Scrapping for Survival: Kingskerswell & Chelston Reserves (blue) fought hard but went down 5-1 at Chudleigh Athletic. (c)MiraclePR
Holders Waldon Athletic are out of the Herald Cup as last year’s beaten finalists Buckland Athletic Reserves made amends at Homers Heath and kept themselves on course for the double. The match was fairly uneventful until Jordan Ewing scored for the hosts just before half time. Zak Gleeson headed the Clarets level soon after the break though and the Buckland ‘keeper saved well from the same player moments later. The Clarets thought they had scored from the resulting corner but referee Dave Corderoy ruled that the ball hadn`t crossed the line. The moment proved something of a turning point as Buckland took control of the game and edged themselves ahead again through Shane Gill. Both teams scored again in the last five minutes, first Ewing made it 3-1 before Ashley Harris pulled it back to 3-2.
The prospect of yet another Buckland v Watcombe Wanderers final rears its head as the Greens dispatched Ivybridge Town Reserves 2-0 at Long Lane, Mike Fieldhouse and Ryan Finch on target to put Watcombe into the semis.
After last season’s dismal County Cup record, things are looking brighter for the SDFL this season with a team in each of the three semi-finals. In the Throgmorton Devon Premier Cup, goals from Andy Davis, Lee Morgan and Tom Rowdon away at Newtown sent the Devon and Exeter League leaders crashing out, two of the goals coming from direct free-kicks. Next up for the Pirates is Windmill FC. In the Firewatch Devon Senior Cup, Roselands overcame Alphington Reserves who are managed by ex-Gillingham and Plymouth Argyle player Mark Saunders. The management asked for a quick start and Richard Malone duly obliged with a left-footed finish in the second minute of the game from a Marc Hagland pass. Roselands, playing in an unfamiliar white strip, kept the pressure on and once again man-of-the-match Hagland created the chance for Danny Brown who thundered a strike into the roof of the net from the angle. Roselands kept control of the game, with Tom Dunlop bossing the back three, only to concede an unnecessary free-kick ten minutes before half time. Alphington finished with a neat header to reduce the arrears. The second half was a case of shutting up shop with the midfield trio of Mitch McMillan, Dex Allsworth and Luke Dandy working hard on a difficult surface and leading Roselands into the last four. The Red men will be hoping to emulate their Devon Intermediate Cup win from two seasons back. There was one guaranteed place for South Devon in the semis of that competition with previously unbeaten Bishopsteignton United Reserves at home to Torbay Police from two divisions above. Despite fielding a strong side and hitting the post, the Bees found themselves two down before Max Prestwood pulled one back before the break. They then conceded a poor goal immediately after the restart but remained well in the game especially after the hosts were reduced to ten men following a red card. Steve Smith rose highest for the Police to bring the game back to 2-3 and then Sargent put the ball in the net but that one was chalked off for offside. After Bobby Chancellor was fouled, Zac Chancellor curled the free-kick home for the equaliser before Callum Brennan, introduced down the right hand side, lobbed home superbly from a tight angle to fire the visitors in front for the first time – a lead which they kept hold of until the final whistle as Bishops lost their first game of the season, their goals supplied by Moore (2) and Beeson. Fellow South Devon side Ashburton Reserves were unable to join them though, losing out 3-1 to Royal Oak FC from the Devon and Exeter League.
A goal from Damien Francis Furnivall earned Ashburton a draw at Brixham AFC Reserves, the point enough to move the Ashes temporarily above Waldon into second. Dartmouth AFC moved up to fourth with a convincing 5-0 home win over Kingskerswell and Chelston, Rimmer with a brace and Rankin, Danny Rushe and Chalk with the other goals. A ten-goal affair at Barton Cricket Club saw Upton Athletic defeat visiting Loddiswell Athletic 7-3. There were braces for Jordan Kewell, Rui de Garces and Andrew Walker with Oliver Kewell also finding the net. Elsewhere, Kingsteignton Athletic were held 2-2 at Ipplepen Athletic.
With Roselands on cup duty, Buckland Athletic Thirds took the opportunity to move level on points at the top of Division One with the only goal at Stoke Gabriel Reserves. Paignton Villa kept up the pressure in third spot, winning 7-0 at home to Watcombe Wanderers Reserves, while Newton Abbot ’66 hit five without reply at Beesands Rovers to keep their title hopes very much alive. Sean Boldick scored twice for the Sixes with Darren Morgan, Aaron Thompson and Jonathan Clyne managing singles. Evidence of the earlier snowfall lay on the ground at Chudleigh Athletic where relegation-threatened Kingskerswell and Chelston went one down to an own goal in the first minute. As Chudleigh took their foot off the pedal, the visitors found an equaliser and created several more chances before Ben Tipper’s 33rd minute strike restored Athletic’s lead. When a marginal offside decision denied Kingskerswell a second equaliser, Chudleigh made the most of the let off to go 3-1 up through an Ollie Williams tap in on the stroke of half-time. Kingskerswell came out fighting in the second half and the game was end to end in spells but Chudleigh strengthened as the game wore on. In the 64th minute, they were denied, from the penalty spot, by the visiting goalkeeper and then, in another marginal offside ruling, Williams’ strike into the top of the net was chalked off by the linesman’s flag. The fourth goal finally came, through Dan Yates, in the 77th minute with Williams quickest to react after another great save to score a fifth in stoppage time. Returning centre-back Jonty Kingston starred for Babbacombe Corinthians who battled to a 2-0 home victory over Bovey Tracey Reserves, Callum Crews with both goals.
Salcombe Town made it four wins in a row with a 4-1 victory over AFC Staverton. Charlie Barnes scored twice for the Crabs with Ashley Yeoman and Nick Bonnet also finding the net. Jon Parsons scored the visitors’ sole goal. Buckfastleigh Rangers had stunned Paignton Saints at Belfield in October with a 7-0 triumph but, despite missing several key regular players, Saints made amends at the Duckspond. However, they fell behind within the first five minutes before Billy Reay stabbed the ball home from a corner to send the teams in level at the break. In the second half, Saints soon took a grip on the game, Aaron Underhill crossing for Matt Furness to put Saints in front. Buckfastleigh equalised from the spot but Saints stepped up another gear with further goals from Nyron Conner, Underhill and Sam Winstanley putting the game beyond reach before a late consolation reduced the deficit. The result means that Salcombe now lead the division by ten points. Liverton United collected three points with a home walkover over Teignmouth Reserves while Brixham Town moved up above Stoke Gabriel Thirds and up into the top six with an away walkover against the Railwaymen. A Bennett hat-trick and single from Barley saw Bishopsteignton United pull off a decent 4-2 away win at Hookhills United while Kingsteignton Athletic Reserves enjoyed their best win of the season scoring seven goals without reply against Dartmouth AFC Reserves. Newton United, who had failed to win a point or score a goal in the previous three, managed to achieve both with a 4-0 success away at Waldon Athletic Reserves, Guttridge, Harry, Hayman and Cheadle with the goals.
The top two in Division Three met at the Dorothy Elmhirst with Ben Bowhay’s fine shot rescuing a late point for hosts Meadowbrook Athletic after Broadmeadow STFC had opened the scoring. The result was excellent news for Riviera United Reserves who closed the gap to one point after a comprehensive 9-2 home victory over Chudleigh Athletic Reserves, Crowe and Towell with the visitors’ consolations. Abbotskerswell and Upton Athletic met at Abbots Park in what turned out to be a very one-sided affair. Abbots had the lion’s share of possession throughout the 90 minutes but grabbed just one goal for their efforts in the first half. Upton made wholesale changes at half time, making three substitutions in an effort to stem the tide. Unfortunately it was to no avail as Abbots found their ruthless streak in the second half, scoring a further four goals to put the result out of sight, Upton with two consolations. Abbots will be buoyed by two straight wins which moves them above Teign Village who lost their home game 5-3 to fellow strugglers Buckfastleigh Rangers Reserves. Harbertonford Reserves progress to the quarter-finals of the Ronald Cup by beating Roselands Reserves 4-1 away.
A goalless draw at Newton Rovers was not quite enough for Kingsbridge and Kellaton United to go top of Division Four, Torbay Police Reserves still ahead on goal difference and with a game in hand. Barton Athletic break into the top three with a 2-0 victory at Dittisham United but Ashburton Reserves, a point behind have played three games less. With a win apiece and 17 goals scored in their first two league games expectations were high for an entertaining third fixture between Newton Abbot 66 Reserves and Paignton Villa Reserves. The match didn’t disappoint with Newton 66 winning 8-5! Torquay Town continued the form that saw them beat the leaders in late January with a well-earned three points at Broadhempston United. Another close game between the two sides went Town’s way with Jamie Guy, Jamie Fortune and Jordan Warner on target in a 3-2 win.
Riviera United Reserves are making the most of their time at the top of Division Five, playing Chudleigh Athletic Thirds off the park in a resounding 8-0 victory, six of the goals scored in the first half. Babbacombe Corinthians Reserves are still going strong in third place, Luke Petty with both goals in a 2-2 home draw against Stoke Fleming and Strete. Newton United Reserves got back to winning ways with a 5-2 triumph at Paignton Saints Reserves who slump to a second consecutive loss. Chris Meekings added another two to his tally and there were also goals from Bradford, Crowhurst and Bunday. Ian Simons hit both goals for the home side. Ilsington Villa strengthened their top six berth with a 6-2 win at Watts Blake Bearne AFC, four goals scored in the second half. The two strikers were on form for Villa with Jamie Teague grabbing a hat-trick and Dan Uglow with a brace. Substitute Tom Bartlett was also among the goals. It’s now three wins on the spin for Barton Athletic Reserves after their 5-2 home win against Newton Rovers Reserves.