Two More in the Bag for Bucks: Local Football Round-Up Part 1/2
BUCKLAND ATHLETIC are once more frustrated to miss another Saturday of action as today’s trip to Shepton Mallet is called off due to a waterlogged pitch. But otherwise it’s been all good for the Toolstation Western League promotion chasers who wrapped up two more wins in five days to leave them just a point off second spot.
Last Saturday, the Yellows racked up a third successive league victory (four in all competitions) with a narrow home win over mid-table Brislington. In a battling encounter, Gavin Hammon edged the hosts ahead early in the game to ease nerves, but the visitors struck back in an eventful first half which also saw Hammon hit the bar with a penalty. The winner was also to come before half time though, a superb overhead kick from Jared Lewington wrapping up the points. Brislington, who had never lost to Buckland, came roaring out in an intense second half but the Yellows held out to secure an important victory, which proved even sweeter when Castle’s men learning that leaders Odd Down had crashed 4-0 at Melksham Town in only their second defeat of the campaign.
Next up was a crucial six-pointer at home to Bristol Manor Farm, with Buckland aware that a win would move them level on points with their opponents with a game in hand. Once again it was Hammon who opened the scoring, but again the Yellows found themselves pegged back in the first half before taking a 2-1 lead into the break courtesy of an own goal, the visiting player putting Lloyd Gardner’s cross into his own net. It was a much more convincing performance than in the previous game, with the Manor Farm goalkeeper the busiest of the two, and Buckland came out in the second half determined to make their superiority count. The irrepressible Gardner delivered the goods with two goals, including one from the penalty spot, to all but wrap the game up before the hour mark. But the job was not done yet, and Buckland almost rued taking their foot off the pedal as the visitors scored a quick-fire double to set up a nervy final 20 minutes. But Buckland took the points and are now just five points behind Odd Down. They now have two more home matches, against Cadbury Heath on Wednesday, and Bridport next Saturday.
In the Peninsula Premier League, STOKE GABRIEL are currently playing for pride in a bottom six mini-league. With that in mind, a home loss against next to bottom Camelford will have been a bitter blow. It was a similar story of Stoke looked dangerous up front but failing to make an impact, with skipper Dan Balsdon finally breaking the deadlock, beating the offside trap and finding the bottom left corner. After the break, Stoke pressed hard but some superb defending prevented an equaliser. Under a lot of pressure, the Camels broke away with substitute Ed Harrison putting Balsdon through on goal. Gareth McEwen brought the visiting captain down and, being the last man, was also sent off. Camelford handed Patrick Rushton, playing his last game for the club, the chance to wrap up a first ever win against the Railwaymen and he duly found the net. Stoke will try again to move up the table today; they host Newquay who sit just a point and a place above them.
In Division One East, TEIGNMOUTH faced a tough trip to BOVEY TRACEY to keep their title campaign on the rails. Matt Eves tidied up a messy chance, late in the first half, to break the deadlock but both sides had chances after the break, Teigns’ Hayden Roe looking particularly dangerous. In the end, both managers took plenty of positives but it was Teignmouth who claimed the important three points that will keep St Martins and Tiverton vigilant in the weeks to come, especially since Teigns next play bottom side Okehampton Argyle. BRIXHAM AFC were on the wrong end of a scrappy 1-0 defeat, Toby Yeates goal for the University of Exeter enough to bring the home side the win and prevent Jason Couch’s side from moving into the top half of the table. NEWTON ABBOT SPURS player-manager Adam Dyson scored a second successive hat-trick as Spurs smashed Okehampton 8-0 at the Rec. The match began with chances for both sides, but Will Matthews put Spurs ahead on 13 minutes with a lob over Harry Geering, Ian Wilkinson providing the long ball up to the striker who took it well on his chest. A period of home pressure saw Dyson double the advantage on 34 minutes; the manager could only find the ball with his first header, from Jake Chisholm’s cross, but his second, from Joe Andrews’ delivery hit the sweet spot. Alex Wren could have narrowed the deficit as the half came to an end, but stand-in ‘keeper Travis Rowland saved well in a one-on-one situation. Instead, Chisholm extended the home side’s lead, playing a one-two with Carl Bradley before firing home from a tight angle. That seemed to finish the visitors, who went 4-0 down when Bradley set up Dyson for his second on 56 minutes. On 64 minutes, Sam Hancox came on for Matthews and, on 68 minutes, he too was on the score-sheet, volleying home Chisholm’s deep cross. Hancox then turned provider, putting Dyson through for his hat-trick on 79 minutes. Next, James Williams pulled down Bradley in the box and was sent off. Geering pulled off a save from the resultant spot-kick, taken by Bradley himself, but the striker followed up his miss to make it 7-0. Dyson then set up Hancox for his second in stoppage time. Dyson and co. will be expecting more of a test away at leaders St Martins today. Finally, a crucial derby at The Foxhole Ground saw the spoils shared. Visitors LIVERTON UNITED took a first-half lead through Aidan Mackin as the Lillies looked to reduce the gap between them and hosts TOTNES & DARTINGTON to two points. But Liam Collings’ penalty, with 15 minutes to go, levelled the tie. Mackin had a gilt-edged chance to win the match from the spot, but his 89th minute spot-kick struck the crossbar.