Buckland Open Up a Gap (and all the rest of the Western,Peninsula & SDFL action)
Photograph (c) MiraclePR
Si Laughton and Lloyd Gardner struck at Bradford Town to give BUCKLAND ATHLETIC a small gap between themselves and Odd Down at the top of the Toolstation Western League. The 2-0 victory at Bradford Town was Bucks’ fourth straight league win and their third in a row away from Homer’s Heath. Dan Griffiths came close for the Yellows with 15 minutes on the clock, but it was defender Laughton who fired the opener on the half-hour mark, from a Gardner corner, helped on by Gavin Hammon. Midfielder Gardner doubled their tally just three minutes later, finishing off a well-worked move from the edge of the box by volleying in Lewis Perring’s cross. Jamie Bartlett kept the home side in the tie with a save from Hammon just before the break, and Bradford started the second period looking like they meant business, Mark Robinson’s long range effort just clearing the bar. But Buckland kept things tight and the result was never really in doubt, with Lewis Perring almost scoring a third on 75 minutes but unable to beat Bartlett.
Buckland now have a well-earned break before their next fixture, a home tie against 9th placed Hallen on Saturday.
STOKE GABRIEL made a bright start in their first ever home tie against Cornish outfit Helston Athletic, but after failing to take their chances, Frazer Clark put through his own net to give the visitors an unlikely lead. They extended their league before Dan Kingscote once again found the net for the Devon side. But Athletic ensured their first long coach trip home was a happy one as they ran out 2-1 winners to leave the Railwaymen still seeking that elusive first win of the campaign.
Stoke’s next match is on Saturday where they host another top half Cornish outfit – St. Austell.
TEIGNMOUTH continue to put pressure on St Martins at the top of Division One East after a tough 3-1 home win over South Devon neighbours LIVERTON UNITED. Liverton acquitted themselves well against their hosts, but Teigns made a strong start with Matt Eves and Hayden Roe putting them two up at the break. Teigns goalkeeper Liam Jones had had a good match but fluffed his lines with a Scott Baxter backpass and let the Lillies back into the game. Ryan Bush restored the two goal cushion and Liverton’s hopes fizzled out as Curtis Booth received his marching orders for a second caution.
BRIXHAM AFC moved up into seventh spot with a fine away win at Alphington. Dan Rankin struck twice and Scott Dodgson added his name to the score sheet in a confidence-boosting 3-0 triumph for Jason Couch’s side. And NEWTON ABBOT SPURS also made their way back into the top half of the table with a 4-2 home victory over struggling Axminster Town. Adam Dyson rang the changes with Will Hancox, who scored in the defeat against Sidmouth, making the starting line-up alongside Richard Hancox and Ian Wilkinson, Tom Sercombe and Daryl Kewley starting on the bench and Matt Barkwell not featuring at all. But it wasn’t long before home ‘keeper Scott Bellamy was picking the ball out of his net, Alex Wheatley sending him the wrong way from the penalty awarded for captain Kevin Dadd’s foul on Tony Pinder. Spurs came close to equalising on a couple of occasions before Joe Andrews finally beat Scott Wells-Burr from close range when Dyson turned Chris Metter’s header in his direction. Early in the second half, Andrews and Shaun Bowden combined to set up Dyson, who put Spurs ahead with a shot from just inside the box. The home side had their tails up now and six minutes later, and less than ten minutes from the restart, Dyson was put through by Andrews and blasted into the top corner from just inside the area again. Just after the hour mark, the home side were reduced to ten as Kevin Dadd handled Tony Pinder’s shot; Wheatley converted again to pull the Tigers right back into contention. But in the 72nd minute it was Spurs’ turn to try their hand from 12 yards as Will Hancox was brought down. Hancox took the spot-kick himself and his fine effort powered through Wells-Burr’s fingertips to secure Spurs the points.
Elsewhere, GALMPTON UNITED were held to a goalless draw at the University of Exeter while TOTNES & DARTINGTON travelled to Simmonds Park to take on the division’s only winless team Okehampton Argyle. Tots took the lead through Myles Chalcraft, but an early second half goal brought Argyle level. Young Joseph Souch put the visitors back in front and Charlie Johansen made it three before Okey made a game of it by pulling another goal back before the end. But Tots held on to take a vital three away points.
BOVEY TRACEY created plenty of chances but couldn’t prevent a 2–0 defeat at St Blazey in the FA Vase First Qualifying Round, although their reserves fared better in the Firewatch Devon Senior Cup, Isaac Lodge, Mark Perring, Mike Tapper, Pat Hicks and Tom Leach on target in a 5-2 win at Plymouth Falcons in the First Round.
Wednesday’s evening matches sees a top of the table clash between Budleigh Salterton and Teignmouth, while Bovey Tracey look to bag consecutive home league wins as they welcome the University of Exeter.
The SDFL’s first full programme of matches got underway with the three main Premier division title contenders all adding to their perfect starts.
Watcombe Wanderers, having played one more game, lead the way and swept Stoke Gabriel Reserves away 6-1. Connor Finch helped himself to a hat-trick, Mike Fieldhouse scored twice and Mike Small got off the mark. Dartmouth AFC were also in emphatic mood as they hammered Newton Abbot Spurs Reserves 8-1 at Longcross. Karl Baker took his tally to four with a hat-trick, while Josh Webber, Ben Greeno, Richard Frost, Liam McAuley and Solley Metchette weighed in with singles. Tom Barrett scored the consolation form Spurs who also had Andy Eden dismissed to compound their woes. Loddiswell endured groundhog day against champions Buckland Athletic Reserves, their net breached early in the match for a narrow 1-0 defeat. Lodds had conceded after just six seconds against Dartmouth but managed to hang on until four minutes had elapsed before Mike Turner netted for the visitors. But they once again defended well from then on in, and showed great spirit to stay in the match. Besides, the management team of Edd Roberts and Mark Stockwell-Weeks will know that it is not against the likes of Darts and Bucks that their destiny will be decided this season.
Slow starts have characterised the Rams seasons since their return to the Premier, but not this time. Kingsteignton Athletic returned from Armada Park with all the points as they beat Kingskerswell & Chelston 4-1. An entertaining game at Wall Park (pictured) saw hosts Brixham AFC Reserves put three past Ivybridge Town Reserves, with no reply, to secure their first win of the campaign. Goalkeeper Dan Gillard got on the score sheet, from the penalty spot, and Jay Morgan and Sean Kenny also found the net.
In Division One, Another clash of title contenders happened at the Beesands Cellars where Rovers once more lost out to Ashburton, 2-1 the score. Meanwhile, at Forges Cross, a Lee Pike goal could not prevent Buckland Athletic Thirds crashing to a surprise 3-1 defeat against Babbacombe Corinthians. Few would have predicted Ipplepen Athletic’s 8-1 thrashing of Buckland & Milber as Pens got off to a flyer at Moor Road. Foxhole United took the lead against a battling Chudleigh Athletic side just before half-time, Ashley Hoare played in by John Bolus and beating Richard Virgin with a fine shot. In the second half, Bolus scored the Foxes’ second after Jack White’s shot had been blocked before sub Luke Danby wrapped up the points from a free-kick. Newton Abbot ’66 and Kingskerswell & Chelston Reserves also made winning starts, ’66 beating Stoke Gabriel Thirds 3-1 at Osborne Park and Kingskerswell & Chelston triumphing 2-1 at Totnes & Dartington Reserves.
In Division Two, Harbertonford got off to a winning start in a 3-0 Wednesday night win at Paignton Saints, and it could have been more if Saints goalie Sam Holmes hadn’t played a blinder. A breakaway goal gave Fords the initiative and then Holmes was beaten by a header from a corner despite getting his gloves to the ball. The shot-stopper also got a hand to Harbertonford’s third, a penalty after Ash Barlow had mistimed a tackle in the box. South Brent are apparently still building their team and were unable to field a side to travel to Buckfastleigh Rangers. The home walkover leaves Rangers top ahead of a deadly Roselands side who followed last week’s 16-2 win over Brixham Town with a 13-0 thumping of Bishopsteignton United, Luke Steward bagging seven of them. Watcombe Wanderers Reserves allowed themselves the luxury of two missed penalties (by Shane Ross and Rui de Garces) but still won comfortably at Hookhills United. Ryan Finch scored two and Rui de Garces and Cieran Bridger one apiece in a 4-0 victory. Abbotskerswell also scored four without reply, at home to Waldon Athletic Reserves for their first success of the season. Kingsteignton Athletic Reserves joined their first team in their opening match celebrations by defeating Newton United 5-2. There were almost as many goals ruled out as there were scored in the division’s remaining match between Brixham Town and Teignmouth Reserves at St. Mary’s. Priestley and Swift put the visitors ahead twice but Town hit back on both occasions to secure a draw.
In Division Three, Kris Attiwell scored a hat-trick, and Si Davis a penalty as leaders East Allington United Reserves beat Ipplepen Athletic Reserves 4-2 for a second win out of two. Two goals for Garrett and single contributions from Connors, Davis, Blackie, Ware and Breslan gave Liverton United Reserves the perfect start against Dittisham United. Teign Village got off the mark in fine fashion with a 5-0 away win at Torbay Police, two goals provided by Darren Osmond with Paul Huxham, Dean Kelly and Jamie Kelly adding the rest. AFC Staverton also won away in their opening fixture, edging Salcombe Town 3-2, with Buckfastleigh Rangers Reserves the division’s other winners with the only two goals at Upton Athletic Reserves. Elsewhere, Hammon (2) and Harvey earned Chudleigh Athletic Reserves a point at Waldon Athletic Reserves while Nick Rushe and Joe Kirby did the same for Dartmouth AFC Reserves at Harbertonford Reserves.
In Division Four, Meadowbrook Athletic are leading the way after a fine second win, 5-1 at Torquay Town. Watcombe Wanderers Thirds and Sam Pyne opened their accounts in emphatic style, the Greens’ striker netting four in a 6-1 win at Ashburton Reserves; Ben Schneider and Michael Rohan also made the score sheet. Broadmeadow began life in Division Four with a 2-0 home win over Ilsington Villa. Debutant Dean Coles, Alex Easson and Ryan Duke ensured Riviera United started with a home win, although visitors Roselands Reserves ran them close. Barton Rovers won 2-0 away at Newton Rovers to bounce back from their opening defeat.
In Division Five it took Moretonhampstead 25 minutes to score their first, at home to Barton Athletic Reserves, but once Mills’ volley had done the job the home side never looked back. Clark made the score 2-0 before the break and then completed his third hat-trick in two matches (!) after the turnaround. Mills also found the net again with substitute Snell and Perriton completing a 7-0 rout, the latter beating three defenders for a magnificent solo goal. Paignton Saints Reserves went behind at Clennon Valley when Dan Sell conceded a penalty to enable Stoke Fleming & Strete to take the initiative. But the home side dominated proceedings afterwards and Joe Jordan netted twice to put them ahead by half-time. Luke Pocknell, Ian Simons, Matt James and Sean Hooton scored after the interval to give the hosts the ideal start. Two teams achieved 4-1 away wins: Dan Reed (2), Matt Pearce and an own goal saw Chudleigh Thirds enjoy opening day success at the expense of Watts, Blake & Bearne AFC, while Newton Rovers Reserves won at Marlborough United. Torbay Police Reserves began their campaign with a 3-1 triumph at Newton United Reserves while Les Barnes’ Riviera United Reserves went behind at Buckland & Milber Reserves but showed good character to fight back for a 2-1 win; Ryan Ford netted the equaliser at Long Lane before a Dez Bridgman screamer clinched it for United.
It’s county cup weekend for many of the local clubs this Saturday. We will post fixtures later in the week.
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