Stoke Slump Continues; Holders out of Herald Cup (Local Football Round-Up)

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Stoke Slump Continues; Holders out of Herald Cup (Local Football Round-Up)

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Stoke Gabriel slumped to another home defeat against Exmouth Town, a side they had drawn with barely a month ago.

Once again it was a tale of missed chances for the home side who put a weakened Exmouth team under pressure from the start. Mark Saunders did well to deal with a dangerous looking Tom Kelly cross before Dan Kingscote fired narrowly wide in the opening stages. Striker Matt Dawson then tested home ‘keeper Nathan Murphy twice, first with a bending long-range effort and then with a low drive in an eventful first quarter.The game then swung Stoke’s way again, Jake White shooting wide from long-range and David Worthington lobbing over after Liam Jones had sent in an inviting cross. Stoke were seeing the most of the ball at this stage but were hit with a sucker punch on 24 minutes, James Ansell crossing for an unmarked Dawson to head the visitors in front.

Exmouth were under the cosh early in the second half, goalkeeper Rob Powell saving a Worthington drive and then Kelly, Kingscote, McEwen and Worthington again racking up chances, each one blocked by the visiting defence. After soaking up the pressure, Exmouth broke away down Stoke’s left, Kevin Hill crossing for Joe Bushin to blast home from the edge of the area for a 2-0 lead. Stoke refused to lie down and pressed for a goal back; Powell presented the subdued Ollie Aplin with a chance after he fumbled, but Aplin couldn’t connect properly and Hill cleared off the line, Aplin also heading the rebound wide. Dawson could have put Town out of sight but found the crossbar in the way, while Kingscote missed from close range after Aplin’s cross had been headed into his path by Worthington. Full-back White did his best to stimulate a fightback, one of his crosses finding Kelly whose shot was blocked, and another falling to Jones who cleared the bar. The final chance for Stoke to grab a consolation came and went in a scrappy last quarter, Liam Ellis’s slip giving Aplin a great opportunity from the six-yard box; but Aplin missed to end a thoroughly unproductive 90 minutes for the hosts who will be hoping they can be more clinical in the month to come.
Newton Abbot Spurs were the first side to see action in Division One East, playing away at Crediton United on the evening of Friday 30th. Former Launceston striker Will Matthews partnered player-manager Adam Dyson up front and had a chance for a perfect start with his new club when the latter flicked the ball through to him in the first minute. But Matthews was stretching and could only hit the ball at home custodian Lee Waring. Daryl Pidgeon sent a warning signal four minutes later with a fine run and cross which only lacked a Creddy player on the end of it. Left-back Mark Brooke had a chance after 9 minutes, his drive clearing the bar, but Crediton’s Richard Blake came closer, striking the underside of the bar on the 15 minute mark just three minutes after having seen an overhead kick sail wide of Scott Bellamy’s upright. On 26 minutes, the hosts broke the deadlock, Chris Metters penalised for a foul on Steve Morish and Matt Trenaman converting the resultant penalty. Morish was almost instrumental in another goal two minutes later, but his corner was headed on to the bar by Pidgeon. Shaun Bowden almost found an equaliser on the half-time whistle but Waring stopped his low shot to maintain the home side’s slender lead.
Neither side came out of the traps particularly quickly,and nearly an hour had passed before the next meaningful effort by either side, Bowden and Dyson combining well but Matthews denied a debut goal by desperate defensive play. Crediton struck the killer blow on 74 minutes though, Spurs dispossessed in their own half and Pidgeon setting Emlyn Harris free, the striker taking his chance well. On 76 minutes, a 35-yard effort from Dyson found the net but was ruled offside, while Metters, sent up front to try and bully a goal back, went wide with a header. There would be no comeback though and Blake could have even made it three for Creddy, on 85 minutes, but blasted well over.
Teignmouth kept hard on the pursuit of leaders St Martins with a superb 5-1 home win over Axminster Town. Hayden Roe and Ben Smith put the hosts two up at Coombe Valley before a Jon Hurford spot-kick narrowed the difference after a foul on Liam Cleal. Smith restored the two goal cushion just before the break and Ryan Bush practically ended the contest just after it before debutant Sam Dickens was upended to enable Lance Clarke to seal the three points. Totnes & Dartington were unable to help their South Devon neighbours by taking points from the leaders but did well to come away with a respectable 4-3 defeat, especially after being two down at one point following a Dan Hurrell own goal and a Nathan Cooper strike. Tots hot-shot Charlie Johansen netted to half the deficit and Chester Rogers equalised to set up a fantastic finale. Johansen nosed the visitors in front with his second, but back came St Martins with Jack Furzer levelling. It looked like a point was all the Exeter side were going to get but a disputed penalty in the last minute saw Danny Pym step up to smash and grab all three.
Galmpton United moved into the top six with a 7-3 home victory over Bovey Tracey. Matt Barkwell claimed the lion’s share with four while Buckland-bound Liam Moseley collected a brace; the other goal was credited to a Bovey player. Scoring for the Moorlanders were Lee Pascoe, Ashley White and James Elliot.
Brixham AFC moved above Tots with three first half goals spoiling hosts Budleigh Salterton’s afternoon. Graham Mercieca scored twice for the Fishermen and Reece Sommers was also on target before Budleigh made it 3-1 early in the second period. Ollie Booth and Jamie Down gave struggling Liverton United a 2-1 half-time lead at home to Exwick Villa, but two second half goals won Villa the points and leaves the Lillies one place off the bottom and five points behind next-highest Tots, but with a game in hand.
There were some heavy casualties in the Second Round of the Herald Cup with a number of Premier clubs seeing their worst nightmares come true and some teams on the end of horrific scorelines.
Watcombe’s Lewis Woodmore enjoys terrorising opponents in the competition, but his goal at Homers Heath was consolation only as the holders were beaten 3-1 by arch-enemies Buckland Athletic Reserves courtesy of a Matt Beer brace and a Jamie Micklewright strike. Waldon Athletic are always a fearsome prospect at home and Dartmouth AFC found the challenge too much, knocked out 3-1 at Windmill Hill. Kingskerswell & Chelston will also have expected a tough test at Division Two goal machines Roselands and they were proved right, Simon Walker’s side going through albeit with the only goal of the game. On to the scary scorelines: Babbacombe Corinthians put Malborough United in their place with a 7-1 away win and Upton Athletic massacred Teignmouth Reserves, winning 10-1 at Barton Cricket Club. But even that wasn’t the biggest win of the round. Josh Moore chose the right day to haunt his former club Buckland & Milber as the Ashburton front man and his strike partner Damien Frances Furnivall scored five apiece in a 14-0 killing at Long Lane, the Ashes reaching the third round of the Herald Cup in consecutive seasons. Elsewhere, Brixham AFC Reserves survived a stern test at AFC Staverton, coming through 2-1, Loddiswell defeated Barton Athletic 3-1, Brixham Town edged Salcombe 3-2 away. Meadowbrook Athletic and Abbotskerswell endured the ultimate nightmare – the penalty shoot-out, Abbots going through 4-3 after a 4-4 draw.
In the Fred Hewings Cup, holders Buckland Athletic Thirds cruised through to the Third Round with a 4-0 triumph at Ipplepen Athletic Reserves. Division Two leaders Watcombe Reserves slammed Buckastleigh Reserves 9-0 while struggling Waldon Athletic Reserves seem to be faring better in the cup; the Clarets enjoying a 3-1 victory at Division Four side Babbacombe Corinthians Reserves. Kingsteignton Athletic Reserves, also from Division Two, scored five without reply at Newton United Reserves to ease through. East Allington United Reserves continued their impressive start to the season with a 4-2 victory over neighbours and title rivals Dartmouth AFC Reserves. Torbay Police Reserves, a new team this season, claimed a big scalp with a 4-2 win away at Stoke Gabriel Thirds who play four divisions above them. Fellow new boys Newton Rovers Reserves fared less well, beaten by Paignton Saints Reserves in the all-Division Five clash; Saints marched on with a convincing 8-3 victory, starting brightest to go two up before Rovers pegged it back to 2-2. After that it was all Saints though, with Luke Johnson claiming a hat-trick, Ian Simons and Luke Pocknell with doubles and Shaun Hirst with the remainder. Harbertonford Reserves overcame Riviera United Reserves 3-0 in the remaining cup fixture to secure their quarter-final spot.
There were two Premier Division line-ups, and one of them saw Ivybridge Town Reserves move up to fourth with a 4-2 win at home to Stoke Gabriel Reserves, Hayman, Cox, Summer and Foot with the winners’ goals. Elsewhere Kingsteignton United enjoyed a surprise 5-1 home victory against East Allington United.
Four goals at Kingskerswell & Chelston Reserves ensured Newton Abbot ’66 would be in pole position in Division One going into November. Ipplepen Athletic climbed to fourth, winning 4-1 at Bovey Tracey Reserves, while Paignton Villa and Chudleigh Athletic, also both title contenders, shared eight goals – both side’s first draws of the campaign. Beesands made up for lost time with five goals and a clean sheet away at Totnes & Dartington Reserves.
On to Division Two, and with leaders Watcombe in cup action, Buckfastleigh Rangers took the opportunity to close the gap to two points with a narrow 2-1 home win over contenders Harbertonford. Hookhills United also won 2-1, away at South Brent, for their second league success of the season. Newton United lifted themselves off the bottom with a 2-0 win at Bishopsteignton United who take their place.
There were only two Division Three matches played, but Teign Village were the big climbers, reaching the top three courtesy of a home walkover against winless Waldon Athletic Thirds. Chudleigh Reserves are now three unbeaten after a 4-1 home triumph against Torbay Police, while Dittisham claimed their first point with a 3-3 draw at home to Upton Reserves. The two teams remain in the bottom two.
In Division Four, Roselands Reserves gained ground on the leading pack, coasting to an 8-2 win at bottom team Ashburton Reserves. Newton Abbot ’66 Reserves came out on top in the derby with Newton Rovers, one goal enough at Osborne Park. Elsewhere, Broadmeadow got back to winning ways with a 2-1 victory over Paignton Villa Reserves while Islington bagged their second point of the campaign with a 3-3 draw at home to Kingsbridge & Kellaton.
With most of Division Five still involved with the cups, only three games took place: Broadhempston Reserves’ unblemished start reached seven games as they won 3-1 at bottom-placed Chudleigh Thirds; Buckland & Milber Reserves enjoyed their fifth win of the season, by two goals to one, at the expense of hosts Stoke Fleming & Strete who have now lost five and Barton Athletic Reserves continued their winning momentum by beating WBB AFC 2-1 at Barton Downs.

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