“It’s Not Over”: Despite losing 6-1 to visiting Ashburton, Ipplepen Athletic (in white) still believe they can escape the drop. (c)MiraclePR.com
A productive first half hour for Windmill FC at The Rec on Tuesday night gave SDFL high-fliers East Allington United a mountain to climb in their delayed Throgmorton Premier Cup semi-final. With three goals in the opening 30 minutes, Windmill took a 3-1 lead into the break, scoring again afterwards to secure their place against the University of Exeter in May’s final.
The Pirates will now turn their attention to Tuesday night’s Herald Cup semi-final, again at The Rec, where they will hope to add another final date to the one they booked last Saturday. Andy Weeks’ side enjoyed their fourth victory over Kingsteignton Athletic this season in the George Belli Cup semi-final. In windy conditions at Poole Lane, Dan Robey and Si Hannaford found the net in the hard-fought 2-0 win and East Allington will face holders Waldon Athletic in the final which will take place on May 12th.
Buckland Athletic secured a 20th league win of the season but it was far from plain sailing for the Yellows as they nicked a seven goal thriller 4-3 at Kingskerswell and Chelston. The game started at a moderate pace with chances going to both sides until Buckland found a yard in the box and smashed home at the near post. That was followed up by a Buckland break down the left-hand side where an over-hit looping cross, aided by the wind, found its way over the ‘Kerswell ‘keeper and into the top right corner. A resilient ‘Kerswell team put the first 20 behind them and hit back with a double before half-time, the first rifled home by Tom Harwood from outside the box, quickly followed by a mistake in the Buckland defence which allowed Harwood to grab his second with an audacious lob over the ‘keeper. Buckland went ahead again when a shot from the Buckland player was parried into the onrushing striker to make it 3-2 at half time, Chris Harper with a double and James Colclough with the other. The second half started slowly with both teams cancelling each other out and chances hard to come by. ‘Kerswell found themselves on top for a spell in which Ashley Grimes was picked out at the back post to slot home and equalise, only for Buckland’s Sam Dicken to reply almost immediately from the kick-off to the frustration of the ‘Kerswell management team and players alike who had battled bravely to get back on level terms and felt they deserved a point.
“They battled really well for a young side,” said Buckland player-manager Lee Chapman. “It was a pretty even game barring the fact we had more clear-cut chances. We had four missing as we’re currently struggling with a lot of injuries so it was a bit of a makeshift team.”
Ashburton, the only team to beat Buckland in the league this season, were in fine form at Ipplepen Athletic, putting on a strong attacking display, especially in the second half, to return 6-1 winners. A brace by Sam Chorley and another by Damien Francis Furnivall put Ashes three up by the interval and Chorley completed his hat-trick after 52 minutes. Gareth Harris pulled a goal back for Pens on the hour mark – from the penalty spot – but substitute Jamie Tibbo fired across the goalkeeper and into the net 9 minutes later for 5-1, Josh Moore completing the scoring on 71 minutes. Ashburton also hit the woodwork three times and Brad Yarnall missed a penalty although Pens were fielding a team consisting mainly of reserve players.
“The Reserves have pretty much all stepped up to play for the firsts this season and I can’t fault them for their effort,” praised Ipplepen manager Jared Baker.
“It’s been a hard season but, from a club point of view, we’re looking to rebuild and have got a structure in place for next season. We’re going to bring in new managers and build around that with new players and new ideas.”
Ipplepen are currently locked in a tight battle to stay in the division and have a tough run in with Dartmouth, Waldon and East Allington their final three fixtures.
“Dartmouth is a six-pointer for us. If we can get a win against them and other teams around us slip up there’s an opportunity. It’s going to be hard but we’ll still keep fighting. It’s not over and if we’ve got everybody available there’s no reason we can’t beat those teams on our day.”
Loddiswell Athletic and Ivybridge Town Reserves could have both done with the three points as they bid to secure their Premier places for next year. But the points were shared with a goal scored apiece. Brixham AFC’s home game with Dartmouth AFC was abandoned after a Dartmouth player was injured.
Roselands ticked off a third cup final place with a 3-1 win at home to Totnes and Dartington Reserves in the Dartmouth Cup. Roselands were already short on players when they suffered a further blow by losing Sol Barclay early in the game with a nasty head injury. Despite the problems, the home side dug deep against a spirited and well-organised Tots team who were rewarded with a first half penalty. Roselands ‘keeper Josh Stride saved the spot kick and despite 90 minutes of huffing and puffing, neither side produced a goal in normal time. In extra-time though, Roselands’ fitness told with the Reds hitting three quick-fire goals, striker Richard Malone with another two to add to his season’s tally and Danny Brown killing the game off before Tots’ Daniel Block grabbed a consolation in the final minute.
With Buckland Athletic Third’s home game with Newton Abbot ’66 called off, Paignton Villa took the opportunity to close the gap on the Division One leaders to six points with a 3-0 home triumph over Babbacombe Corinthians. Dartmouth Cup finalists Stoke Gabriel Reserves welcomed their semi-final opponents Chudleigh Athletic to Broadley Lane for the second week in a row. This time, the visitors took their chances, scoring four times to Stoke’s three to take three points, Cockram, Tipper, Walne and Carroll with the goals. Watcombe Wanderers and Harbertonford fought out a 1-1 draw in an entertaining game at Long Lane, a point that moves the Greens off the foot of the table. Kingskerswell and Chelston Reserves take their place after they were unable to raise a side to play Beesands Rovers. The donated points move the Bees level with Harbertonford.
Despite Salcombe being in pole position all season, the race for the Division Two title could yet go right to the wire after a hugely entertaining match at The Berry saw visiting Paignton Saints return with a point. After a lively start from both sides, Salcombe drew first blood, Ryan Colmer forcing home a rebound. Luke Johnson levelled soon after for Saints, drilling home Shaun Cotton’s knockdown following a corner. Johnson went on to hit both bar and post in the second half as Saints carved out the better chances. Salcombe had their share of possession but were mostly restricted to long balls and deep crosses. Second-placed Liverton United Reserves couldn’t capitalise though, choosing the wrong time to have a bad day at the office as they crashed 4-1 at Teignmouth Reserves. Buckfastleigh Rangers were also unable to take advantage but only because their game away at Waldon Athletic Reserves fell foul of the previous days’ weather. Hookhills United had scored at least three goals in their past three games and did the same last Saturday courtesy of Paul Bramwell, Shaun Wingrove and an own goal. But hosts Bishopsteignton United collected the points with four strikes of their own, Bennett with a hat-trick and Tyler with the other Bishops strike. A 3-1 victory at AFC Staverton moved Brixham Town a point behind Stavy, Ash Wyatt with the hosts’ consolation. Stoke Gabriel Thirds conceded six in the cup last week but they scored six in the league this time out – with six different scorers. Beetschen, Dockrey, Hodge, Horrocks, Major and Worthington found the net for the Railwaymen in a 6-3 success at Dartmouth AFC Reserves. Kingsteignton Athletic Reserves put away eight at home to Newton United, 8-1 the final score from Broadpark.
Torbay Police made the Ronald Cup final with a 3-1 result at Meadowbrook Athletic. After playing most of the first period in the Meadowbrook half, the Bees weren’t clinical enough in the final third to create any clear cut opportunities other than a penalty, duly missed. They instead found themselves 1-0 down at half time, Brook’s Matt Evans taking advantage of a poor defensive line. Despite not playing much better in the second half, the Bees’ took control of the game and scored three times, Darren Munday with a close finish, Zac Chancellor scoring a penalty and brother Bobby smashing home a left-footed drive from 25 yards.
Division Three leaders Broadmeadow STFC enjoyed a 5-0 romp over Teign Village. After a goalless first 35 minutes, the floodgates opened with Charlie Ross edging the home side ahead and a quick-fire double from Jack Haytread and Tom Grant around the 40 minute mark sending Broadmeadow in 3-0 up. Jai Campbell and Aaron Gooding completed the scoring in the second half. Harbertonford Reserves were also 5-0 victors over East Allington United Reserves, Luke Forward with a hat-trick and Dave Hatch with a brace in that one. Form side Riviera United remain hot on the double trail after a 2-1 home win over Roselands Reserves. The first half was pretty even but saw little action apart from a couple of half chances. The second half also started slowly, with most of the play in midfield, until two Rivi goals in the space of ten minutes raised the stakes, Stephen Rohan netting in the 49th minute and James Parker with a 58th minute goal. Roselands were given a way back when United lost Ashley Dewdney to a 71st minute red card, Tom Cadman duly scoring after good work from the Reds’ man-of-the match Callum Vickery. But it was all to little too late as the home side bagged the three points. Cook, Mills and Smith found the net for Chudleigh Athletic Reserves as they bounced back from last week’s hammering at Meadowbrook to overcome relegation-threatened Upton Athletic Reserves 3-1.
Only two games were played in Division Four. Ashburton Reserves climbed up to second place with a 3-2 home win over Newton Rovers. The game wasn’t a classic but goals from Alex Boon, Ben Drinkwater and substitute Carl Roles clinched the points for Ashes, Ant Smith and James Ash-Chad with an own goal for Rovers. Newton Abbot ’66 Reserves scored five for the second game in a row as they put bottom club Broadhempston United to the sword, 5-0 the score from Osborne Park.
Dan Lawton added four to his tally as Babbacombe Corinthians hammered Newton Rovers Reserves 10-0 away, Luke Petty weighing in with a hat-trick, Marco Armbruster scoring twice and Almardo Folloni with the other Corries goal. Leaders Bishopsteignton United Reserves made it 16 wins out of 16 by winning 7-0 at Chudleigh Athletic Thirds, Bishops’ strikes coming from Geoff Breslan, who scored twice, Pete Summerfield, Josh Hall, Craig Stonelake, Gary Moore and Alan Stuckey. Stoke Fleming and Strete became the first SDFL side to hang up their boots this season, finishing with a 6-4 away win at Malborough United despite not playing at their best. Stoke, currently fifth, are now almost certain to finish in the top half, especially with both Ilsington Villa and Newton United Reserves losing. After going two down to visiting Barton Athletic Reserves, Mike Tapp’s second-half strike gave Villa hope. Barton extended their lead but Tapp struck again to set up a tense finish, Athletic holding on for the win. Watts Blake Bearne AFC enjoyed their first win in four, Oliver Avery, Matthew Ormerod and Kieran Parkin on target in a 3-1 away win at Newton United Reserves.