SWPL 24th January 2015

imagesShambolic Spurs Suffer Heavy Defeat

Match report by Newton Abbot Spurs

“Embarrassing,” was how player-manager Adam Dyson described his side’s first half performance as Plymstock United raced into a four goal lead in the opening half an hour to cruise to a comfortable victory against their visitors from South Devon. Dyson was without suspended regular defenders Kevin Dadd and Joe Andrews, with Spurs reverting to a 4-4-2 formation, Jamie Mills and Jake Elms recalled to the starting lineup.

Spurs actually started the game well and could have been a goal up before Plymstock had had a shot in anger. Three minutes had elapsed when Mark Brooke’s ball down the line picked out Adam Dyson who raced in on goal but lacked any composure as he toe-poked the ball well over Ryan Rickard’s goal. The calamitous Spurs defending first showed its face in just the eighth minute. Gary Fisher was caught in possession twenty-five yards out and, despite their seeming to be no danger to the Spurs goal, keeper Niall Herbert missed the ball as he tried to gather it and Kenny Speare had the simple task of slotting into the empty net from very close range. The dust had barely settled on the inquest into the first goal when the “Stockies” increased their lead just a minute later, Speare again doing the damage, although rather fortuitously as his cross from just inside the area nestled into the far side of Herbert’s goal to give the home side a dream start. Fisher should have given his side a lifeline on 20 minutes but he could only put his free header wide following Brooke’s corner. Plymstock put the game out of reach on 22 minutes following more “schoolboy” defending from the sloppy visitors. Ricky Harris was the beneficiary this time after forcing his way between some static Spurs defenders. Dyson changed his side’s shape, reverting back to the recently tried and trusted 3-5-2 formation, but this time it didn’t have the desired effect. The first half scoring was complete on 30 minutes and it was Speare on the score sheet again to claim a 22 minute hat-trick. A swift counter-attack from a Spurs corner saw Speare played in and he neatly lifted the ball over the onrushing Herbert to put the home side in dream land. Gary Fisher extended Rickard on the stroke of half time but the ‘keeper ensured his side would go in with a clean sheet.

With Dyson’s strong half time words still ringing in their ears, Spurs looked to find a way back into the game but, just five minutes into the half, Speare struck again. Craig Roberts found space on the left-hand side and his cross found the unmarked Speare who headed home at the back post. Spurs almost gained a consolation on 56 minutes but Shaun Bowden’s close range backheel was cleared off the line as the visitors enjoyed a good spell in the final third. They made this count on 65 minutes, Tom Sercombe poking home Bowden’s cross. But Sercombe was guilty of missing on a number of occasions during the second half as Spurs’ lack of killer instinct in front of goal denied them a chance to put home side under pressure. Fisher again headed wide on 80 minutes following Chris Metters’ knock down before Sercombe had Spurs’ final chance on the stroke of full time; but he could only slice a volley over following Ben Jones’ right-wing cross.

A deserved three points for the home side as they recorded their joint highest win of the season. Dyson will be looking for a big reaction from his players next weekend when they take on a Sidmouth side who earned a creditable draw at Galmpton United this weekend.

FT: Plymstock United 5 – 1 Newton Abbot Spurs

More detailed reports and team info to come from the other South Devon Peninsula sides, but in the meantime, here is the round-up adapted from the League website at www.swpleague.co.uk

 Premier Division/Devon St Luke’s Bowl:

A full programme of nine league fixtures were played with only Plymouth Parkway not in action. The 18 sides who took to the pitches though included the leading duo of Ivybridge Town and Saltash United and they were both beaten. Ivybridge gave title favourites St Austell a fright though at Poltair as they took the lead and it wasn’t until stoppage time that the lilly-whites completed the fightback to win 2-1. Godolphin Atlantic climbed into the top six, above Parkway, after beating bottom side Bovey Tracey 3-0 at home. Falmouth Town moved up two places to 15th after a 2-1 win away at Stoke Gabriel. On Tuesday 20th January, Stoke, the league’s last side in this years Devon St. Luke’s Bowl, saw their run ended when they lost 5-0 away at Bideford. Although the Robins were deserved winners, Stoke were far from disgraced as they travelled to a Southern League Premier side, a full three steps above them in the pyramid.

Division One East:

A full programme of nine league games survived the weather meaning all 18 sides were in league action, although just five recorded wins and none of the top three picked up maximum points. Leaders Teignmouth drew 1-1 away at the University of Exeter in the Division’s top match. Appledore, who are second, were held to a 2-2 draw away at the much improved Liverton United whilst third placed Galmpton United were held 1-1 at home to Sidmouth Town, the visiting Vikings upsetting the form book. As well as those three draws at the top there was one more at the very bottom where Axminster Town collected a useful point from a 4-4 draw with Totnes & Dartington. St Martins won 2-0 away at Brixham AFC in a meeting of the two clubs promoted into the division this season.

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