Unbeaten Brixham Go Top of SWPL
Two big wins in the past week have seen Jason Couch’s Brixham AFC start off where they left off last season with the Fishermen now top of the pile as they prepare for today’s trip to second place Axminster Town who are also unbeaten
Brixham followed up their draw against last year’s runners-up Teignmouth with a hefty 5-0 rout of Liverton United last Saturday. On fire Graham Mercieca quickly nabbed himself a hat-trick with three goals in the first 25 minutes. Mercieca then made it four, from the spot, after the break before Reece Somers wrapped up a great day at the office with Brigham’s fifth. More cheer was to come on Wednesday night as Brixham scored another four, and kept another clean sheet, away at Stoke Gabriel. Stoke will feel the scoreline didn’t do them justice though with the Railwaymen enjoying plenty of possession and the bulk of the first half chances. But having weathered the storm it was Reece Somers who broke the deadlock from a corner, just before the end of the half, to give the Fisherman the advantage. Former Stoke player Mark Newbould came on for his Brixham debut and made an immediate impact, firing home a shot from over 30 yards out, on 50 minutes, to double the visitors’ lead. on 65 minutes, Newbould scored his second with another long-ranger, albeit helped in by a big deflection, and then wrapped up his hat-trick with five minutes left, this time thanks to a tap-in after another former Stoke player, Dave Worthington, teed him up.
It was a first loss for the home side who had enjoyed a 4-2 victory at Teignmouth the previous Saturday. Ryan O’Callaghan gave Stoke the lead within the opening ten minutes but the home side drew level on 24 minutes. Parity was short-lived though as Danny Gaze converted a penalty two minutes later to restore Stoke’s lead. The score stayed at 2-1 until just after the hour mark, Ollie Booth finding the net for Stoke and Ollie Critchlow put away the fourth on 84 minutes. Teignmouth received another blow, late in the match, as goalkeeper Luke Ashford was given a straight red card.
Teignmouth also found themselves on the wrong end of a 4-2 scoreline on Wednesday night as they lost out to Totnes and Dartington.
— Andrew Stead (@AndrewHStead) August 25, 2016
Tots opted to play former manager John Rimmer up front, alongside Gary Rivers, and it worked a treat with Rimmer hitting a hat-trick. The home side had gone two up early on but Teigns halved the deficit before the break. Tots then restored the two goal cushion around the hour mark but after surviving a strong penalty appeal, Teignmouth once again scored to stay in the game before the hosts’ killer fourth with ten minutes remaining. Scott Telford and Ryan Bush scored Teigns double.
Tots had bounced back from a narrow loss at Budleigh Salterton the previous Saturday. Luckless Robins defender Karl Ridell gave the visitors a dream start with a pass-back that hit a divet and squirmed past goalkeeper Alan Doble but former Sidmouth striker Ricky Pitter levelled the game around 13 minutes later. Callum Shipton then put the hosts ahead, on the half hour, with a long range reaction shot after the visiting goalkeeper had cleared. On 51 minutes, Pitter converted Danny Everett’s cross to give Budleigh some daylight. Three minutes later, Liam Collins finished well to bring Totnes back into contention before John Nott, at the second attempt, scored the hosts fourth on 71 minutes. The final goal came from John Rimmer, with three minutes remaining although Budleigh could have scored a fifth through Ridell before the end but was denied by a great save.
Both Totnes and Dartington and Teignmouth are just about holding onto their top of the table status but Liverton United and Galmpton United have both slipped into the bottom half after defeats this week. The Greens have now lost all three of their opening games after a 3-2 home defeat against Torridgeside on Saturday, the newly promoted visitors yet to drop a point. Neil Bettiss headed home a Nathan Walter cross on 20 minutes for the visitors but a quick-fire double from John Querito turned the game around. A foul on Sam Phillips gave Ian Cockwill the opportunity to level the half-time score from the spot which he duly did. After a positive second half, the North Devon side cliched the match with Bettiss’ second, from close range, scored in the last ten minutes.
Liverton lost out 3-2 to Exwick Villa on Monday night, conceding a last minute goal to their hosts who had had a man sent off. Villa had scored the only goal of the first half and were 2-1 up before Liverton found an equaliser. Louis Cane scored the late decider.
Finally, Newton Abbot Spurs secured their first win of the season with a 4-3 victory at Appledore, the side who beat them in the Throgmorton Premier Cup final last season. In wet and windy conditions, Jake Chisholm set up player-manager Adam Dyson for an early opener but Spurs failed to make the most of their first half dominance to add to that scoreline. Spurs’ nemesis, Tom Marsh, punished Spurs by equalising mid-way through the first half with a fine strike but two goals in seven minutes swung the match back in the visitors’ favour, Matt Williams scoring Spurs’ second, after good work from Dyson and Shaun Bowden and Seth Hodorowski turning Williams’ cross past Jimmy Thorne to make it 3-1. With ten minutes remaining, captain Jamie Frickleton finished off Sam Fishwicks’ corner with a great header and then Fishwick himself scored a wind-assisted equaliser from another corner five minutes later. A year earlier, Spurs had scored a late winner under identical circumstances and their supporters were left delighted again when Ian Wilkinson’s cross fell to right-back Liam Jones with two minutes remaining, Jones sending the ball through Thorne’s legs. To compound their misery, Appledore saw Frickleton dismissed after the final whistle.