Groundhog Day for Gardner (Weekend Football Round-Up)
Lloyd Gardner scored the only goal of the game at Bitton, as ten-man BUCKLAND ATHLETIC made it seven straight league wins to maintain their strong lead at the top of the Toolstation Western League. And Yellows ‘keeper Grant Fisher secured a fourth consecutive clean sheet for his team with a spot-kick save, Liam Drew sent off for a challenge in the first half. Gardner, who also got the only goal in Bucks’ 1-0 home win over Shepton Mallet in midweek, pounced again with just four minutes on the clock, after getting clear of his marker. With main striker Gavin Hammon nursing an injury, Ellis Laight was leading the line alone, but even he was withdrawn at half time as Buckland moved into defensive mode. The tactic paid off, and Buckland still lead the table by five points. However, second-placed Odd Down can swallow most of that up should they beat Hallen in midweek; that would raise the stakes further for Saturday’s clash between the two in Bath.
Peninsula Premier side STOKE GABRIEL hosted Exwick Villa from the Division One East in an event-packed First Round of the Walter C Parson Funeral Director Cup. The game started atrociously for the Railwaymen as Lee Ritts’ opener for the visitors was swiftly followed by a red card for new signing Steve Woodcock leaving them with a mountain to climb after just 25 minutes played. Stuart Bowker equalised after the break but Lee Radford struck to once more put Villa ahead. But Stoke forced extra-time with Tom Kelly coming off the bench to equalise. The game went to penalties but ended on a sour note, Dan Law saving Exwick’s clinching penalty but adjudged to have left his line. Villa secured passage with the retake, much to the ire of the home contingent.
South Devon 12 – 2 North Cornwall was the cumulative score as both TEIGNMOUTH and NEWTON ABBOT SPURS scored six against their visitors to secure a place in next month’s second round. Teigns defeated Wadebridge Town 6-0 with Ben Smith opening the scoring, Matt Eves and Hayden Roe contributing doubles and Liam McAuley also finding the net. The home side also managed to miss a penalty and strike the woodwork numerous times in a convincing performance; Teigns go to Holsworthy next after the latter won 2-1 at home to BOVEY TRACEY. Spurs made a blistering start against Bude with two goals in two minutes at the start of the match. Richard Hancox was instrumental in both, arrowing in a 9th minute free-kick before delivering another to the feet of Adam Dyson who beat the ‘keeper on the half volley. Charlie Barnes could have narrowed the deficit before the break, but a combination of poor finishing and great defending kept him at bay. Then Chris Metters’ header, right on half-time, was saved, only for Liam Price to strike a sweet shot into the corner for his first ever Spurs goal. At the 53rd minute the score stood at 6-2; shortly after Price had set up Mark Brooke for a 47th minute fourth for Spurs, Scott Bellamy was beaten by Barnes. Then Harry Hopkins kindled hopes of a fightback with a long-range free-kick which also found the back of the net. Hope turned to despair a minute later as Tom Sercombe flicked on to Dyson who smashed home his second on the volley. Twenty minutes later and Dyson completed his second hat-trick of the season with a cross-cum-shot that went in off the upright. Spurs are away at another North Cornish side, Camelford, in Round Two after which the Third Round draw will be made.
GALMPTON UNITED did well to hold Division One East leaders St Martins to a 2-2 draw at the War Memorial Ground, but the Exeter side went through on penalties. BRIXHAM AFC are through though, defeating Plymouth Argyle Reserves 3-1 away. Dan Rankin put the Fishermen one up at Seale Hayne and Andy Deare struck ten minutes before the break to give the visitors a cushion. Rankin netted again in the second half before Fletcher Williams scored Argyle’s consolation. Jason Couch’s men head for Liskeard next, but it looked like it would have been a shorter trip to TOTNES & DARTINGTON at one stage. Tots surged into a two goal lead courtesy of strikes from Charlie Johansen and Charlie Savva, but the Lux Park club retaliated to edge through 3-2. Finally, LIVERTON UNITED drew 1-1 with Division One West opponents Plymstock United before going out to the dreaded penalty shoot-out.
On to the SDFL, and no team have played more league games than Watcombe Wanderers this season, and the 2013/14 champions made it five wins out of five with a 6-3 victory at Loddiswell Athletic who have now played – and lost out to – last year’s top three in their opening three fixtures. Neil Snell, manager of defending champions Buckland Athletic Reserves, was concerned last week that his side were not keeping clean sheets, but they put that right on Saturday with a sound 5-0 home win over local rivals Newton Abbot Spurs Reserves. Upton Athletic’s first home league game of the campaign went well, Athletic securing a 3-0 victory over Kingskerswell & Chelston who are another side yet to get off the mark. Brook Ward netted a hat-trick as Waldon Athletic came away from Broadley Lane with a 5-0 win. The Clarets are off the mark but Stoke Gabriel Reserves now prop up the table. There was finally some good news for the Pirates of East Allington United, as their first away trip brought them their first points; Ben Robey, Fred Massey, Tom Rowdon and Matt Price scored for the visitors, with the home side also scoring an own goal, in a morale-boosting 5-0 win at Brixham AFC Reserves. The Premier’s other tie saw Ivybridge Town Reserves pick up their first points with a decent 2-1 win at Kingsteignton Athletic.
In Division One, Ashburton completed an early double over title rivals Beesands, who now look anything but as they sit next to bottom with no points from three. Buckland Athletic Thirds, the other side to beat the Bees, moved up to second with a 4-1 away triumph at pointless Totnes & Dartington Reserves. Foxhole United and Ipplepen Athletic complete the top four with 100 per cent records after wins against Buckland & Milber and Stoke Gabriel Thirds respectively. Newton Abbot ’66 tend to start their campaigns well and this one is no different, the home side putting three past Bovey Tracey Reserves with no reply. Paignton Villa moved above Kingskerswell & Chelston Reserves with a 3-1 win at Churston Grammar, while Chudleigh Athletic secured a first win for them away at Babbacombe Corinthians who lost for the first time; 2-1 the final score.
In Division Two, leaders Buckfastleigh Rangers continued their strong start with a 6-0 battering of Kingsteignton Athletic Reserves; De Young scored twice, Porter, Palmer and Kelly claimed singles and there was an own goal. Roselands managed to limit themselves to single figures in their first away league match, five goals and a clean sheet at Newton United enough to keep Simon Walker’s side in second spot. Paignton Saints got off to the perfect start against Watcombe Wanderers Reserves at the King George V, taking the lead after the Greens’ ‘keeper failed to deal with a Dan Clements cross; the ball fell to Max Corderoy who lifted it into the net to open the scoring. After Paignton lost central midfield workhorse Josh Wigginton, Watcombe came back into it and were 2-1 up by half-time, although Aaron Underhill was unfortunate not to have scored for Saints as one of his numerous chances was cleared off the line. After the break, Watcombe took charge and were awarded a disputed penalty to go 3-1 up. A final goal before the end sealed the points, and Simon Ross could also have had a goal but his spot-kick was saved twice by Sam Holmes who had had another good match. The Greens’ goals came from Rui de Garces (two), Bradley Lyon and Ryan Finch. Abbotskerswell were in fine scoring form, defeating Hookhills United 6-2 for consecutive successes. Brixham Town’s goal took another battering as title contenders Harbertonford won 8-2 at the Hams. South Brent took to the field for the first time today, but they couldn’t contain visitors Teignmouth Reserves who secured their first win, 6-2 at Palstone Park. Waldon Athletic Reserves won a tight contest 3-2 to leave visitors Bishopsteignton United bottom of the pile.
In Division Three, the top three are yet to drop points. Leaders East Allington United Reserves saw off Harbertonford Reserves 4-0, and second-placed Liverton United Reserves look a force to be reckoned with too; they are yet to concede a goal and enjoyed a 6-0 win at Waldon Athletic Thirds this week. AFC Staverton complete the top trio; they also won 6-0, at home to Buckfastleigh Rangers Reserves. Dartmouth AFC Reserves scored seven at neighbours Dittisham United, and Salcombe Town, who managed seven in last week’s county cup, continued their scoring run with a 4-2 home win over Torbay Police; Ollie Stallard, Callum Nolan, Dan Hardy and Jordan Bartrip hit the net for Town as they picked up their first points.
In Division Four, a double from David Topham and a single from Lee Smith helped to maintain Meadowbrook Athletic’s perfect start to the campaign; the league leaders beat Newton Abbot ’66 Reserves 3-1 in the latter’s first match of the campaign. Watcombe Wanderers Thirds outing to the South Hams proved productive, the Greens defeating familiar foes Kingsbridge & Kellaton United 4-1 with goals from Samuel Pyne, James Tozer, Stephen Rohan and Richard Frost. Neil Last helped himself to a hat-trick for Barton Athletic who moved up to third with a 5-2 win at home to Ashburton Reserves; Mark Lucas and Graham Collins netted the remainder for Athletic. Broadmeadow and Newton Rovers fought out a 3-3 draw, while Roselands Reserves slammed Ilsington Villa 8-1. Paignton Villa Reserves started well with a narrow 2-1 home success against Riviera United. A seven-goal thriller went Torquay Town’s way, the home side beating Babbacombe Corinthians Reserves 4-3.
Torbay Police Reserves lead Division Five by virtue of a single goal in the ‘goals for’ column; the Bees won 3-1 away, for the second time this season, pointless Stoke Fleming & Strete their hosts. Newton Rovers Reserves are second after edging Watts, Blake & Bearne AFC 3-2 at Bakers Park. Moretonhampstead slip to third after going down 5-3 at Buckland & Milber Reserves. Paignton Saints Reserves maintained their perfect start by beating Newton United Reserves 2-1 away, and Broadhempston United Reserves have also now won two from two after condemning Chudleigh Athletic Thirds to a second successive defeat; 3-0 the score from Headlands. Riviera United Reserves claimed a second win, 3-2 at home to Malborough United who are now bottom after three defeats from three.