Teigns Close the Gap; Stoke Slip and Slide: Local Football Round-Up Part 2/2
Buckland Athletic are poised to form part of a breakaway top three in the Toolstation Western League after a fifth successive league win, at home to Bridport. The Yellows currently sit in fifth but Willand Rovers and Melksham Town have played far more games than Adam Castle’s side. Gavin Hammon and Si Laughton struck to win Bucks the points and edge them closer to their goal of Southern League promotion.
Things are not looking as good for Stoke Gabriel Reserves in the Carlsberg South West Peninsula Premier League. The Railwaymen have yet to collect a point in 2016 and have now lost six on the bounce after another two losses to Cornish sides. On Saturday 5th, Newquay came away from Broadley Lane with the points, Jack Bray-Evans with the only goal of the game for a patched up Peppermints side. The misery was compounded with a third successive sending off for the hosts, as Gareth McEwan once again saw red. Perhaps Stoke might fare better against a rusty Callington side who hadn’t kicked a ball since November? Unfortunately not; Callington stormed to a 5-1 victory to hand out Stoke’s worst defeat of the season and dampen the significance of their first goal in 385 minutes of football, scored by Ollie Aplin with the score 3-0 at the time. Wil Sargent got things rolling for the hosts after 23 minutes with a powerful shot, and Ben Langton doubled their advantage seven minutes before the break; Callington could have been three up at the break but a handball decision went Stoke’s way. The Railwaymen survived another penalty shout, early in the second half, before Luke Avis Riordhan made it three on 55 minutes. Then came Aplin’s consolation, on 71 minutes, but less than two minutes later, Ryan Lucassi ensured there would be no comeback. Langton’s second, a looping shot over the back-pedalling goalkeeper with eight minutes remaining, was the icing on the Cally cake. Stoke will try again at home to Plymouth Parkway next Saturday, and if they fail to collect three points they could find themselves bottom of the pile by Saturday evening.
Tiverton Town Reserves have now taken control of Division One East with former leaders St Martins only picking up three points in the last nine games. But in-form Teignmouth are doing all they can to reel the top two in, extending their run to three wins and three clean sheets with victories over Okehampton Argyle and Crediton United. The expected 4-0 home win over rock-bottom Okey came courtesy of a Matt Eves double, a Ryan Bush strike and an own goal, but Crediton were a much tougher prospect having won four league games on the trot (albeit with plenty of postponements in-between). But Teigns returned from Lords Meadow with all three points with a 1-0 triumph; they are now five points off the lead and three points behind St Martins over whom they have two games in hand. Focus now switches to the Throgmorton Devon Premier Cup with Teigns taking on Newton Abbot Spurs in Wednesday night’s semi-final at Homers Heath.
Galmpton United missed the chance to go fourth after an unexpected 2-0 home loss in the South Devon derby against lowly Liverton United. Liverton boss Justin Yeates had demanded a response from his players after some recent poor performances and he got one, with Kieran Parkin scoring his first goal for the Lillies since his return from Buckland, and Aiden Mackin weighing in for a thoroughly deserved victory. Liverton’s previous match had been a disappointing 2-0 reverse at home to Crediton, playing their first game since December. Yeates’ side managed to hit the bar, but that was the only sniff at goal they had as Crediton wrapped up the win with a first half Richard Blake lob and a second half Steve Morrish strike after Ben Pike’s shot had been saved.
Newton Abbot Spurs may still be in the bottom half of the table, but they have been quietly amassing the points in the last two weeks. Prior to yesterday’s derby against Totnes & Dartington, Spurs had held St Martins away from home (on 5th March) and beaten Budleigh Salterton away (last Wednesday night). The St Martins match saw Spurs match their opponents blow by blow in the first half, with a Carl Bradley effort ruled offside, but fall behind early in the second as Jimmy Shaw’s cross evaded their defence to enable Dax Vincent to head home from the edge of the box. Ross Carstairs’ dismissal, for a second bookable offence, handed Spurs the initiative and they took immediate advantage, Chris Metters heading home Shaun Bowden’s corner in the 54th minute. Things could have been even better if Bowden’s strike hadn’t been ruled out for a controversial offside 13 minutes from time or if Adam Dyson’s late strike had crossed the goal-line after rattling the post, instead of rolling along it before being cleared from danger. Sam Hancox’s 52nd minute opener gave Spurs the lead at Budleigh in a match that was played late into the evening as the lightning did its best to wipe out the floodlights. The hosts managed to find a way back but Darryl Kewley’s stoppage time winner won Dyson’s men the points. Spurs then made it seven points out of nine with a narrow home win over next-to-bottom Tots. The decider was scored three minutes from the break by Matt Williams who collected a Jamie Mills through ball before slotting home between Dan Wood’s legs. This was a second successive loss for Tots who had gone down 4-3 at Exwick Villa on 5th March.
Brixham AFC are still searching for their first point in March after two defeats on the bounce. The Fishermen had been hoping to immediately make up for their loss at the University of Exeter with a win in the reverse fixture at Wall Park, but a Ben Mogg hat-trick helped the University side to a narrow 4-3 victory. Next up for Jason Couch’s men were Sidmouth Town away but, despite a battling performance, that match ended in the Vikings’ favour with Swingler, Vere and Burrows doing the damage for the hosts in a 3-1 triumph.
Bovey Tracey picked up a good point at home to Alphington before a tough double-header against Tiverton Town Reserves, from which they picked up neither goals nor points. After winning 2-0 at the Western Counties Ground, Tiverton made home advantage count in a 3-0 win yesterday which extended their lead to two points.