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SDFL 21st February 2015

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Waldon Athletic missed the boat in more ways than one yesterday. Problems with the ferry meant the Clarets arrived late for their table-topping encounter with leaders Dartmouth AFC and things quickly went from bad to worse at Longcross. Waldon were already tight to the bone, having had to bring four reserve team players with them, and they could have done without losing Brian Doughty to a red card in the first half. Darts, who were already two up at that point, went on to romp home 5-0, a result Waldon’s Keith Aplin admitted was well deserved, althought the Clarets did have a penalty saved. Darts’ goalscorers were Karl Baker (2), Josh Webber (2) and Liam McAuley. The result put Darts eight points ahead of second place East Allington United although the Pirates have played three games less. United will visit Dartmouth to play Beesands Rovers in the first Herald Cup semi-final on Friday, but were knocked out of the Throgmorton Cup 2-0 at Peninsula side Exwick Villa.
Buckland Athletic Reserves continued their unbeaten start in the league with a 2-0 home win over Upton Athletic, Lee Pike and Matt Briant scoring, while Liam Strong and Dan Broadway struck for Watcombe Wanderers who also won 2-0, at home to Newton Abbot Spurs Reserves.
Bovey Tracey Reserves boss Steve Cooney was disappointed to go down 6-0 at Stoke Gabriel Reserves, a result which sends them back to the foot of the table as Kingsteignton Athletic secured a vital 3-1 win at home to Kingskerswell & Chelston.

In Division One, Buckland Athletic Thirds moved to the top of the table with a 3-1 win at former leaders Paignton Villa. Brixham AFC Reserves are up to second with their first win in three, a 2-0 success at Kingskerswell & Chelston Reserves. Ipplepen Athletic made it four consecutive wins in all competitions, Chris Srdinko once more on target as the Pens won 3-1 at troubled Teignmouth Reserves, Dale Stocker with the other two.

In Division Two, a fantastic match at Paignton Saints saw the hosts inflict a second defeat in as many games for Kingsteignton Athletic Rerserves, and pick up another win in the process to close the gap to Brixham AFC Thirds to four points with seven games in hand. Saints always knew this was going to be a tough test, but started strong and matched Kings stride for stride in the opening exchanges. Saints were playing some good football but it was always the final ball that eluded them. Matt Mann and Nyron Connor were causing some problems down both wings but there was no end product. The back four of Ben Pegg, Ashleigh Barlow, Sam Winstanley and Matt Reed were solid and when Kings came forward they broke most things up. When they didn’t, Lee Griffiths in the Saints goal was on top form to deny Kingsteignton’s strikers, in particular Bradley Yarnall, whose pace caused a few , and Matthew Joy. Saints got their first goal on 30 minutes. After breaking up a Kings attack, a long ball from Connor caused a mix-up between the ‘keeper and left-back; the ball fell to Josh chase who had an open goal and, from 18 yards out, scored for 1-0.
The second half was pretty much the same but things all changed when Kings’ Craig Pidwell was shown a straight red card for allegedly throwing a punch at one of the Saints defenders. Kingsteignton still managed to create some chances, and were given a lifeline from a corner as Reed seemed to handle the ball. Cartmill put the ball on the spot but he saw his effort saved by Lee Griffiths. However, since a Saints player was in the box, the penalty had to be retaken but Griffiths saved Cartmill’s second attempt too. On Saints’ next attack, they got a penalty of their own. A free-kick on the half-way line was floated into the box and, as Sean Paul Hooton tried to go past the full-back, he was clipped and went over. Jonny Emery stepped up and calmly placed the ball in the other corner to where the ‘keeper was diving for 2-0.
Kings still kept coming and, with five minutes left, a long ball into the Saints area was met by Griffiths, Winstanley and Cartmill; as the ball was cleared, there was a clash of heads which ended Griffiths’ afternoon, Hooton stepping up to fill in for the remainder of the game. No sooner had Sean gone in goal, another penalty was given, this time against Clement for handball again. As Cartmill had missed the first two, captain Louis Dickinson stepped but he also saw his penalty saved as Hooton dived the right way to push it wide. As the corner came in, a massive scramble in the six-yard area saw Hooton pull off another teo great saves before the referee blew his whistle for full time. It was a massive win for Saints, and a day for Kingsteignton to forget. All the Saints players played their part but Man of the Match had to go to Lee Griffiths. Buckland & Milber’s match at Abbotskerswell was postponed, giving Ashburton the chance to close the gap. Harbertonford ran them close at the Hams but Ashburton won 2-1 eventually. Foxhole United edged Newton United 3-2 in a rare away match, while South Brent heaped more misery on Totnes & Dartington Reserves with three goals to Tots’ nil at the Dorothy Elmhirst.

In Division Three, Roselands’ ongoing battle with Watcombe Wanderers Reserves went the hosts way, the Greens losing their 100 per cent record despite playing most of the match with an extra man following a red card for Roselands in the first half. The breakthrough came in the second half, Max Prestwood’s long-range strike saved by the visiting ‘keeper, but Gary Aldous following up for the only goal of the game. Ipplepen Reserves were back to league action after their cup exploits, but they couldn’t continue the momentum to get anything from Teign Village who ran out 2-0 winners.

In Division Four, Liverton United Reserves overcame Riviera United 6-2 to move above them into pole position. Newton Rovers stunned Buckfastleigh Rangers Reserves with the only goal at Bakers Park. AFC Staverton defeated Preston South End 4-1 on a terrible pitch, but there was some good football played and Martin Richards, Jon Parsons, Chris Edmondson and Chris Griffiths scored for the hosts. Dittisham also won 4-1 in their home tie against Roselands Reserves. The visitors failed to deal with a corner, allowing Joe Kirby to fire the Plums into an early lead, before Lee Prestage doubled the lead with a cross-cum-shot from the right hand side. Two became three before the break, Kirby heading home his second from a cross to the far post. Daniel Bastin converted a free-kick to increase the hosts’ lead, with Roselands’ consolation provided by Philip Jewell after a rare mistake from the Dittisham defence. Lee Sylvester struck for Meadowbrook Athletic at winless Babbacombe Corinthians for their first win of the year. Paignton Villa Reserves enjoyed their first victory since before Christmas with a narrow 4-3 win over Newton Abbot 66 Reserves.

In Division Five, there were more than a few upsets; Torquay Town secured a fine 3-0 win at home to high-flying Broadmeadow, and were given more good news as Cory Brennan, Matt Winsor and Kyle Gillam gave Buckland & Milber a surprise 3-1 triumph over promotion-hunting Barton Athletic. The result lifted the hosts further from danger. Broadhempston United Reserves had lost all four matches played since the New Year, scoring just one goal, but that dismal run came to a spectacular end yesterday as Broads edged Kingsbridge & Kellaton United 4-3 at Headlands. Malborough United also halted a losing streak, beating bottom side Stoke Fleming & Strete 4-3 for their first points in four games. Ashburton Reserves’ result went to form as they beat Paignton Saints Reserves 6-2 to atone for their defeat at Clennon Valley in December. Finally, there were no fewer than 12 goals, shared out equally, between Moretonhamstead and Newton United Reserves.

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