Seventh Hell for Tots After Half of November Lost to Weather
No South Devon Peninsula League sides kicked a ball in the first half of November and it took until the 21st for one to score a goal as the one surviving match on the 14th proved to be a horror show for a TOTNES & DARTINGTON. Tots ended up on the wrong side of a 7-0 goalfest at Axminster Town who were clearly eager to set the record straight after their last league match – a heavy defeat against Teignmouth. Tots actually started the brighter, but were two down within the first 20 minutes: Ben Turner headed into the deck and over Danny Wood for the opener, and Jonny Hurford made the most of a second bite of the cherry when he tapped a cross past the visiting ‘keeper moments after forcing him into a fine save. On the 25th minute, the industrious Luke Finn picked out Liam Cleal for number three as the Tigers ripped into their opponents. Finns almost made it four himself before Tots went into self-destruct mode with one of their own defenders the next to beat Wood with a header following a home free-kick. It was 5-0 at the break as Axminster broke away from a desperate Tots attack for Tony Pinder to lob Brown from 30 yards out. Myles Chalcraft tested home custodian Scott Wells-Burr from long-range as Tots sought to salvage something, but instead it was Turner who notched his second, heading home from a corner for goal number six. Pinder had the last word of a miserable afternoon for Tots with a tap in following a rebound.
Bowl, County and League Cup Places Decided; All Change at Galmpton and Bovey
Peninsula Premier strugglers STOKE GABRIEL were looking for a welcome distraction in the quarter-finals of the Devon St. Luke’s Bowl as they travelled to Western League side Buckland Athletic. Stoke even took the lead through Stuart Bowker, in the 27th minute, and then doubled their advantage when Ollie Aplin fired home four minutes from half-time. But Gavin Hammon reduced the deficit on 78 minutes and, four minutes later, Liam Moseley completed the comeback and treated the fans to a penalty shoot-out. Hammon, Si Revell, Lloyd Gardner and Lewis Perring were on target as the hosts edged through 4-3.
Losing a two goal lead will have devastated the Railwaymen, particularly coming so soon after conceding two late goals in the league the previous Saturday. Olly Critchlow had given Stoke the advantage in that match, but two minutes from time Jordan Charran equalised for visiting Witheridge. Kyle Bassett completed the smash and grab with a goal in the last minute.
NEWTON ABBOT SPURS hosted Exwick Villa in a match which exploded into life with two goals in the first four minutes. Will Matthews got himself on the end of Chris Metters’ header, after visiting ‘keeper Fred Tonkin had failed to deal with Mark Brooke’s corner, to give Spurs a second minute lead. But Oliver Bird converted Jordan Harris’s cross moments later to restore parity. Both sides had chances to go in to the break ahead, both Brett Wright and Lee Rigby rattling Scott Bellamy’s crossbar, and Adam Dyson testing Tonkin at the other end. After the break, Spurs’ Ian Wilkinson saw a goalbound effort cleared off the line before the third goal of the afternoon came, on the hour mark, from Brooke; he was in the right place at the right time to finish easily after Metters’ header was parried by Tonkin. The rest of the half was tight, but Spurs managed a clincher right on the whistle, Matthews beating the Villa full-back before setting up Dyson who saw his shot narrowly evade Tonkin.
Spurs made the most of their momentum by taking an unlikely 12th minute lead at Tavistock in the Walter C Parson Cup Third round the following Tuesday. Matthews was again involved, playing the ball to the returning Jo Andrews who crossed for Dyson to score. But the Lambs found an equaliser mid-way through the half, Lewis Daw forcing the loose ball over the line after captain Warren Daw had headed down Mike Hallett’s corner. Spurs continued to create good chances but couldn’t convert, leaving Lewis Coombes to put the home side ahead on 43 minutes with a fine finish across Scott Bellamy and into the far corner. Dyson and Shaun Bowden then squandered more chances as the second half began, the Premier side showing how it’s done with Kelvin Fyneboy’s header from Jack Crago’s cross making it 3-1 in the 49th minute. Fyneboy returned the favour, setting Crago through for a one-on-one with a minute left on the clock. The latter found the net to complete a 4-1 win that highlighted the difference in finishing rather than overall quality as Spurs continued to create – and miss – good chances throughout the match.
TEIGNMOUTH and GALMPTON UNITED both made it through to the last 16 of the Throgmorton Devon Premier Cup: Matt Eaves, Hayden Roe and Ryan Bush helped Teigns cruise past Topsham Town 3-0, while ten-man Galmpton, under new manager Richard Ridley, edged BOVEY TRACEY 1-0 at the War Memorial Ground. Galmpton had seen Russell Musker and Darren Watts stand down prior to the match, and afterwards it was Moorlanders’ boss Shaun Hayward who tendered his resignation.
A rusty BRIXHAM AFC side took to the field for the first time in three weeks and lost out 4-2 at home to Crediton United.
TOTNES & DARTINGTON enjoyed a 3-2 victory at struggling LIVERTON UNITED, Johansen and Perkins netting the goals that saw them turn around a 2-1 deficit.
Teigns Reach Ten Unbeaten but Greens and Moorlanders Slip Down Table
TEIGNMOUTH remained neck on neck with St Martins at the head of the Peninsula Division One East after their unbeaten league run reached double figures. Matt Eves and Ben Smith found the net in the first half at Exwick Villa to make it four league wins on the trot.
Management changes seemed to be unsettling some of our local sides. GALMPTON UNITED were struggling to hold on to their top half place after losing 3-0 at home to Alphington, while BOVEY TRACEY also conceded three without reply at Axminster. Robert Holman was in temporary charge of the Moorlanders and his side struggled at the home of the Tigers, Luke Finn hitting the bar and the hosts squandering several further chances in a dominant opening third. On the 28th minute, Bovey duly went behind, Finn and Tony Pinder combining well to set up Ben Turner for a simple finish. Nevertheless, the visitors felt hard done by moments later when the referee waved away a decent penalty shout after Mark Smales’ handball. Pinder and Finn continued to make a nuisance of themselves and when the latter went down in the box it was Axminster’s turn to be disappointed with the referee’s decision. That was soon forgotten though: another foul on Finn, a minute into the second half, led to the referee pointing to the spot and Jonny Hurford doubling the home side’s lead.The rest of the game could have seen more goals for the hosts, and indeed they did get another in the last minute. Substitute Nathan Warren did all the running before pulling back for Hurford to wrap up a deserved win.
The South Devon derby at Wall Park proved a one-sided affair in terms of results, but the 6-0 scoreline told only half a story. Goals from Graham Mercieca and Scott Dodgson had put hosts BRIXHAM AFC two to the good before a scratch TOTNES & DARTINGTON side lost a player after a clash of heads. The ten men then conceded two more in the second half, through Mercieca and Dan Rankin, before Charlie Johansen, Tots’ young striking sensation had to leave the field through injury. The remaining nine men predictably shipped twice more, through Mercieca and Rankin again.
LIVERTON UNITED may have been only one place from the foot of the table, but the Lillies were unlucky not to gain a point against third placed Tiverton after an attacking display at Halford. Only a goal from Kenny Ord and a heroic performance from Tiverton ‘keeper John Wannell prevented Justin Yeates side from claiming a much-needed point.