Bucks Res Ponder Promotion (& Saturday’s SDFL/County Cup Round-Up)
Image: Matt Beer (Buckland Res) on the attack against Kingskerswell & Chelston. Free to use. Please credit to Sport South Devon.
It is, of course, very early days, but with Toolstation Western League leaders BUCKLAND ATHLETIC stretching their winning run to five league games with a 1-0 home victory over Hallen, and BUCKLAND ATHLETIC RESERVES yet to drop a point in the SDFL, the possibility of the reserve side finally escaping from the South Devon Football League is becoming less a far-off aspiration and more an achievable goal. And with Peninsula League application deadlines to consider, the topic is already coming up among the officials at Homers Heath.
“I think we are applying for promotion,” revealed manager Neil Snell. “Just in case the firsts go up and we finish in the top two. That would be massive for the club because we would go up to the next tier and it means we’re going in the right direction and getting stronger.
“It will be hard work because we’ve got to beat Watcombe and beat Dartmouth but we’ve got three wins out of three and Spurs next week. We will be looking for another three points there but it will be tough because it’s another derby game.”
Saturday’s win came away at Kingskerswell & Chelston in an SDFL programme reduced to just ten matches due to the opening county cup rounds. The visitors took the lead through a Kieran Parkin tap-in, after good work down the right, before Thomas Johns equalised for the hosts. Mike Turner’s 20-yard free-kick nestled into the corner to put Bucks back in front but a hard-working Kingskerswell & Chelston side had several chances to draw level again before a Sam Peardon double, one from a long throw and the other a good back-post header from a corner, put some distance between the visitors and their hosts. Turner completed his brace, late in the match, glancing home a header from good wing play to add icing to the cake.
“They made it hard for us, but I’m disappointed because we could have got more today,” admitted Snell. “It’s the killer instinct we need in my mind. And we’re not keeping clean sheets like we were last season. That may be because of me changing things around a bit, but we’ve got Stewart Sparkes back to full fitness now so we will hopefully start keeping clean sheets again.”
Parkin and fellow first-teamer George Buckmaster were playing their third and second games for the reserves respectively, but Snell denied that gave them a huge advantage over their title rivals. “It makes us stronger but, without those two, we’ve got a squad of a strong 18 players,” he said. “Chris Harper and George Fice didn’t get on today; Lee Pascoe is still injured and Carl Roles, he’s a big player for us, he was missing today.”
Watcombe Wanderers head the table after a 3-1 win against Upton Athletic at the King George V. Any tiredness Sam Pyne might have been feeling from his hat-trick for the Thirds the previous night proved no impediment to the striker as he sank another two goals with Upton putting through their own net for the other one. Dartmouth AFC made their first away trip to unbeaten Kingsteignton Athletic. Josh Webber struck twice and there were goals for Liam McAuley and Karl Baker as Darts took the points with a 4-2 triumph.
The only other Premier match saw Newton Abbot Spurs get off the mark with a 4-2 home victory against Ivybridge Town Reserves; dependable Ryan Sanders scored twice with Jake Elms and Andy Eden also scoring for Spurs.
In the Throgmorton Premier Cup, Loddiswell Athletic joined Upton Athletic in the First Round after Rob Tapper’s extra-time winner saw them through against The Windmill FC from the Plymouth & West league. Elsewhere though there was less good news for South Devon. East Allington fell to another home defeat, this time to Plymouth & West outfit Bar Sol Ona, Andy Davis and Tom Harvey netting in a close 3-2 loss. There was also disappointment for Stoke Gabriel Reserves who crashed out 6-3 at Devon & Exeter’s Sidbury United.
In Division One, Babbacombe Corinthians followed up last week’s surprise win at Buckland Athletic Thirds with another victory on the road, 2-1 at Stoke Gabriel Thirds. Josh Haycox and Tom Howard found the net for Corries with James Horrocks scoring for Stoke. Elsewhere, Bovey Tracey Reserves came through a tough battle at Kingskerswell & Chelston Reserves, Jordan Blackmore with both goals in a 2-1 win.
There were no games at all in Divisions Two or Four, and only one in Division Three where Ipplepen Athletic Reserves edged a close match at Upton Athletic Reserves, 3-2 the final score.
Finally, there were three games in Division Five. Newton Rovers Reserves and Torbay Police Reserves both continued their winning starts, Rovers putting four past Chudleigh Athletic without reply and the Police enjoying a 6-2 home victory over Riviera United Reserves. Broadhempston United Reserves started their campaign on the right foot, winning 3-1 at Barton Athletic Reserves who suffer consecutive defeats.
Most of the Firewatch Senior and A&S Paving Intermediate Cups went the way of the form book, with a couple of exceptions. The most notable result in the Senior Cup came from Whiterock, where Buckland & Milber of Division One were once more heavily beaten, this time at the hands of Division Two outfit Paignton Saints. The visitors predictably went one up but, after that, Saints took control, equalising through Jonny Emery and going ahead, just before the break, through Matt James. Saints piled on more pressure in the second half and Emery claimed his second before setting up Sean Paul Hooton for number four. Max Corderoy increased the lead further before Buckland & Milber scored their second. But it was Corderoy who had the last word, completing his double to see Saints comfortably through 6-2.
Every other Division One side made it through to Round Two, some in emphatic fashion. Top scorers were Foxhole United who trounced Division Two’s Waldon Athletic Reserves 11-1 at Belfield. Beesands Rovers weren’t far behind, finally putting in a performance worthy of Premier contenders with a 9-0 drubbing of Division Two side Brixham Town. Roselands of Division Two were also in their usual high-scoring form, beating neighbours Hookhills United 8-0 at home. There were some big away wins too; Buckland Thirds received comfortable passage through with a 6-1 win at Bishopsteignton, although Bishops kept it tight for the first half before losing a player through injury early in the second. Ashburton did well to beat Princetown, from the Plymouth & West First Division, by the same scoreline. Another P&W Division One outfit, Belgrave, went down 5-1 at home to Totnes & Dartington Reserves, while Paignton Villa saw off Division Two hosts South Brent, also with a 5-1 win. Chudleigh Athletic made hard work of their home tie against Lords XI from Devon & Exeter Division Four, scoring twice in extra time to go through 3-1. The remaining three matches were also close-run: Ipplepen Athletic edged Teignmouth Reserves 1-0, Newton Abbot ’66 earned a tight 2-1 home win in the derby with Newton United and the all-Division Two affair between Harbertonford and Watcombe Wanderers Reserves ended 4-3 to the Torquay visitors.
Result of the round in the Intermediate Cup was probably Division Four Broadmeadow’s 6-0 thrashing of Teign Village from Division Three, with new-look Stoke Fleming & Strete’s 3-1 home victory over Newton Rovers also a contender.
Salcombe Town also did very well in what was probably the match of the round, going 6-1 up against Staddiscombe Colts, from the Plymouth & West Division Two, before eventually squeezing through 7-6! Elsewhere, braces for Rushe, Kenny and Lee, a single from Causley and a penalty from Morrallee saw Dartmouth rack up an 8-0 victory at Buckland & Milber Reserves, while a Sam Pyne hat-trick, braces from Sean Finch, Luke Rhodes and Harvey Hickman, a single from Pete Summerfield and an own goal saw a rampant Watcombe Thirds through in an 11-0 cruise against Islington Villa on the Friday evening at Coach Road.
There were also convincing wins for Riviera United at home to fellow Division Four side Kingsbridge & Kellaton United (7-1) and Torbay Police at Malborough United (6-2), while Roselands Reserves enjoyed a 4-1 triumph at Torquay Town in an all-Division Four clash. Leaders of that division, Meadowbrook Athletic, continued their fine start by deposing Barton Athletic 2-1. The Reserves of both Paignton Villa and Ashburton will also be flying the Division Four flag, Villa with a 3-0 home win over D&E Division Seven side Langdon Reserves and the Ashes winning 1-0 at Chagford Reserves from Division Eight of that league. A Mitchell double helped Buckfastleigh Rangers Reserves through 3-1 at home to Newton United Reserves; Liverton United Reserves narrowly won 2-1 at Moretonhampstead and Waldon Thirds overcame WBB FC 3-2 at Abbrook Park. The remaining two matches saw AFC Staverton knock out Newton Abbot ’66 Reserves 2-0 at the Staverton Playing Fields and East Allington United Reserves defeat Dittisham United 3-1 in the derby at Shinners Meadow.