SWPL 9th August 2014
All photographs (c) miraclepr.com
Stoke Earn Point on Premier League debut
by Tom Besford
Launceston were the visitors in the first ever step six football match to be played at the GJ Churchwood Memorial Ground, where the hosts had a nightmare start to the season with the shock resignation of promotion-winning manager, Gary Fisher, just days before.
The Railwaymen, managed by senior player Tim Porter in the interim, took the lead early on in the game when after just eight minutes Dave Worthington caught the Launceston keeper Dan Stevenson off his line, lobbing him from fully 40 yards out.
The game was a very even affair and Launceston almost equalised before the break when their front man was prevented by a block from Stoke man of the match Frazer Clark after the forward stole the ball off sweeping ‘keeper Dom Aplin.
Launceston had a spell in the second half when they were on top, but some fine keeping by Aplin kept the Cornish side at bay as Chris Wright saw his shot superbly saved, preventing the ball from flying into the top corner.
The visitors managed to equalise midway through the half, a quick counter-attack ended with Dan Jefferis hitting an angled drive past Aplin and into the back of the net to the joy of the sky blue bench and travelling support.
Stoke had a good chance to win the game with minutes to go when Karl Baker, returning to the club after two seasons at Dartmouth and Torquay United, had time in the box before seeing his curling effort pushed just wide of the post by Stevenson.
Spoils shared in an exciting end to end game as Stoke claim their first point in the Premier League.
FT: Stoke Gabriel 1 – 1 Launceston
Stoke Gabriel: Dom Aplin, Ben Brown, Ryan O’Callaghan, Mark Ashworth, Frazer Clark, Ryan Beattie, Rob Bowker, Darren Veale, Dave Worthington, Karl Baker, Sam Dicken, Dan Easton, Danny Horsfall, Neil Last, Rick Lee
Launceston: Dan Stevenson, Sam Scott, Chris Saunders, Chris Menhenick, Matt David, Rob Blake, Callum Martindale, Liam Tilley, Chris Wright, Jack Alexander, Sam Davey, Chris Head, Mike Burke, Josh Harris, Gavin Welsh, Dan Jefferis
For more from Tom Besford, visit Tom’s Website
Callington Town edged a seven goal thriller to beat Bovey Tracey 4-3 at Marshfield Park to start life at Step Six with a win.
Division One East:
Teigns Bring Down Axe on Home Debut
Teigns started the game brightly and opened the scoring in the 12th minute; Geoff Breslan’s quick free kick sent Ryan Bush clear on the right and his drilled cross was turned into the net from close range by Scott Baxter. Axminster raised their game and equalised seven minutes later; Teigns’ defence failed to clear a long through ball and visiting forward Peter Knox ran in to beat Teigns’ ‘keeper Aaron Ibbetson with a low shot.
Teigns regained the lead in the 33rd minute, Geoff Breslan again starting the move with a measured pass to debutant Isaac Reed whose left-wing pull back was calmly placed wide of a diving ‘keeper into the corner of the net by Hayden Roe.
Early in the second half, Harry Gorton’s promising first team début was cut short when a clash with Knox saw him leave the field with a foot injury; Steve Shrubb replaced Gorton at right back. On the hour, Roe had a goal disallowed for an alleged handball. This signalled a period of pressure from the away side and Ibbetson made two crucial saves to preserve his side’s lead. Chances fell for both sides in the closing minutes, the better of which fell to Axminster who can feel aggrieved not to have got something from the game; but converting chances wins games and Teigns took theirs.
FT: Teignmouth 2 – 1 Axminster
A full programme of nine matches in the East Division saw all six South Devon clubs in the enlarged division start the season. The three new clubs to the division had varying fortunes with Tavistock claiming the highest victory of the day with a 6-1 win at Liverton United, closely followed by Brixham AFC who won 5-1 away at Budleigh Salterton. Devon & Exeter Champions St Martins could not make it a clean sweep though as they went down to a 0-3 reversal at home to Totnes & Dartington. Newton Abbot Spurs had an ideal start, coming from behind to win 2-1 at Crediton United. Galmpton United saw off Exwick Villa 4-2 at the War Memorial Ground.