Brixham and Spurs Start the Season with Victories…
In the Carlsberg South West Peninsula Division One East, Jason Couch’s BRIXHAM AFC enjoyed victory in the season’s first local derby, defeating Justin Yeates’s LIVERTON UNITED 3-1. Brixham opened the scoring through Scott Dodgson just before half time, but the Lilies equalised early in the second period through Ollie Booth. Simon Primmer, Liverton’s new signing, proved his worth with two excellent saves before Josh Webber increased Brixham’s lead with 15 minutes left, Reece Somers sealing the win by heading in Josh Webber’s free kick in the last two minutes.
NEWTON ABBOT SPURS’ Adam Dyson will surely have a smile on his face after his side claimed a surprise opening day victory at Appledore – and the manager a hat-trick to boot. Dyson finished a move he had started, early in the match, converting Shaun Bowden’s cross to give the visitors the lead somewhat against the run of play. Debut ‘keeper Ross Williams looked to have secured a half-time lead with a great save before half-time, but he was unable to prevent Harry Stevens’ strike from the following corner.
The Peninsula East runners-up came out of the traps fastest after the break, but again it was Spurs who edged ahead, Bowden’s superb 20 yard run and finish stunning Appledore. The goal galvanised Spurs who began to get on top, Dyson side-footing home his second with less than 20 minutes to go. That looked like that until Seth Hodorowski’s last minute corner presented Tom Marsh with the chance to give his side an unlikely lifeline. They seized it with both hands, Coby Bryant stunning Spurs with a goal straight from the restart and earning Appledore a deserved point – but no! Bowden combined with Dyson one final time, deep in stoppage time, to bag Spurs the points.
TEIGNMOUTH and GALMPTON UNITED traded places at the top for much of last season before finishing third and fifth respectively. Both began their 2015/16 campaigns with draws, a decent looking Teigns side going behind but earning an impressive point at highly fancied Tiverton Town Reserves, while the Greens shared six goals at home to Okehampton Argyle.
The only South Devon side not to pick up a point on the opening day were TOTNES & DARTINGTON, who were soundly beaten 5-0 at Budleigh Salterton.
…But Stoke Get Off to a Shocker!
On a Tuesday evening in the Carlsberg South West Peninsula League Premier Division, STOKE GABRIEL, South Devon’s only Step 10 representatives, were playing away in their season opener, losing 2-1 at Cullompton Rangers. Tim Porter’s side then lost out – by the same scoreline – to Newquay on the following Saturday.
BOVEY TRACEY, who won just once in last season’s Premier campaign, equalled that haul in their opening Tuesday night Carlsberg South West Peninsula Division One East fixture, at the expense of NEWTON ABBOT SPURS. After his side’s late heroics away at Appledore, Spurs boss Adam Dyson would have probably fancied his chances at The Rec, and Spurs did get the ball in the net in the first half. But after Shaun Bowden’s header was ruled offside, it was all downhill from there, the Moorlanders opening their account through former Teignmouth goalscorer Hayden Roe just four minutes into the second period. A superb free-kick from Matt Hawes doubled the away side’s tally just after the hour mark and then bad went to worse for the hosts as Chris Darke was dismissed for a second yellow with just over ten minutes remaining. Roe completed the scoring deep into stoppage time with a speculative long-range effort.
No fewer than five South Devon sides took to the field the following evening, with the bonus of two local derbies. TEIGNMOUTH continued their unbeaten start with a 1-0 victory over BRIXHAM AFC at Coombe Valley, while GALMPTON UNITED, also unbeaten, thrashed TOTNES & DARTINGTON 6-1 at the Foxhole Ground for the hosts’ second heavy defeat. LIVERTON UNITED were also yet to collect a point, Justin Yeates’ side going down 4-0 at Halford against Alphington.
And things were no better for the Lillies by the next Saturday evening as Galmpton beat them 2-1, again at Halford. Teignmouth also extended their unbeaten run to three with another home win – 3-1 against Sidmouth Town. In the Saturday’s second derby, Totnes & Dartington finally enjoyed some good news with a 2-0 win at Bovey Tracey, while Brixham crashed to successive defeats with a 2-0 reverse at Wall Park against Exwick Villa. Finally, NEWTON ABBOT SPURS quickly turned things around with a promising 4-1 triumph away at Okehampton Argyle. Joe Andrews made a first start of the season, and rewarded his manager’s faith just four minutes in by crossing for Jake Chisholm to head home. Jason Cordice restored parity, from close-range, on eight minutes and the hosts hit the woodwork numerous times before lone striker Adam Dyson fired home from the edge of the box on the stroke of half-time. Matt Williams eased the pressure with a goal after 70 minutes, preceded by some good interplay between Dyson and 16-year old debutant Liam Price, before Okey pressed the self-destruct button, three minutes from time, by making a hash out of clearing a long ball and presenting Tom Sercombe with an easy tap in.
Stoke and Liverton Get Off the Mark
STOKE GABRIEL earned their first point of the season, at the third time of asking, in a game which saw Rob Bowker’s evening marred by a broken leg sustained during the match. It was all smiles for Bowker after just four minutes at Edge Town Park after his spot-kick gave the Railwaymen the lead but Withy levelled through Jamie Dirrane to ensure the sides went in to the break one apiece. Three minutes after the restart, Stoke edged ahead through Tom Kelly’s superb free-kick but the hosts once again equalised for a share of the spoils.
LIVERTON UNITED also picked up a point in Division One East, becoming the last local team to get points on the board. It came on a Tuesday evening at The Rec, where spectators enjoyed a six-goal South Devon derby. NEWTON ABBOT SPURS fully deserved their first half lead and had already come close on numerous occasions before Joe Andrews’ cross found the head of the returning Matt Barkwell who headed home his first goal of the campaign half-way through the first half. Andrews then added his name to the score sheet, getting the final touch after Barkwell’s cross had been headed goalwards by Adam Dyson. Curtis Booth muscled the Lillies back into the match, beating two Spurs defenders before slotting home, but Barkwell soon scored his second of the match to restore the cushion. Dyson almost put the game out of sight at the end of the half, but his spot-kick was saved. Justin Yeates’ struggling side took full advantage and staged a second-half comeback to justify a share of the points. The deficit was halved on the hour mark, the goal credited to Spurs ‘keeper Ross Williams who spilled Justin Grinsill’s floated free-kick. Williams redeemed himself with some fine saves from Ian Down, but the equaliser was on the cards and Booth bagged his brace with a 12-yard volley.
The derby theme continued into the Wednesday, with BRIXHAM AFC held 1-1 at home by BOVEY TRACEY, and TEIGNMOUTH moving above GALMPTON UNITED and into second spot with a 3-1 win at TOTNES & DARTINGTON.
Stoke, Greens & Teigns Slip Up
STOKE GABRIEL were the wrong side of a 2-1 scoreline for the third time already this season as Saltash United took the points at the Kimberley Stadium. Joe Carey’s corner was headed home by captain Toby Clark after 24 minutes to put the home side ahead, but Stoke pressed hard after the break and were rewarded on 53 minutes as Ollie Aplin tapped in a low cross from close range after an attack down the right-hand flank. But the visitors went behind to another header, Simon Parnell finishing Lance Easton’s cross, and this time never looked like recovering.
TEIGNMOUTH and GALMPTON UNITED crashed to their first defeats of the season, both at the wrong end of 3-1 scoreline. Teigns were drawn away to leaders St Martins and went two down as Danny Pym scored a brace, one from the spot. Hayden Roe, already back at Teignmouth after a brief stint at Bovey, converted a penalty for the visitors but a late strike by Lee Parker ended their hopes.
After a goalless first half, Jack Howarth edged Budleigh Salterton ahead at Galmpton’s War Memorial Ground before Mark Broom and Piers MacLaughlin put them out of sight. Cameron Kelly headed a consolation for the Greens who slip to fifth.
Elsewhere it was good news for the South Devon contingent. TOTNES & DARTINGTON survived an onslaught from hosts, and last year’s runners-up, Appledore but held firm to keep a clean sheet and a share of the spoils. BRIXHAM AFC went two down at winless Axminster but goals from Scott Robinson, Scott Dodgson and Ty Hawken had turned the match on its head by the break. Dodgson then put away a second half hat-trick, including a stunning long-range free-kick to seal a 6-3 victory, the Fishermen’s second of the season. Matt Hawes edged BOVEY TRACEY ahead at the Western Counties Ground to give the Moorlanders a half-time lead against visiting Crediton United. Ben Pike levelled things up in the second half, but Ashley White’s strike, on the hour, put the home side back in front. Richard Blake was next to equalise for Crediton before Clifford Walters settled the issue in favour of the hosts with ten minutes remaining. Finally, it was good news for Justin Yeates as LIVERTON UNITED secured their first win, second half goals from Nathan Hebbes and on-form Curtis Booth ending the hopes of the University of Exeter.
Helston Edge Stoke while Teignmouth Enjoy Derby Win
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.
TEIGNMOUTH continued 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.
Midweek Win Keep Teigns on Track
TEIGNMOUTH convincingly won a Wednesday night clash at Budleigh Salterton 5-1, while a last minute winner settled things at the Western Counties Ground. The University of Exeter were leading by two goals at one point , but home side BOVEY TRACEY struck twice, both through Matt Hawes, to level proceedings. But the point was lost as the Uni boys clinched it at the death to move into the top six.
Saint Austell Next to Sting Stoke while Okey Obstruct Teigns
A week after their home defeat to Helston, STOKE GABRIEL were to once again suffer defeat to Cornish visitors. A dominant St Austell side took the lead after just ten minutes, Frazer Clark’s desperate defending not enough to prevent Liam Eddy from finding the net after beating Dan Law. Eddy then headed home a right-wing free-kick, just six minutes later, to leave the home side fearing a whitewash. And ten minutes before the break, St Austell’s danger man carved through the Stoke defence to complete a first-half hat-trick. Ollie Aplin brought a glimmer of hope before the break, finishing Stuart Bowker’s cut-back, but a goalless second half ensured a comfortable win for the visitors, with Eddy almost scoring a fourth but denied by the width of the post.
St Martins pulled away from TEIGNMOUTH as they defeated BOVEY TRACEY 2-1, while winless Okehampton Argyle frustrated Geoff Breslan’s title hopefuls with a 1-1 draw at Simmons Park. When Yohan Pajot cancelled out Okey’s 30-second opener in the tenth minute, it looked as if Teigns would go on to win, but the woodwork kept the visitors out and they had to settle for a point. GALMPTON UNITED were the only South Devon Peninsula side to earn three points, and that was at the expense of NEWTON ABBOT SPURS. A hat-trick from Dan Broadway and a late single from Liam Jones tipped the tie in favour of the hosts with Adam Dyson and Mark Brooke scoring for Spurs. Elsewhere BRIXHAM AFC lost out 2-1 at Wall Park to Axminster Town, LIVERTON UNITED went down 4-2 at Crediton and TOTNES & DARTINGTON were edged out 2-1 at Exwick Villa.
Stoke Turn a Corner?
There was finally some much-needed good news for STOKE GABRIEL in a midweek trip to Elburton Villa. The Railwaymen finally achieved their first win with a single goal,enabling them to leapfrog their hosts on goal difference. The manner of the win will also have pleased Tim Porter as Stoke dominated the first quarter, home ‘keeper Ryan Rickard by far the busier of the two. Ollie Aplin and Gareth McEwan forced Rickard into several saves in the first half, and on-form Dan Kingscote struck the post and headed wide, Villa only mustering a weak Robbie Mann effort in response. But Elburton’s goal was somehow unbreached at the break and the hosts put in a better performance at the start of the second half, Zack Wheeler testing Dan Law in the visiting goal. The Railwaymen also suffered the loss of Dave Worthington through injury. The deadlock was finally broken by Aplin on 71 minutes; sub Tom Kelly caused havoc in the home box with a cross and Aplin was on hand to fire home a partial clearance. Elburton responded well, Frazer Clark clearing off the line and Aaron Hulme making a nuisance of himself in the final ten minutes, but Stoke held on for the three points.
More midweek Peninsula action came at Tiverton Town Reserves, where NEWTON ABBOT SPURS went down by a single goal. Their highly-fancied hosts pressed hard for most of the match, Ethan Phillips and Dave O’Connor with the best of them, but Spurs’ task was made more difficult by the loss of both Darryl Kewley, through injury, and Tom Sercombe, who picked up a second yellow for dissent. The decisive moment came with just five minutes left, Lloyd Copp looping a header over Scott Bellamy.