SDFL 20th December 2014
The Premier division is a team light after the sad withdrawal this week of one of South Devon football’s most respected and recognised names – Watts Blake Bearne. WBB won the double in 2009/10 and have regularly finished in the top six since then. But the Claymen struggled last season, and in the current campaign found themselves often unable to find enough players to raise a side.
On the field, Dartmouth AFC continue to lead after winning 3-1 at Newton Abbot Spurs Reserves. Despite losing top striker Si Hannaford to an ankle injury last week, East Allington United ensured they remain just a point behind their rivals, James Ivatts and Andy Davis taking on scoring duties in a 2-0 home win over Loddiswell Athletic. Waldon Athletic push up into the top three after smashing Bovey Tracey Reserves 10-1 at Windmill Hill. The Moorlanders will be bottom at Christmas – never a good omen in football, as Ipplepen discovered last season.
Colin Barnard’s Ivybridge Town Reserves showed once more they are capable of taking points off the top teams with a 1-1 home draw at home to Upton Athletic. Upton’s goal was put away by 50 year old club secretary Phil Lloyd after a fine run and cross by Dan Kingscote. Buckland Athletic Reserves, undoubtedly buoyed by last week’s County cup victory over Watcombe, surged into the top six with a 6-0 triumph at Stoke Gabriel Reserves. Bucks spread the goals around, with Lewis Perring, Matt Briant, Gav Collins, Jack Seatherton and Nick Hayman all on target, an own goal making up the numbers.
In Division One, Paignton Villa maintain their lead, the division’s only unbeaten side edging Totnes & Dartington Reserves 2-1. Guy Watson’s brace helped second placed Beesands Rovers to three points, Dave Harvey and Lee Morgan also adding goals as the Bees beat bottom side Buckfastleigh Rangers 4-1, Jon Noble with Rangers’ strike. Brixham AFC Reserves move up to third after taking maximum points from three consecutive home games. Newton Abbot 66 were roundly beaten 4-1 at Wall Park to slip off the pace. And could Chudleigh Athletic be promotion contenders? Athletic proved they can dig out a result if needed with a tight 1-0 victory at Kingskerswell & Chelston Reserves. Broadhempston United scored four for the third match running to complete the double over Teignmouth Reserves, winning 4-1 at Coombe Valley. Buckland Athletic Third scored four times at Ipplepen Athletic but could only come away with a share of the spoils; Tovagliari hit two with Cowling and Newnham contributing the rest. Chatfield and Drake helped Stoke Gabriel Thirds to another vital point in their survival fight. The Railwaymen held Babbacombe Corinthians to a 2-2 draw at Barton Downs, Max Corderoy and Lloyd Heavens on target for Corries.
In Division Two, Brixham AFC Thirds’ superb home form continued with the Fishermen enjoying a fourth successive win at St. Mary’s Park – the ground they share with Saturday’s opponents Brixham Town. Mick Malone and Scott Troth scored in a 2-0 win to dent the hopes of title contenders Town who lost for only the second time in the league. Ashburton creep closer to Buckland & Milber at the top after thumping South Brent 9-0 at Chuley Road. Ben Harper led the scoring with a hat-trick, while Damien Furnivall, Ash Johnson and Nath Webb claimed doubles. Josh Moore was once more on target for the leaders, but it was not enough to prevent unlikely Harbertonford becoming the first side to win a point at Long Lane. Foxhole United’s last league match away from Belfield was in May, and they racked up another three points at home this week, beating Hookhills United 7-2 to go third. But the result tells only half the story as the Foxes managed the feat despite going two down within the first 15 minutes and losing Jack White to a red card for violent conduct. After overturning the deficit to take a 3-2 half-time lead, Foxhole managed four more in the second period. Curtis Clarke hit four goals, John ‘Tinny’ Bolus added two to his tally and former Buckland striker Mark Broome also made the score-sheet. Waldon Athletic Reserves managed consecutive away wins, beating Paignton Saints 4-2 at Whiterock, goals from Matt Reed and Jonny Emery not enough for the hosts this week. After a four game losing streak, Abbotskerswell finally had something to cheer about as the Abbots defeated faltering Newton United 3-1 away, Calvin Endacott’s goal the only positive aspect for the home side. And there is no silver lining in sight for Totnes and Dartington Thirds who ended the first half of their season with a 13th defeat out of 13, going down 6-0 at home to Kingsteignton Athletic Reserves.
With Roselands’ game at Dartmouth AFC Reserves called off, Watcombe Wanderers Reserves went top of Division Three by defeating Bishopsteignton United 4-1 at the King George V; the Greens’ scorers this week were Simon Ross, Sam Edney, Sonwabile Mlenze and Liam Strong. Harbertonford Reserves recovered from their mini-slump with a 3-0 home win over Chudleigh Athletic Reserves to claim third spot. East Allington United Reserves ended a perfect December with a 5-2 victory at Upton Athletic Reserves, while Salcombe Town picked up their first win since October, Jack Prior with two and Ollie Stallard and Nick Bonnet with singles in a 4-1 victory at Teign Village. Ipplepen Athletic Reserves moved off the bottom without kicking a ball, South Brent Reserves defaulting on the fixture.
Liverton United Reserves are the new leaders of a competitive Division Four after their 3-2 derby win at Ilsington Villa. Villa have now failed to pick up a point in the last eight attempts while the Lillies have won three on the bounce. They moved above AFC Staverton who were put to the sword at the Duckspond, rivals Buckfastleigh Rangers coming away with five goals, a clean sheet and three priceless points. Dean Stevens claimed a brace for Rangers with Glen Palmer, Ryan Porter and Eric Hale adding the rest. Riviera United join the top two on points after winning 3-0 away at Roselands Reserves. Torbay Police are also in with a chance; the Bees haven’t lost a game since October and enjoyed a 4-1 home win over Meadowbrook Athletic on Saturday, Lee Sylvester with Athletic’s consolation. Dittisham United picked up three points with Polonia Torbay unable to raise a side, while Preston South End wrapped up a fourth win in the last three games, scoring five without reply at Newton Abbot 66 Reserves. The surprise of the afternoon was perhaps Paignton Villa Reserves’ resounding 5-0 triumph at Newton Rovers, moving the visitors out of the bottom two.
In Division Five, Watcombe Thirds seem to be cruising to another title. The leaders demolished Torquay Town 11-0 for a ninth win on the bounce. If anyone is going to challenge their supremacy, it looks like it might be second placed Broadmeadow. Only Watcombe have taken points from the new boys so far, and Glyn Ballman’s side claimed another impressive scalp on Saturday with a 4-1 victory at Barton Athletic. An evenly contested first half was approaching the break when Joash Herron gave Broads the lead. Early in the second half, Broads doubled the advantage with a clever flick from Andy Espley but Barton pulled one back and an equaliser was definitely on the cards. However, in the last 15 mins two clean strikes from Todd Ballman saw the Broads home. The win opens up a six point gap over their opponents. Paignton Saints Reserves’ purple patch continues after a narrow 4-3 home win over an Ashburton Reserves side whose last league defeat was back in week two. Since shipping six at home to Malborough, Broadhempston United Reserves have kept three clean sheets. Saturday saw a consecutive goalless draw at Headlands, Stoke Fleming & Strete earning another valuable point. As for Malborough, their bizarre spell continued as they hammered Newton United Reserves 9-0 a fortnight after crashing 7-0 at Buckland & Milber Reserves.