SWPL 20th December 2014
Consecutive Wins Lifts Spurs up Table
Match report by Newton Abbot Spurs
Newton Abbot Spurs recorded a second consecutive win for the first time this season and their first away win since the opening day of the season. Manager Adam Dyson continued with the 5-3-2 formation that worked so well in last weekend’s win against Crediton. Tom Dare, Joe Long and Matt Williams came in for the unavailable Gary Fisher, Mark Brooke and Shaun Bowden, with Dyson playing ahead of the midfield two of Jake Chisholm and Williams. There was a debut in goal for Niall Herbert, who has recently returned from the Middle East.
Spurs had the worst start possible, falling behind after only three minutes. Spurs right wing-back Joe Andrews attempts to see the ball out of play were thwarted by the hosts, Luke Barner and his first time cross found Dan Norman unmarked from six yards out, and he gave Herbert no chance in the Spurs goal. Spurs’ first real effort came on 11 minutes through Carl Bradley, the Spurs man doing all the work himself, beating two players before losing his composure and slashing wildly at the ball and seeing his effort go wide. Spurs limited their hosts to few chances and made the most of their own gradually extending spells of possession with an equaliser on 21 minutes. Andrews found player-manager Adam Dyson on the right hand side; Spurs’ No.9 had enough time to pick out the onrushing Matt Williams whose shot was well-saved by the home No.1 Lee Bailey. Fortunately for Spurs, Tom Sercombe was on hand to poke the loose ball home. Spurs nearly fell behind on 27 minutes, but Kevin Pike could only screw Norman’s knockdown wide of Herbert’s far post as the hosts looked to regain their lead. Bradley would again lose his composure in front of goal after beating two players, on the half hour, before Dyson squandered a golden opportunity on 36 minutes, shooting straight at Bailey when through on goal. The game’s main talking point came on 39 minutes, St Martin’s captain Lee Parker given his marching orders after a strong tackle on Spurs’ Chris Metters. Spurs were to make their hosts pay on the stroke of half-time, and it was another well-timed run from Williams that earned Spurs a lead they wouldn’t surrender, the energetic midfielder meeting Carl Bradley’s cutback from the byline, much to the delight of the travelling faithful.
Despite being down to ten men, St Martin’s were always a threat on the break and dominated long periods of the second half. Dyson almost increased Spurs’ lead on 68 minutes but his low effort was well saved before Spurs were given a stark reminder, two minutes later, that their hosts were not out of the game. Joel Hawe’s knock down found Danny Pym, but he saw his 20 yard effort cannon off the post with Herbert well-beaten. Spurs heeded this warning and, three minutes later, extended their lead. Joe Andrews’ run into the box was halted by Pete Eveleigh and Dyson stepped up and squeezed his penalty under Bailey to give Spurs a 3-1 lead. St Martin’s hit back immediately however; Pike’s free kick was flicked on by Hawes and, despite the best efforts on the line, the ball nestled into the rook of the net. The last 15 minutes was end-to-end with Spurs failing to seal their victory while defending stoutly at the back in order to earn an excellent three points that pulls them away from the bottom two.
Spurs will be looking to make it a hat-trick of wins to end the calendar year in their next game. A Boxing Day home derby against an in-form Liverton United awaits and a win for Spurs would bring them even closer to the mid table pack. Kick off on Friday is 11am.
FT: St. Martin’s 2 – 3 Newton Abbot Spurs
A day of shock results in the Premier Division as both leaders Ivybridge Town and second placed Saltash United were beaten. Ivybridge went down 2-3 away at a Newquay side who sit just one place off the bottom of the table as the Peppermints recorded just a third win of the campaign. Saltash United had won each of their last 12 league contests on the trot but saw that run ended in emphatic style as they lost 5-0 away at a Stoke Gabriel side who had won just four games since being promoted to the Premier in the Summer. These shock results were great news for Bodmin Town who closed the gap and climbed back into third place after a 6-0 win away at bottom side Bovey Tracey.
Division One East:
Only one side from this morning’s top eight in the East table collected any kind of positive result today, and the one exception did so by winning away at the league leaders! Appledore remain in third but closed the gap to just a point on leaders Galmpton United by winning 1-0 in South Devon. Liverton United are into ninth, and the top half, after winning 4-2 away at Exwick Villa. Totnes & Dartington beat Tavistock 2-1 at home.