Broadside: Promoted Broadmeadow score five at Buckfastleigh Rangers in their Division Two season opener. (c) Jai Campbell.
Buckland Athletic Reserves manager Neil Snell had bemoaned his side’s lack of preparation time ahead of their SDFL League opener at Dartmouth AFC last Friday night.
At half time he might have been wondering what he had been worried about as the three-time defending champions had already surged into a three goal lead. The second half was a closer affair but Buckland ended the night 5-1 victors, Chris Srdinko and Sam Dicken with a brace apiece and Matt Beer with the other goal. Will Kenny hit Darts’ consolation.
Last season’s runners-up Waldon Athletic faced a Kingsteignton Athletic side more than capable of digging out a result as last season’s run-in proved (the Rams enjoyed 5-1 wins at both Buckland and Waldon). This game was an equally high-scoring affair but it was the Clarets who bagged the points, emerging 4-3 winners at Windmill Hill. Rams’ scorers were new signing Ollie Kewell, Tom Reeves and Jakeb Heywood-Cann.
Watcombe Wanderers also got their campaign under way with a 4-3 home win, Simon Ross finding the net twice and Cieran Bridger and Sonwabile Mlenze with the others. Brixham AFC Reserves were their defeated opponents.
Upton Athletic had the chance to make amends for last season’s Herald Cup defeat at the hands of then-Division One side Paignton Villa. Strikes from prolific Portuguese goalscorer Rui de Garces, Ashley Hoare and Lee Chamberlain ensured there would be no debut delight for Villa at Cricketfield Lane, 3-1 the final outcome.
Jamie Chamberlain pulled on the blue of Kingskerswell and Chelston today and his hat-trick helped to send Roselands to a second consecutive defeat, 4-2 the final score with the other home goal an own goal from a long throw. Joe Massey and Lewis Round netted for the Reds.
Loddiswell Athletic’s brief spell at the top of the table is at an end as highly fancied Ashburton won 2-1 at the Loddiswell Playing Fields, Carl Roles and Shaun Waldron scoring.
Harbertonford and Chudleigh Athletic both secured decent away wins to remain unbeaten at the top of Division One. Jake Eastley and Michael Summers scored two apiece for Fords as they won 6-3 at newly-promoted Salcombe Town, Tommy Weymouth and Jacon Kneebone with the others. Salcombe man-of-the-match was Charlie Barnes who opened his account with a double, Ashley Yeoman also up and running. Aaron Paget scored a goal in each half for Chudleigh in a 3-1 triumph away at Newton Abbot ’66, Brad Yarnell with Athletic’s other strike in the latter stages. In pre-season manager Derek Chester had been confident about Totnes and Dartington’s readiness for the new season following their Peninsula side’s withdrawal. His side started well by winning 5-2 away at Beesands Rovers, Fin Bullen and Chris Smallridge with the Bees’ consolations. Paignton Saints were the only promoted side in the top two division’s to make a winning start, a Shaun Cotton double and Ian Simons goal earning Saints the points in a 3-2 victory over relegated Newton Abbot Spurs Reserves who had led 2-0 at half-time through Ryan Sanders and Sam Hancox. Six goals were shared at Buckland Athletic Thirds as a last minute equaliser brought Babbacombe Corinthians a point, Luke Petty with a brace and Dean Coles with the visitors’ goals, Lee Pike, Corey Price and Joe Constantinou netting for Buckland. Honours were also even at Moor Road as Ipplepen Athletic were held 2-2 by Watcombe Wanderers Reserves, Aaron Darby and substitute Neil Boldick scoring for Pens, Ricky Bergin and Owen Stockton with Watcombe’s goals.
Liverton United Reserves got off to a flier in Division Two. The Lillies faded away during the latter part of last season but kicked off this campaign with a 7-0 win at Newton United, who survived relegation by the skin of their teeth! Also starting their season with a big away win were Bovey Tracey Reserves who scored six without reply at Kingsteignton United Reserves. Lewis Perring celebrated his return with a hat-trick while last year’s top scorer Alistair Chuchuk, Thomas Leach and Chester Walters completed the job. Torbay Police were a third side celebrating a win and a clean sheet as the Division Three double winners overcame fellow promoted side Riviera United 4-0. After surviving a first half aerial onslaught, brought about by giving away a number of free-kicks and corners, the Bees nicked their first when Zac Chancellor won the ball high up the pitch, danced around a few challenges and put brother Bobby in to score from close range. Captain Max Prestwood scored the second within seconds of the re-start, Bobby Chancellor providing the assist, and they never looked back from there. Riviera barely mustered a shot during the second half which saw Zac Chancellor fire in an unstoppable volley and Prestwood bag his second to secure a convincing win. The Police were the only side in Division Two to avoid home defeat as both Broadmeadow STFC and Bishopsteignton United returned from their day trips with the spoils. Broads won 5-2 at Buckfastleigh Rangers with former Bishops goalscorers Chris Bennett (hat-trick) and Josh Hall on target; Ben Whatmore scored one of two last minute strikes to complete the scoring. Charlie Morgan and Colin Hayman scored Rangers’ goals, both delivered in the first half. Ben Murphy and Ian Hill kicked off their first game at Bishops’ helm by beating Hookhills United 4-3.
In Division Three, Harbertonford Reserves made it two out of two by overcoming Carl Hoare’s Dartmouth AFC Reserves 4-2 at The Ham. Jordan Baggott scored twice for Fords with David Hatch and Samuel Hardman the other home scorers. Nick Rushe and Freddie Smith netted for Darts. Ben Bowhay had an afternoon to savour, hitting all five of Meadowbrook Athletic’s goals in their comprehensive win at Abbotskerswell; Clark Hale scored for Abbots. Teign Village opened the scoring at home to promoted Barton Athletic, James Kelly with a goal on 15 minutes. But things went downhill for the hosts from there on in, Lee Henriques, Mark Lucas, Tony McCarthy and James Thomas turning the tables as Athletic ran out 4-1 winners. Goals from Tyler Andrews and Matt James secured the points for Roselands Reserves in a 2-0 home victory against Chudleigh Athletic while Division Four champions Ashburton Reserves picked up some easy points as Ipplepen Athletic Reserves failed to raise a team.
In Division Four, promoted Babbacombe Corinthians Reserves were also gifted three points as Division Five double-winners Bishopsteignton United also failed to fulfil their home fixture. On the pitch, Kingsbridge and Kellaton United were the biggest winners managing four at Riviera United Reserves without reply. There was also a win and a clean sheet for East Allington United, Rob Hutchings and Rob Bigwood doing the damage in their 2-0 triumph at home to Paignton Villa Reserves. An eventful match at the King George V Playing Fields saw Torquay Town battle against the odds to beat Newton Abbot ’66 Reserves. Town were 3-2 down at half-time and lost two players through red cards but still found three second half goals to run out 5-4 victors. Danny and James Rushe scored braces apiece with Hemming adding his name to the score-sheet for Town. The remaining two games ended with 3-2 wins for the home sides. Dittisham United, who didn’t even score a goal until October last season, overcame Buckfastleigh Rangers Reserves in their opener. Matt Billingham’s Torbay Police Reserves also began their season with a win, going three up through a Paul Christie double and Jamie Swindells goal before conceding twice as Newton Rovers roared back through Guney Uven and Kieran Fletcher.
Top scorers of the afternoon were Brixham AFC Thirds who put away nine at home to Newton United Reserves to go top of Division Five. A Steven Ready hat-trick and further goals from Luke Barton and Ryan Corcoran got Barton Athletic Reserves off to a winning start. Barton won 5-2 over a Chudleigh Athletic Thirds side who scored through Smith and Chaffe. A John Wright header, from a Ryan Wills cross, and a great Greg Parke finish following a one-on-one ensured a winning start for Ilsington Villa away at Newton Rovers Reserves while Sam Stowell and Daniel Martin scored the goals for Watts Blake Bearne at home to a weakened Stoke Fleming and Strete side, both games ending 2-0. Watcombe Wanderers Thirds returned to the SDFL with a win,edging relegated Broadhempston United 4-3 with goals from Bailey Clarke, Charlie Cuss, Steeve Yava and Zane Turner. Broads goals came from Dean Barter, Albi Cutajar and substitute Sehena Coulibaly.