Skipper Richards keeps Upottery Reserves on course for title

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Generic picture - Credit: Archant

Upottery Reserves came safely through their ‘crunch’ Macron League Division Eight visit to title rivals Bravehearts, banking a point from a 2-2 draw with the Cullompton-based side.

When the pair met at Glebe Park earlier in the campaign the sides drew 1-1 and both have been part of the title race since the opening weeks of the season. This game, played at the Speeds Meadow home of Cullompton Rangers, carried added significance as a home win would have been a big blow to the Upottery divisional title hopes.

The home side began strongly and would have taken an early lead but for a terrific goal line clearance by Dan Hole.

That excellent piece of defending became all then more significant when, minutes later, a Steve Morris corner floated into then net at then far post to give Upottery the lead.

Parity was restored when the home side also netted from a corner, though this was a powerful header from a well-delivered set-piece.

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After the break play was end-to-end with plenty of tension in the air with both sides knowing that a win for either would leave them in pole position to go on and land the title.

Ten minutes into the second half Bravehearts took a 2-1 lead and again it was from a corner, well-delivered and powerfully headed home.

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Upottery held their nerve, made changes and, with 10 minute remaining, skipper Gavin Richards found himself on the edge of the 18-yard area where he executed a perfect lob-shot that sailed up and over the home glovesman to bank his side a precious point and keep them on course to be crowned champions.

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