 2-1.
The Alphas scored again shortly after the re-start, but that merely served to drive the Fishermen to greater things.
Ollie Morgan capped a superb personal shift with a delightful 18-yard lob to put Beer ahead again and, five minutes from time, Melville scored his hat-trick goal to seal a 4-2 win.
Beer boss Mark Ward said: “We were fully deserving of the win. Pre-match, I championed the lads about how big a game this was. We had to win to climb further away from the basement and, in a tightly knit table, we have found ourselves mid-table.
That said, there’ll be no crowing from me. I am looking this season mainly for consolidation and will be more than happy if the campaign ends with us still very much part of the top table in terms of local football.”
On Saturday, the Fishermen turn their attention to the Devon Premier Cup and a trip to Plymouth to face FC Manadon.
Ward says: “We’ll go there fancying our chances. Here’s no reason why, in our current form, we cannot get a result down there.”
Feniton slumped to a fourth straight Division defeat and Blues Boss Mark Kingdon was able to point to exactly why his mis-firing side slipped to a 3-0 defeat in the local derby at Tipton St John.
Kingdon said: “A general lack of effort across the park and, collectively, that is not good enough. For some reason we have not adjusted to life in this Division and that disappoints me as I felt, at the start of the campaign, that we had the personnel to mount sustained bid to regain, at the first time of asking, our premier place.
Now, after four straight defeats we are in danger of spending another season of despair and we are so much better than that.”
This coming Saturday the Blues, who find themselves fourth bottom of the table, have home advantage for the visit of Cullompton Rangers and Kingdon is clear as to what is required: “We need to be positive and simply stop the current rot. A win would do us the world of good and would, I am sure, kick-start our season.”
If it’s gloomy at Feniton then it’s grim at Honiton where Town played out an eighth Division One game without a victory.
In fairness to Kevin Blackwell’s side, they were up against a very strong Barnstaple Town side who are flying high with five wins from six this term. Honiton have just one point to show from four Mountbatten Park outings this season, that an October 2 draw with Feniton.
They really need to find a win, any win, from somewhere soon, or it could become a very long and desperate campaign for the side.
Salvation may arrive this coming Saturday as they go to Exeter to face a Heavitree Social side that have already been beaten five times this term.
Colyton were single goal winners in their Division Two derby meeting with Sidmouth Town Reserves.
That’s a result that took Colyton above the Vikings in the table and into fourth spot. They have a great chance to further enhance their top four berth with Saturday’s visit to a Clyst Valley Reserves side who have already been beaten five times this season and sit third bottom of the table.
Upottery were within a whisker of becoming the first side this season to down Division Three table toppers Pinhoe. The Pins arrived at Upottery having dropped just a pair of points from their first six outings but they would have been glad to return to Exeter with share of the spoils after being given a second half run-a-round by their hosts.
Just eight minutes in, Joe Butler rose to head Upottery into the lead and it was only five minutes before the break that the visitors restored parity with what was, from the home perspective, a scrappy goal.
At the break, the villagers’ boss Dan Prettejohn urged his side to step up the pace and they responded superbly.
Brad Spiller came closest to breaking the second half deadlock when his goal bound effort was somehow kept out by the Pins’ keeper.
Gary Moore was named Man of the Match for a masterful shift at centre back. Prettejohn said: “It’s a measure of how well we have played that I am left feeling we were unlucky not to beat the unbeaten table toppers.
“Gary (Moore) was awesome and that’s four at home without defeat this term to date.”
The villagers are without a game this weekend and Prettejohn will be taking the chance to look at one or two targets to bolster his squad!
Axmouth United were without a game on Saturday, but their lofty position in Division Six was boosted by the 1-1 draw between two of the three sides to sit above them in the table, Awliscombe and East Budleigh.
Exmouth are the new leaders after they beat bottom side Cheriton Fitzpaine 8-0.
On Saturday, United make the relatively short trip into Honiton to play Town Reserves where a win will catapult them into a top two berth.
Awliscombe shared the spoils with equally high flying East Budleigh Reserves in a 1-1 draw.
The Awls remain one of just two sides in Division Six yet to taste a League defeat this season. With table-topping Exmouth Town in Devon Intermediate Cup action this weekend, a win for Awliscombe at home to second bottom, winless Chagford, will take them top of the table come Saturday evening