SDFL 10th January 2015
The SDFL fixture list was once again decimated by unplayable pitches, but the matches that did go ahead provided plenty to talk about.
Top of the bill was a fantastic derby in the Herald Cup with Waldon Athletic and Upton Athletic battling for a semi-final spot. The Clarets made an ideal start, Ash Harris latching on to a long ball down the left and firing under Adam Simpson for an early opener. Their advantage was doubled minutes later courtesy of a Josh Mason low strike from the right-hand side of the box; Upton were reeling but somehow pulled themselves together. A superb Shane Shobbrook volley from outside of the box put them back in the game and Shobbrook was on hand before the break to level the tie from just inside the box.
In the second half, Jamie Micklewright capitalised on a defensive mistake to put the visitors in front and on the front foot, Kitson Glanvill kept on his toes as Upton sought the killer goal. But Scott Davies foul on Tom Pennicott, with two minutes remaining, handed the hosts a lifeline and Chris Harrity made no mistake with the spot-kick, low to the left of Simpson.
And it was Harrity who grabbed the decisive winner, in the second half of stoppage time, with a mazy run, leaving numerous defenders in his wake, and a cool finish.
Waldon will be joined in the semi-final draw by East Allington United who benefit from the withdrawal of Polonia Torbay from the competition. The other two quarter-finals were postponed.
In the Premier Division, Bovey Tracey Reserves started their new year by signalling their survival intent, overcoming Kingsteignton Athletic 4-1 in the relegation six-pointer at Broadpark for their first win of the season (discounting the expunged result against WBB). Stoke Gabriel Reserves missed their chance to move up into the top three, losing by the odd goal in seven at home to Ivybridge Town Reserves. Town have now not lost since their home reverse to Stoke back in November.
In Division One, Kingskerswell & Chelston Reserves started the new year by ending the division’s only unbeaten record, beating Paignton Villa 2-1 for their first win since October. The result cleared the way for Brixham AFC Reserves to move to the top of the table, the Fishermen overcoming Stoke Gabriel Thirds at Wall Park; Ash Beetschen netted for the visitors. Ipplepen Athletic are now four matches unbeaten after fighting out a 2-2 draw with Babbacombe Corinthians at Moor Road, Corries scoring through Nick Skinner and Dan Lawton. It was a second successive draw for both sides.
In Division Two, Furzeham Green hosted an entertaining contest between two of the division’s most prolific teams, Brixham Town and Newton United. Mark Brooks put the home side ahead after a goalmouth scramble but Chris Harper pulled United level with a fine finish after a good through ball by Kelvin Endacott. Town ended the half in front though, courtesy of a Garry Drew strike.
A free-flowing Town side looked to have killed the game when Jamie Swindells carved in from the right and lashed a deserved goal past Darren Crowhurst. Brixham could have scored more but United refused to die and Harper scored his and his club’s second, lobbing James Powder after a long Darren Crowhurst kick upfield. But substitute Alex McEvell put the game to bed with a cracker of a strike from outside the box.
Buckland & Milber still lead the way though, Josh Moore with both strikes in a 2-0 win at Waldon Athletic Reserves, and second-place Ashburton United’s 100 per cent record shows no sign of ending, the home side putting nine past Brixham AFC Thirds who managed three in reply. The home side scored through Scott’s hat-trick, braces from Frances Furnivall and Uglow and single contributions from Webb and Harper.
In Division Three, Watcombe Wanderers Reserves made up for their defeat at the Berry last season by scoring seven against hosts Salcombe Town with no reply. First-team striker Curtis Booth scored a hat-trick and there were singles from Sam Edney, Simon Ross, Sonwabile Mlenze and Liam Strong. Harbertonford Reserves ended East Allington United Reserves’ recent good run, Ford winning 2-1 at Poole Lane to go second. Bishopsteignton United enjoyed an eighth win of the campaign away at Teign Village, winning 7-1. Chudleigh Athletic Reserves completed the double over Ipplepen Athletic with another six goal margin over their opponents. This time, the Pens were unable to find the net at the Sports Centre.
In Division Four, Buckfastleigh Rangers Reserves made the most of their game in hand, moving up to second with a 4-0 home victory over Paignton Villa Reserves. Glen Palmer scored a double and Ryan Porter and Brett Easterbrook singles as Rangers enjoyed a fifth straight win and fourth straight clean sheet. Ilsington Villa’s year began in the same vein as much of last season, Newton Rovers completing the double over them with a 5-0 triumph at Bakers Park.
In Division Five, a strong Paignton Saints Reserves side secured another three points, going five unbeaten with a 4-0 home victory over Broadhempston United Reserves who lost away for the second week in a row. Goalscorers for Saints were Jonny Emery, twice, Ian Simons and Sam Winstanley.
And eight goals were shared at Long Lane where Buckland & Milber Reserves hosted Newton United Reserves. The host’ goalscorers were Matt Winsor (2), Cory Brennan and Adam Coupland. United found the net through Harris (2), Guttridge and Hitt.