Bucks Hold Firm in Bath (Weekend Football Round-Up)
Only forty spectators turned out at the Lew Hill Memorial Ground to see the top of the table Western League clash between Odd Down and Buckland Athletic last Saturday evening and those that stayed away are unlikely to be regretting their decision after both sides drew a blank. It was a good blank for Buckland though who ensured they would enter October having not conceded a single goal in September. Buckland’s defence is the meanest in the league and Grant Fisher showed just why with a number of quality saves including one from a Troy Simpson penalty. Bucks were always going to find it hard to make an impact at the other end with Ellis Laight once again deputising as both Gavin Hammon and Jared Lewington were missing. And Lloyd Gardner also ruled himself out of the running when he left the field before half-time with a hamstring injury. The Yellows lead the table by two points with Somerset side Street next to visit Homers Heath this Saturday.
STOKE GABRIEL were at home to St Blazey on Saturday but also contested an evening match away at Exwick Villa the previous week. The Management duo had drafted in George Buckmaster and Kieran Parkin from Buckland as they sought to bounce back from their League Cup exit. The early signs were not good for the Railwaymen though as the hosts began with a relentless assault on the visitors’ goal. But Stoke’s defence held out admirably and after the opening Exmouth salvo, the visitors started to make an impact at the other end through the endeavour of Parkin and Tom Kelly. The returning Nathan Murphy then did well to keep out a long-range Alex Greening free-kick. But on 28 minutes, Frazer Clark was dispossessed by James Sharkey who had already come close and this time made no mistake to put the home side one up. Home ‘keeper Rob Cowell was tested by Ollie Aplin, and Kelly hit the wall with a free-kick before Stuart Bowker levelled the score on 36 minutes, cutting in from the right before finishing into the top corner. Exmouth started the second half the stronger and after good chances for both Karl Rickard and substitute Sam Schaefli, it was the latter who restored their lead, heading home Joe Bushin’s superb cross on 71 minutes. Stoke rallied and restored parity on the 76th minute when Bowker set up Aplin at the near post with a low cross. The visitors then got themselves on top and had further efforts cleared off the line and a goal ruled out for a foul before the end. The game ended 2-2 which ended up being a fair reflection of an entertaining tussle.
Cornish sides have enjoyed coming to Broadley Lane this season, and on Saturday it was St Blazey’s turn. Stoke were determined to make an impact from the off and Tom Kelly and Ollie Aplin terrorised Dave Painter in the visitors’ goal for the first 15 minutes. After a penalty shout for handball at the other end was waved away, Stoke opened their account through Stuart Bowker who finished off a move he had started by heading in a deep Kelly cross at the far post. The visitors then started to take charge, with the aptly named Tornado Bello causing havoc down the right. After Callum McGee and Matt Drummond had failed to make the most of good chances, Keiron Bishop took matters into his own hands, weaving in-between Stoke players before slotting home in the 25th minute. Nathan Murphy had to save twice from Bello as the visitors looked to take the lead, but it was Stoke who got the ball in the net next. Unfortunately for the hosts, Bowkers tap-in from Dave Worthington’s free-kick was ruled out for a foul on Painter. Ryan O’Callaghan then cleared a Liam Jones effort off the line to ensure the sides were level going into the break. Both sides had chances before the next goal, Worthington firing over and Bowker missing several chances for the hosts while Bello forced another save from Murphy at the other end and Drummond fired wide and had a shot tipped over. Darren Veale also did well to tackle Bello as he prepared to pull the trigger in another chance for St Blazey. The visitors deservedly clinched the match as Murphy’s attempt to get rid of Drummond’s cross failed leaving Bello with the chance to grab the three points. Stoke now take a break from league action before travelling to Ivybridge Town in the First Round of the Devon St Lukes Bowl.
TEIGNMOUTH narrowed the gap with leaders St Martins in Division One East, but only by one point. The Teigns shared four goals with hosts Appledore as the leaders went down 2-1 at Budleigh Salterton. GALMPTON UNITED were away to two fellow mid-table sides and secured three points as they won 3-0 in a midweek match at Crediton. Liam Moseley opened the scoring at Crediton in the 17th minute before Dan Broadway extended the lead on 40 minutes; Moseley then sealed the victory on 74 minutes. Next up were Exwick Villa but a Danny Williams brace helped the hosts to all the points in a match which was 1-0 until five minutes from time and ended 3-2 to Villa! BOVEY TRACEY moved up into the top half of the table with six points claimed. Their midweek home tie with Okehampton Argyle ended with a 3-1 victory, Danny Malick scoring twice and Ashley White wrapping things up. Things weren’t looking so promising at Sidmouth Town on Saturday as Ryan Davies and Connor Swingler put the hosts two up. But Jamie Orchard struck twice and Sidmouth scored in their own net to turn the tables in the visitors’ favour. The derby between NEWTON ABBOT SPURS and BRIXHAM AFC at the Rec ended with an emphatic 6-1 win for Adam Dyson’s side, the manager scoring half of them with Joe Andrews, Matt Williams and Carl Bradley also finding the net. Both TOTNES & DARTINGTON and LIVERTON UNITED remain in the bottom three after home defeats. Tots came unstuck against Alphington, who finally ended their goal drought with a 3-2 win over the South Devon side, while the Lillies went down 4-1 to Axminster Town despite leading 1-0 at the interval. Young Tony Pinner levelled after the break and it was downhill all the way from there, Adam Cowling, Jonny Hurford and Ben Turner scoring for Town.
In the SDFL, it’s six played, six wins after a perfect September for Premier leaders Watcombe Wanderers who beat Newton Abbot Spurs 6-1 at the King George V on Saturday. Sean Finch (pictured) hit four with Mike Fieldhouse and Cieran Bridger also finding the net, Tom Barrett with Spurs’ consolation. Defending champions Buckland Athletic Reserves are also yet to drop a point; they collected another clean sheet in another derby win, 2-0 at home to Kingsteignton Athletic. Waldon Athletic once again showed that they will be a force to be reckoned with by holding highly fancied Dartmouth AFC to a 1-1 draw at Longcross. A month ago, East Allington United went down to a home defeat against Upton Athletic, but the Pirates settled that score on Saturday, Jack Massey and James Ivatts scoring in a 2-1 victory in the reverse fixture. Ivybridge Town Reserves are into the top six, Matt Maller scoring both in a 2-1 triumph at Kingskerswell & Chelston, the goal deficit enough to push the home side to the foot of the table.
There were a handful of Herald Cup first round ties played with two Premier sides drawn at home to lower division opposition. Stoke Gabriel Reserves had the easiest passage through as Totnes & Dartington Reserves were unable to raise a side. Brixham AFC Reserves followed them into the hat with a 4-1 win over Division Two challengers Harbertonford. Bovey Tracey Reserves’ recent record in the competition has not been good and the Moorlanders fell at the first hurdle for the third successive season, convincingly beaten 11-0 at Roselands. Teignmouth Reserves knocked out visitors Dittisham United 3-2, while fellow Division Two side Hookhills United put out Broadmeadow from Division Four 3-1 at Galmpton FC.
In Division One, all of the results went the way of leaders Ashburton, including their own – a 1-0 home win over Babbacombe Corinthians. Buckland Athletic Thirds fell further behind as they were held 1-1 at unbeaten Ipplepen Athletic and it was also one apiece for Newton Abbot ’66 and Foxhole United at Osborne Park, both sides yet to lose. There was yet more disappointment for Kingskerswell & Chelston Reserves; goals from Dan Jones and Duncan Smilie couldn’t detract from the fact that ‘Kerswell have now lost three in a row, Chudleigh Athletic’s 7-2 win means they have enjoyed success in consecutive weeks. Beesands Rovers are having a nightmare of a start, the Bees scoring through Luke Broad and Danny Tucker but losing out 3-2 at home to Stoke Gabriel Thirds; Horrocks, Blackler and Moir with Stoke’s strikes. Buckland & Milber stay bottom though as they lost 3-1 at home to Paignton Villa who climb into the top half.
In Division Two, two goals from Ryan Porter and a Dean Stevens strike helped leaders Buckfastleigh Rangers to a 3-2 victory at Waldon Athletic Reserves. With Roselands on cup duty, Watcombe Wanderers Reserves took the opportunity to move up to second, Rui de Garces scoring twice in a narrow 2-1 win at Kingsteignton Athletic Reserves who lose out in successive weeks. Brixham Town secured their first success of the season with a 4-2 victory at bottom side Bishopsteignton United. South Brent claimed their first win by defeating visitors Abbotskerswell 4-1. Neither Newton United nor Paignton Saints had chalked up a win before they played each other on Saturday afternoon. That situation remains after a 3-3 draw. Saints had to battle hard to gain their point and it was hard for them to see a way back when they trailed two-nil at the break after a very sloppy half. But they came out battling and Shaun Cotton’s two goals pulled it back to two apiece. Newton United once again edged in front but Nyron Connor equalised in the last ten minutes to earn Saints their point; Connor also hit the post late on to almost clinch all three. Jamie Lock, Ben Drinkwater and Gareth Harris were on target for the home side.
In Division Three, a 2-2 draw at Torbay Police meant that leaders East Allington United Reserves now lead second-placed Liverton United by just a point. The Lillies are now the only team in the league yet to concede as they returned from Ipplepen Athletic Reserves with four goals and a win. AFC Staverton’s 100 per cent record goes on as they won 4-0 to send Dartmouth AFC Reserves to their first defeat; Stavy stay third. Teign Village are up to fourth. Despite not having played in the league since the beginning of the month, the Villagers returned victorious after beating pointless Upton Athletic Reserves 6-2. Salcombe Town picked up back-to-back home wins with another four goals against Waldon Athletic Thirds who managed just one; Ollie Stallard scored twice with Callum Nolan and Harrison Ward also contributing. Buckfastleigh Rangers Reserves bounced back from their previous week’s drubbing with a 3-1 home triumph over winless Chudleigh Athletic Reserves.
In Division Four, leaders Meadowbrook Athletic reached the twenty goal mark with another impressive win, 6-1 at home to Kingsbridge & Kellaton United Reserves. David Topham and Lee Smith were on target again for the leaders but it was Jorge Castro’s afternoon as he netted a hat-trick, Mathew Evans also on target. Watcombe Wanderers Thirds made it three wins out of three, Samuel Pyne with a hat-trick, Luke Rhodes with a double and Kal Kurup with a single in a 6-1 win over Newton Abbot ’66 Reserves. Barton Athletic maintained third spot with a 5-2 home success over Riviera United who lost a second on the bounce. Neil Thomas scored twice for Athletic and there were goals from Neil Last, Mark Lucas and Dejan Maric. Roselands Reserves recorded a second win on the spin, beating Babbacombe Corinthians Reserves 2-1 away, Corries yet to win a point. Ilsington Villa got off the mark with a 1-1 draw away at Paignton Villa Reserves who dropped their first points. It was enough to lift them four places from the bottom of the table, that place now occupied by Ashburton Reserves who lost 6-1 at Newton Rovers. Ben French and Anthony Smith scored braces with James Davies and Alex Woodruff also scoring; Nathan Webb netted the Ashes’ consolation.
In Division Five, Torbay Police Reserves continue to lead the way with a 4-1 home victory over Newton Rovers Reserves who lost points for the first time. The team with the meanest defence in the division, Broadhempston United Reserves, maintained their perfect start by edging Stoke Fleming & Strete 2-1 at Headlands; Stoke still seek their first point. Four goals were shared at Clennon Valley as Paignton Saints’ unbeaten start goes on, Buckland & Milber Reserves the visitors. Moretonhampstead may be the division’s top scorers, but defensive frailties are sabotaging their good start as they conceded five for successive matches, hosts Riviera United Reserves winning 5-2 for back-to-back successes. Malborough United lifted themselves from the foot of the table in dramatic fashion, hammering Watts, Blake & Bearne AFC 6-1. Only goals scored keeps WBB above Barton Athletic Reserves at the bottom.