Bucks Back Among the Goals but Stoke’s Cornish Home Hoodoo Goes On (Local Football Round-Up)
Buckland Athletic returned to Homers Heath and to winning ways with a pleasing 5-0 victory over Gillingham Town. At first there was plenty of industry but little by the way of end product from Lloyd Gardner on the left-hand side before two efforts rattled the woodwork and gave the visitors a hint at what was to come. First, a long-range effort from Shane Gill hit the post and then Liam Head’s header also found an upright; meanwhile, Grant Fisher was having a relatively quiet time between the Buckland sticks. Jared Lewington and Marc Revell also missed chances in a dominant first half which must have left Town double-checking the scoreboard at half-time as the sides went in level.
Following the restart, the Yellows took just four minutes to break the deadlock, Lewington heading Gill’s cross from the right past visiting ‘keeper Sam Filkins. Gavin Hammon made it two in the 52nd minute, converting from close range after Filkins had parried his first effort, and by the time the hour mark had arrived the hosts were three up, Lewington expertly controlling Gardner’s corner before hitting the roof of the net. On 72 minutes, it was the turn of young Gav Collins, mainly a third team player until this campaign, to fire home his first for Adam Castle, Gardner again with the assist – as he was for the final goal, Head’s diving header, four minutes from time, wrapping up a fine afternoon for Buckland as they prepare for a trip to New Milton Town in the FA Vase next weekend.
Stoke Gabriel’s poor record at home to Cornish sides this season endured as the Railwaymen failed to take enough of their ample chances in a home loss against Falmouth Town. Liam Jones had the first real chance of the game, his drive bouncing off the post after Joe Cooper had headed Ollie Critchlow’s corner away. Ollie Aplin then did well to carve out an opening for Critchlow who clipped the bar with his effort. Critchlow then nicked the post with his next chance, from long-range, before Gareth McEwen’s goalbound strike was deflected to safety – surely something had to give soon. Visiting ‘keeper Ethan Fearn did well at the second attempt to gather a spilled Jones’ strike from the feet of David Worthington and Aplin curled a 25-yard shot narrowly wide but Fearn remained unbeaten. The Ambers did have one or two chances of their own, but Nathan Murphy dealt comfortably with headers from Mike Vanes and Andy Westgarth before the visitors were pegged back again, Aplin sending in dangerous balls and Worthington forcing Fearn into another fine save after Dan Kingscote had put him through. Stoke were by far the more disappointed at a half-time scoreline of 0-0 and Falmouth took full advantage, Harry Clark stinging Murphy’s gloves with a shot three minutes after the restart. Stoke did eventually take the lead though, Kingscote evading a tackle to send a low cross for Aplin to convert from a few yards. Stoke pressed to kill the game off, but were suddenly on the defensive seven minutes later as Rob Wearne broke from a home corner to surge down the left; his fine cross was headed in by Westgarth for an equaliser.Two minutes later, McEwen’s foul on Vanes left Murphy with a penalty to defend. Wearne stood up and hit a confident strike past the home custodian to secure an unlikely victory and to join St Blazey, St Austell and Helston Athletic on the growing list of Cornish clubs to depart from Broadley Lane with all the points.
Liverton United did fellow South Devon side Teignmouth a huge favour, holding leaders St Martins to a goalless draw. Teigns did what they needed to do, beating a spirited Bovey Tracey side 2-1 in the derby to go level top – albeit temporarily, and having played two more games than the Exeter side! Teigns went a goal and a man down to Bovey after goalkeeper Adam Broom tripped Jamie Orchard, giving Danny Zalick the opportunity to put the Moorlanders ahead on 36 minutes. The playing field was levelled when Dan Taylor received his marching orders for a foul on Geoff Breslan, and Teigns’ player-manager levelled the scores too with a 63rd minute free-kick. The winner came from the penalty spot, Lance Clarke sealing the points in the 84th minute. Bovey were also in action on Wednesday night, in one of St Martins’ games in hands. But home advantage was not enough for them as they lost out 4-1. Galmpton United hang on to their top half placement despite a 5-0 whipping at unbeaten Tiverton Town Reserves. Kenny Ord hit a hat-trick and Dave O’Connor a double for the hosts. Totnes & Dartington enjoyed back-to-back wins in their Friday evening derby against Newton Abbot Spurs. Shaun Bowden set up Adam Dyson who could have opened up the scoring after three minutes; but the player-manager’s shot, with just the ‘keeper to beat, went wide. Scott Bellamy saved Myles Chalcraft’s long-range strike a minute later before Bowden wasted a good opportunity on 16 minutes by clearing the bar after good work by Jo Andrews on the right. Liam Price set up Dyson again on 20 minutes, but Spurs’ top scorer was denied by Dan Wood who was quick to react to the danger. On 22 minutes, the visitors were left to rue those early chances as young, in-form Charlie Johansen hit a long-range shot which was deflected past Bellamy for the opener. On 35 minutes, George Savva, another one of Tots’ youngsters, nipped in behind full-back Mark Brooke to rifle home a second. In the 52nd minute, the hosts scored a third, and what would turn out to be the deciding, goal to leave Spurs rocking. Skipper Liam Collings slotted a ball through to Johansen who toe-poked home from 12 yards. Spurs pressed for a way back, but Wood kept out efforts from both Tom Sercombe and Dyson before Matt Williams followed up a parried Dyson effort to pull one back on 64 minutes. Buzz Avis could have eased the pressure five minutes later, lifting the ball over Bellamy but finding the ball on the wrong side of the post from the home side’s perspective. Dyson pulled Spurs right back into it on 71 minutes after Jo Andrews had won the contest with sub defender Dan Hurrell to square the ball to the striker, but Tots stood firm to climb the table to 15th. Two defeats in four days leave Brixham AFC struggling down in 16th. The Fishermen started with a Wednesday night trip to Crediton United with both sides set up to score goals, Simon Durrant delivering the first on 10 minutes with a fine strike. Two goals in four minutes then put the visitors in the ascendancy, both struck low into the net past Lee Waring, on 19 and 22 minutes. Steve Morish set up Durrant for an easy second six minutes later and Richard Blake struck six minutes from half-time to ensure the hosts had a half-time lead. As Brixham sought to equalise, Crediton made the most of the space, substitute Jamie Parsons putting Durrant through on 55 minutes for the latter to complete his hat-trick with a deft finish. Four minutes later it was all but over, another superb strike by Durrant increasing his tally to four and Creddy’s to five. On Saturday, Brixham were at home to Sidmouth Town. Riki Pitter and Cameron Vere twice put the visitors ahead but Brixham equalised both times. However, they were unable to respond to Ben Farrington’s winner.
In the SDFL Premier, Watcombe Wanderers took a massive step towards reclaiming the Premier title they lost last year to Buckland Athletic Reserves by inflicting a first defeat on Bucks and extending their unbeaten start to nine matches. Pete Summerfield hit the goal which separated the sides at the King George V.
Dartmouth AFC are the only other Premier side yet to lose; they enjoyed a 4-0 victory at Upton Athletic with goals from Karl Baker, Josh Webber, Charlie Smith and Dan Broadway. Elsewhere in the Premier, Newton Abbot Spurs extended their winning run to four with a 2-1 victory at bottom side Kingskerswell & Chelston. Jake Chisholm and Tom Barrett scored Spurs’ goals while Andy Eden saw red. Brixham AFC Reserves hit four without reply at Waldon Athletic while Ivybridge Athletic Reserves beat Kingsteignton Athletic 3-1 at Erme Valley Park for their third win of the season.
The big shock in the Herald Cup Second Round came at Broadley Lane where Stoke Gabriel Reserves were knocked out by Dartmouth Cup finalists Paignton Villa, 5-2 the final score. In fairness, it was a young Stoke side that entertained a more experienced Villa team, and the youngsters did well to pull a 3-0 half-time scoreline to 3-2. In contrast, East Allington United made easy passage through, Fred Massey and James Ivatts with braces in a 6-1 triumph over Division Two outfit Buckfastleigh Rangers. There were two other Herald Cup ties which both went the way of the Newton Abbot sides. Newton Abbot ’66 edged Hookhills United 2-1 while Newton United won 3-1 away at Kingsbridge & Kellaton United.
Ashburton move back to the top of Division One after a 3-1 victory against Foxhole United. Buckland Athletic Thirds are just two points behind the Ashes following a narrow 3-2 home win over Stoke Gabriel Thirds. Ipplepen’s unbeaten start was ended with a 2-0 reverse at home to Chudleigh who moved above Pens into fourth. Tots Reserves surged up the table with their first win of the campaign, 2-1 at home to Corries. Buckland & Milber slipped to a second heavy away defeat as Bovey Reserves enjoyed a first win since their opening match, 4-0 the final score.
Division Two leaders Watcombe Wanderers thrashed Bishopsteignton United 10-1 away to leave Bishops with the worst defensive record in the entire league. Roselands, one of only four league sides yet to drop a point, moved up to second with a 3-0 win at Kingsteignton Athletic to put them on 50 goals scored. Harbertonford made it three wins in a row; they beat Abbotskerswell 5-0 away to maintain their five point gap over fifth-placed Brixham Town who slammed Waldon Reserves 6-2. Paignton Saints are still in search of their first win after two first-half errors gave them a mountain to climb – although they almost achieved it! A slip from Matt Reed let the South Brent striker in for a one-on-one which he made the most of, and Dan Clement stepped out too slowly to allow the home side to break the offside trap and double their advantage. If it wasn’t for an adept performance from Sam Holmes in the visiting goal, who made a number of critical saves, Saints could have been dead and buried by half-time. Instead, they came out fighting and clawed one back in the first five minutes; Sean Hooton and Nyron Connor closed the ball down and Connor played in Luke Johnson who made no mistake. But as Saints pushed for an equaliser, South Brent cleared their lines from a corner and nicked their third. However, Saints responded immediately with new signing Peter Lamb sending in a corner for Josh Wiginton to head home. Sam Cole put the ball in the net as Saints pressed for a point, but a disputed offside flag meant it was South Brent who claimed the points.
East Allington United Reserves were held 0-0 at Chudleigh Athletic Reserves to enable Liverton United Reserves to reclaim top spot in Division Three, the Lillies winning 7-2 at Harbertonford Reserves. AFC Staverton picked themselves up from the previous weeks loss at Halford to comfortably beat winless Upton Reserves 5-1, while Dartmouth Reserves brutally ended Salcombe’s purple patch with a 5-0 triumph at The Berry. Teign Village, thumped by Darts last week, recovered with a 4-3 victory over Dittisham, the Plums still pointless. Ipplepen Reserves were also among the goals, scoring five without reply at Buckfastleigh Reserves, while Torbay Police and Waldon Thirds probably didn’t need to be at the grammar school to understand that two goals divided by two equals a solitary point each.
A comfortable 6-0 win for Barton Athletic at home to Newton Abbot ’66 Reserves keeps Cseziak Solecki’s side top of Division Four. Meadowbrook Athletic’s 2-0 victory at Paignton Villa Reserves moves them above Watcombe Wanderers Third into second place, the Greens losing out 3-2 at Roselands Reserves for their first reverse of the campaign.
The top two in Division Five are showing no signs of slowing down. Leaders Torbay Police Reserves won 4-1 at home to Stoke Fleming & Strete while Broadhempston United Reserves slammed Moretonhampstead 8-2. Paignton Saints Reserves had another day to forget as they came up against a very Strong Riviera United side. Two down at the break, Saints had several chances but a mistake-littered performance saw United run out 8-0 winners, securing themselves third spot in the table.