Rangers In Form: As Salcombe falter, a fine 2-0 win at AFC Staverton moves Buckfastleigh (in green) three points closer to the top of Division Two. (c)MiraclePR
Upton Athletic gave Buckland Athletic Reserves a scare at Homers Heath but after going one down to the Torquay side, the league leaders turned it around to claim another three points towards the defence of their title. Sam Dicken found Bucks’ equaliser before Matt Beer notched another in a prolific season. Ashburton have their work cut out to keep pace but they got straight down to business at home to Ipplepen Athletic. After Brad Yarnall had opened the scoring, the goals kept coming with Sam Chorley netting twice and Josh Moore on target in the first half. Further goals from Liam Clifford and Yarnall again wrapped up a fine 6-0 victory for the Ashes. Waldon Athletic pulled clear of rivals Watcombe Wanderers to make third place their own after a hard-fought match on the slopes of King George. Watcombe twice took the lead in the first half but with a trademark Zak Gleeson header in between, the game was poised at 2-1 before, with half-time looming, the match faced a big turning point with Watcombe awarded a penalty. Up stepped Clarets goalkeeper Kitson Glanville with a brilliant save and, after the break, another Gleeson header had Watcombe reeling. Josh Mason rose the highest with yet another header to win the visitors all three points. After three consecutive defeats, Newton Abbot Spurs Reserves travelled to Armada Park looking for at least a point against Kingskerswell and Chelston. But despite goals from Andy Eden, Liam Price and Dan Spargo, the home side hit five to move themselves further from danger. East Allington United enjoyed their fourth consecutive league win at the expense of neighbours Loddiswell Athletic, Simon Hannaford with another four goals as the Pirates ran rampant at Poole Lane with six goals and a clean sheet to boot; Fred Massey and Andy Davis were the other home goalscorers. Dartmouth AFC moved above Kingsteignton Athletic and into the top six with a deserved home win over the Rams, John Rimmer with both goals in that game. Brixham AFC Reserves’ unbeaten run continued with a 3-0 triumph at Ivybridge Town Reserves who are now next to bottom but with several games in hand.
In Division One, a big clash at Osborne Park saw Newton Abbot ’66 hoping to put a halt to the Roselands juggernaut but the Red Army picked up their ninth successive league victory, winning 5-2. It took just 30 seconds for Danny Brown to open the scoring in a competitive first half where the football sometimes took a back seat. But a penalty save, two great saves from goalkeeper Josh Stride and further goals from youngster Sol Barcley and captain Tom Dunlop put the Reds three up at half time. The second half saw Roselands continue to attack but without adding more goals. ’66 sensed this and a good five minute spell for them ended with two goals courtesy of Gary Fisher and Aaron Thompson. This spurred Roselands on, Luke Dandy grabbing a fourth with a neat volley and, soon after, striker Marc Hagland sidefooting a fifth past the home ‘keeper. Not too far behind the leaders though are the only team to beat them – Buckland Athletic Thirds. The Yellows also pulled off a decent away win by beating Chudleigh Athletic 4-2, Price, Edmunds, Tovagliari and Cowling on target; Carroll scored both goals for Athletic. Harbertonford drop to third after they went down 3-0 at home to Paignton Villa on a heavy pitch. Villa controlled the first half and were two up by the break, the second a penalty. Fords took the fight to their visitors after the interval but despite their pressure, Villa’s substitute successfully chased down a back pass to poach a third. Bottom side Kingskerswell and Chelston Reserves moved to within a point of Bovey Tracey Reserves; ‘Kerswell defeated Babbacombe Corinthians 5-2 for only their second win of the season. Bovey were away at Totnes and Dartington Reserves and although they had their chances, the home ‘keeper had relatively little to do. In fact, there were no goals at all in the first half but in the 48th minute, Tots broke the deadlock before extending their lead to two, Abrahams and Biggs with the goals. Alistair Chuchuk headed the Moorlanders back into the game but couldn’t prevent a 2-1 loss. Beesands Rovers have yet to win this year; the Bees lost out 3-2 at Stoke Gabriel Reserves who bring their three match losing streak to a satisfying end.
Ollie Stallard, Matt Thorn and Nick Bonnet found the net for Salcombe Town but it was in vain as the leaders fell to a 5-3 defeat at hard-working Kingsteignton Athletic Reserves. In second place, a clinical Buckfastleigh Rangers made their chances count at AFC Staverton to win 2-0 and close the gap to four points with a game in hand. Paignton Saints were away at Stoke Gabriel Thirds and after a scrappy, hard-fought first half hour, they gained control when Shaun Cotton’s corner was headed home by Sam Winstanley. Joe Jordan doubled Saints lead before half-time, running on to Cotton’s through-ball to fire past the ‘keeper. Saints started the second half firmly on the front foot, Cotton with the third goal minutes after the restart following a long spell of Saints possession. With the game effectively over, Saints switched their priority towards keeping another clean sheet but still added a further two goals, first Matt Furness’ cross resulted in an own goal, then Matt Reed capped of another good day for Saints with the fifth, the visitors now back up to third. Waldon Athletic Reserves finally moved off the bottom with the only goal against Dartmouth AFC Reserves. The game saw veteran defender Dave Clark, who is playing alongside his 16-year old son Ben at Waldon this season, claim the winner. Replacing them at the foot of the division are Teignmouth Reserves who were soundly beaten 6-0 at Newton United, Guttridge with a hat-trick and Hayman, Middlehurst and Madden with one apiece. Liverton United Reserves wrapped up consecutive 3-0 away wins at Bishopsteignton United while Brixham Town, who drew 1-1 with Hookhills United complete the top six.
Broadmeadow STFC were the big movers in Division Three, climbing four places to overtake Riviera United at the top of the table. The only goal came when Todd Ballman found Andy Espley with a clever angled ball and the striker finished cooly. Opponents Meadowbrook Athletic struggled to create any clear chances as the Broads back line held firm. Chudleigh Athletic Reserves missed their chance to go top with defeat at Roselands Reserves. Athletic started very brightly but it was Roselands who took the lead when James Beech found himself out wide to set up Ricky Duncanson after just five minutes. Again Chudleigh continued to play some neat football on a tough surface but once again it was Roselands who extended their lead when Colin Brown picked the ball up twenty yards out and found the back of the net. As the half closed out, Brown found himself provider this time assisting Beech for the third goal of the game. Despite being 3-0 up at half time the Roselands management duo had some stern words for their players but it was Chudleigh who were to add the only goal of the half, Towell scoring direct from a corner. It took a while for Torbay Police to break down a stubborn East Allington United Reserves defence, but their dominance over the bottom side finally paid off when Bowser scored the only goal of the half ten minutes before the whistle. After the second goal went in, the Pirate’s resolve dwindled and the Bees scored a further five, Sammy Kelly coming off the bench to score with his first touch and assist with his second. Kelly and Bowser both completed braces while the other strikes came from Max Prestwood, Bobby Chancellor and Marc Graham. It was also the first clean sheet of the season for Torbay Police with their goalkeeper making two great saves near the end. The mid-table clash between Ipplepen Athletic Reserves and Teign Village ended all square with three goals apiece while Abbotskerswell scored twice in the second half to win 3-2 at Buckfastleigh Rangers Reserves for consecutive victories on their travels.
Torbay Police Reserves secured a third away league win on the spin at Dittisham United, Paul Christie with four of the goals with Chris Burgin and Nick Webb also contributing. The Bees lead one of the league’s form teams, Kingsbridge and Kellaton United, by just a single point, the South Hams side making it seven wins in a row at Newton Rovers, Ben Smith and Andrew Tildesly on target in a 2-1 win. Third-placed Ashburton Reserves lost for the first time this season, defeated 6-3 at Paignton Villa Reserves in something of a shock result; Ashes had plenty of chances and missed a penalty but it was Villa’s day. Barton Athletic racked up the biggest goal haul of the day, knocking eight past Newton Abbot ’66 Reserves who managed one in reply. Torquay Town and Broadhempston United were both hoping to end horrendous losing streaks of six and seven respectively. Town finally had something to cheer about after edging Broads 2-1 at King George V despite going down to ten men; Jamie Fortune and George Stahlmann scored the goals in a battling win.
Bishopsteignton United’s 100 per cent record is still intact in Division Five. Bishops beat leaders Riviera United Reserves 3-0 on Friday night, at Coach Road, in a match held in memory of Bishops’ Scott Hanks. Bishops, who scored through Hall, Langdell and Summerfield, now sit just two points behind United with four games spare. With Belfield deemed unplayable, Babbacombe Corinthians Reserves took the opportunity to close to within two points of Paignton Saints Reserves with a 2-0 triumph at bottom side Malborough United; Andy Bartlett and Jon Briscomb netted Corries’ goals. Ilsington Villa made it three wins in a row, moving above opponents Stoke Fleming and Strete with a 2-0 victory at Lewthorne Cross, Mike Tapp with a penalty and Tommy Smith with the other goal. Finally, a single goal at home to Newton Rovers Reserves was enough to bring Brixham AFC Thirds their first points in four games and move them above Rovers and further from the bottom of the league.