Home Straight: Jordan Ewing’s winning goal against Waldon on Saturday puts Bucks well on course for a third successive title. (c)MiraclePR.com
Buckland Athletic won the first of their double headers against Waldon Athletic last Saturday to give them a huge boost in their title defence. The sides meet again at Windmill Hill on 20th May, both sides’ last game of the season but, by that time, the result is likely to be academic unless Kingsteignton Athletic or Ivybridge Town Reserves can give the Clarets a helping hand by taking points off Buckland in the meantime.
It was a tight, tense affair at Homers Heath and Buckland edged in front ten minutes before half-time. The referee played a good advantage after a foul on Lewis Perring and Sam Dicken side-footed home the opener. Waldon’s Chris Harrity broke clear to equalise five minutes after the break, following up on his own saved first shot, and it looked like being a slatemate until late on when Buckland put in a brilliant cross and Jordan Ewing ghosted in at the back post for the winner. Waldon threw all they had to get back into the game, leaving Bucks with further chances on the break, but couldn’t find the equalising goal.
After the reverse fixture was washed out a week earlier, Ashburton put themselves in the driving seat for a top three finish with a 4-0 home win over Dartmouth AFC. Damien Francis Furnivall scored twice for Ashes with Josh Moore and Jamie Tibbo completing the quartet. Kingsteignton Athletic jump up to fifth in the table with a 2-0 win in their derby at Newton Abbot Spurs, Luke Myers with a screamer in the top corner from thirty yards – and his first in ten years of senior football! Ashley Dove scored the other Rams goal. For Spurs it was their last game of the season and their last one in the Premier for a while as they drop down into Division One. Three points from their last two games are required for Ipplepen Athletic to avoid joining them after they went down 3-2 at home to East Allington United. It was a frustrating end to the game for Pens who had gone two up before two goals from Tom Rowdon and a single from Simon Hannaford turned the tables. Should Ipplepen beat either Dartmouth or Waldon, Loddiswell Athletic will go down instead after the South Hams side were the wrong end of a 4-3 scoreline at Kingskerswell and Chelston. The game started brightly for Lodds when a deep free-kick into the ‘Kerswell penalty area caused chaos with their 6’4″ centre-half leaping above the defence to head home. Chances were few and far between for much of the first half with ‘Kerswell getting back into it when Sam Watts’ bulldog-like attitude saw him grab a goal to level the terms. ‘Kerswell should have gone in front before the break but a good run from Aaron Knapman fizzled out when he found himself on the end of a cross only to lose his bearings at the last minute and for the ball to hit his thigh and trickle wide. ‘Kerswell started much sharper in the second half having a lot of possession and causing Loddiswell problems. A break down the left-hand side brought a good save from the ‘keeper, with the ball falling to ‘Kerswell talisman Tom Harwood to smash home from close range. ‘Kerswell started to shift through the gears now and a quick second from a Ben Cripwell flick from a corner found its way into the net. ‘Kerswell then looked to have sealed the game when Harwood again found himself free in the box to head into the top corner of the net. However, Loddiswell fought back tirelessly, scoring two in quick succession to make the last ten minutes a nervy affair. But it wasn’t to be and ‘Kerswell held on for an important victory which sealed their Premier place and left Lodds hoping on other results. Nick Miller scored twice at Barton Cricket Club as Upton Athletic drew 2-2 with Ivybridge Town Reserves.
Buckland Athletic Thirds wrapped up an impressive 14th win on the bounce at The Hams but hosts Harbertonford were worthy opponents and came closer than many to taking points from the Division One leaders. Nick Edmunds nodded Bucks in front in the first half, rising to meet a high free-kick into the box, but Fords did get the ball in the net, David Mortimore with a rocket shot which was disallowed for offside. Chris Newnham set the Yellows up for another league win when he turned and fired home a half-volley shortly after the restart but Harbertonford responded admirably, finally getting the goal their industry deserved when Daniel Bovey met a cross with a header past Paul Sharples in the visiting goal. Paignton Villa romped to a 13-0 win over Kingskerswell and Chelston Reserves who remain bottom; the goal glut also moves second-placed Villa out in front as the Division’s to scorers with 83 goals – more than four per game! Herald Cup finalists Roselands can move level on points if they beat Harbertonford tonight (Monday) after they scored the only goal at Chudleigh Athletic. Young striker Philip Corvisieri netted the only goal of the game from a Luke Dandy pass to make it 20 successive wins (excluding County Cup games). Beesands Rovers moved into the top six and put a spanner in the works of Newton Abbot ’66’s promotion bid with a 4-2 triumph at Osborne Park, Danny Tucker, Dave Lang, Fin Bullen and Kurt Thiele on target for the Bees. Watcombe Wanderers Reserves gave their survival hopes a boost by winning their six-pointer with Bovey Tracey Reserves 2-0, Shane Isaac putting the Greens ahead two minutes before the break and Luke Rhodes sealing the win in the 82nd minute.
Division Two side Kingsteignton Athletic Reserves booked their place in the Fred Hewings Cup Final at Plainmoor on May 1st with a 3-1 success in their replayed semi-final at home to Roselands Reserves. Roselands battled hard and James Beech scored another goal but it is the Rams who will play either Buckland Athletic Thirds or Bishopsteignton United for the trophy.
Paignton Saints reduced Salcombe Town’s Division Two lead to six points with a convincing 8-1 thumping of Newton United. Aaron Underhill opened, scoring early on for Saints by firing past Aiden Messer in the Newton goal, and the same player doubled the scoreline shortly after, this time his shot hitting both post and ‘keeper before crossing the line. Shaun Cotton and Jamie Ford then added a goal each before half-time to give Newton a mountain to climb. Despite the half-time scoreline, United still looked a well-organised and disciplined side and they started the second half well. It was no surprise when Ryan Hitt scored following some neat play to reduce the deficit and deny Saints’ debutant ‘keeper Jimmy Spriggs a clean sheet. Newton’s joy was short-lived though as Saints found a new lease of life. Jamie Ford added two more goals to complete his hat-trick before returning skipper Jamie Micklewright rounded off the scoring with a late brace, his second an excellently placed free-kick. Buckfastleigh Rangers received a set-back to their promotion hopes as they were well-beaten at Bishopsteignton United, Bennett with four and Grimshaw with the other in a 5-1 win for Bishops. AFC Staverton are back to winning ways and back into the top six after Jim Dyer, Dan Tucker and Jon Parsons gave them a 3-1 home victory over Stoke Gabriel Thirds who found the net through Worthington. Brixham Town were in impressive form at Longcross; Stewart and Morrallee found the net for Dartmouth AFC Reserves but Town struck gold seven times to take the points. Teignmouth Reserves moved further away from danger with a 2-0 triumph over bottom club Waldon Athletic Reserves at Coombe Valley.
Riviera United closed in on Division Three leaders Broadmeadow STFC with eight goals and a clean sheet away at Chudleigh Athletic Reserves, their eighth successive win in all competitions. Abbotskerswell finally ended Meadowbrook Athletic’s slim title hopes with a 2-0 win at the Dorothy Elmhirst. With debuts given to Matt Constable and Sam Massey, who had impressive performances, Torbay Police strolled to an 11-0 humbling of Upton Athletic Reserves who rarely left their own half. The dominant Bees played some excellent football at times and their delivery from set pieces was superb, particularly from the outstanding Adam Wheatland. Conor Smith and Ross Mogridge were untroubled at the back and solid midfield performances from Marc Graham, Stuart Pointon and Massey helped the Police to a comfortable victory with goals from Max Prestwood and Bobby Chancellor (four apiece), Zac Chancellor (two) and Chris Burgin. With ten games remaining, the Bees can still win the division! At the other end, the battle for survival threw up some surprises with Buckfastleigh Rangers Reserves enjoying their first win since February, beating Harbertonford Reserves 4-1 at the Duckspond, and East Allington United Reserves overcoming Ipplepen Athletic Reserves 2-1 to move off the foot of the table, Si Davis and Ben White with the goals.
Steps Cross was the place to be in Division Four where Barton Athletic knew they would have to make home advantage count against league leaders Kingsbridge and Kellaton United. Athletic duly dominated a scrappy game which ended with six bookings and a sending off for Tye Hawken who also scored and missed a penalty in an eventful afternoon for him. Kriss Darke also found the net for Barton who missed a bagful of chances en route to a 2-0 win. Athletic have now won 13 games in a row and are unbeaten in 17. The result tightens it up at the top of the league with lots of games to come between the top teams. Will Small hit a hat-trick for Ashburton Reserves as they overcame Torquay Town 7-3 away, Mitchell Murphy-Shaw with a brace and Danny Harry and Dale Davey with the others in a deserved win. An under-strength Town, who lost Jamie Fortune through injury to compact their problems, scored through Jordan Warner, Danny Phillips and a superb 60-yard run and finish from Graeme Armitage. Torbay Police Reserves bounced back from their recent poor spell of form by beating Newton Abbot ’66 Reserves 2-1 at Churston Grammar School in a hard-fought game. John Bolus and Darren Monday scored the all-important goals for the Bees while Wes Abercrombie stood in for the missing Jake Munday in goal. Newton Rovers secured back-to-back wins, scoring four goals without reply at home to Broadhempston United. Ant Smith bagged himself a hat-trick for Rovers with Guney Uven the other goalscorer. It was a first league win in five for Paignton Villa Reservers as they edged Dittisham United 3-2 away from home.
There were three games in Division Five with the surprise result of the day coming at Whiterock as Riviera United Reserves missed the chance of securing a second-place finish by going down 5-2 to Ilsington Villa. Jamie Teague scored twice for Villa with the other three delivered by birthday boy Matt Teague, Tom Bartlett and John Wright, from the penalty spot. Newton United Reserves moved into the top six with a derby win over Newton Rovers Reserves. Tom Masters claimed a hat-trick for United with Ben Austin scoring twice and Chris Meekings and Karl Samuel rounding off a productive afternoon for the home side. Josh Parsons-Dearing and Lee Smith found the net for Rovers who had Dave Clausen sent off. Malborough United have one hand on the stem of the wooden spoon after another defeat, Brixham AFC Thirds with a 4-2 away win.