Whatever Kingsteignton Athletic were expecting from their trips to leaders Buckland Athletic Reserves and second-placed Waldon Athletic – on paper, their hardest games of the season – it was almost certainly not ten goals and six points! Yet that’s what the Rams collected as they humbled both Clarets and Bucks with back-to-back 5-1 victories.
Their first shock win came at Windmill Hill last Tuesday night with Kingsteignton showing signs of their intent by unveiling Galmpton’s Matt Barkwell and other Peninsula players. But it was Tom Reeves who opened up the scoring on 22 minutes and, a minute later, Toby Pullman who made it 2-0 to give the visitors a half-time lead. Two minutes after the restart, Pullman hit the target again, after some poor defending, and it looked like there would be no way back for Waldon – in both the game and the title race. Waldon did manage to pull a goal back through Zak Gleeson before Pullman completed his hat-trick from the penalty spot, Dove with the fifth goal for the surprise victors. The result meant that a win for Buckland on the Saturday and defeat for Waldon would have sealed the title for the Yellows. Unfortunately for the leaders, they were also at home to the Rams who were once more in no mood to follow any scripts; Buckland were also ominously light on numbers going into the game. Toby Pullman notched another two and Tom Reeves earned the match ball with a hat-trick to repeat their 5-1 midweek scoreline. Over at Armada Park, Waldon did what they could to stay in contention for another week: The Clarets took the lead midway through the first half when Chris Harrity drove into the box and squared for Jack Gatting to score with a neat finish. It wasn`t long before a spirited ‘Kerswell drew level, Sam Alfieri lashing the ball into the roof of the net after his team-mates had kept the ball alive from a corner. Gatting then got his second; sneaking in as a defender tried to see the ball out, he then skipped past another before slipping it past the ‘keeper. The Clarets took control a bit more in the second half and Harrity crossed again, this time Zak Gleeson powering home to make sure they took all three points home with them. So, Buckland might still need two wins from their last three games to successfully defend their title – and with two of those games away at Kingsteignton and Waldon, Saturday’s final home game against Ivybridge Town Reserves is one they will definitely want to secure all three points from. Ivybridge did well to earn a point at second-placed Ashburton on Saturday, particularly after being two down in that match to goals from Damien Francis Furnivall and Jamie Tibbo. Brixham AFC Reserves played and won twice in three days, signing off their last home game in style with a 3-0 victory over Dartmouth AFC in midweek before edging Watcombe Wanderers 4-3 at Long Lane on Saturday. The Fishermen now have a break before their final match away at East Allington United on 2nd May.
Kingsteignton Athletic Reserves now know who they will face in the Fred Hewings Cup final on May 1st. Division One title hunters Buckland Athletic Thirds took a 2-0 lead at Division Five leaders and Bill Treeby Cup winners Bishopsteignton United Reserves but Bishops rallied, Cousins netting to threaten a comeback. But Buckland held out to win 2-1 and make the final of a competition they have won four times in the last six years.
With Roselands recovering from their Herald Cup final and Buckland Thirds playing in the Fred Hewings Cup, Paignton Villa jumped to the top of Division One, winning the first of the three home games that finish off their season. Visiting Beesands Rovers managed to find the net three times through Danny Tucker, Will Garner and Finley Bullen but Villa inched towards the 100-goal mark with five goals. Villa completed their away fixtures last Tuesday evening with a 4-2 success at Chudleigh Athletic. Roselands, who still have eight league games left to play, collected another three points at home to Harbertonford last Monday evening. Despite the narrow 2-1 margin, the Reds felt that only a great display from Fords ‘keeper Stuart Joliffe together with a succession of missed chances from their own set pieces prevented a heavy home victory. Harbertonford striker Daniel Bovey gave his side the lead in the first half with a neat turn and finish, Micheal Bradfield-Payne equalising in the 29th minute. It was left to Sol Barclay, pushed into a midfield position, to hit the winner seven minutes from time from a Marc Hagland corner. Dexter Allsworth was given the Roselands man-of-the-match award for his whole-hearted midfield display. Fords played their penultimate game on Saturday, moving up into the top four with a convincing 8-2 triumph at Totnes and Dartington Reserves despite going two down! Harbertonford’s final game of the season will be at Stoke Gabriel Reserves who overcame Babbacombe Corinthians 3-0 at Broadley Lane.
In Division Two, Paignton Saints continue to chip away at Salcombe Town’s lead, closing the gap to three points with a comprehensive victory over a decent looking Liverton United Reserves side whose own hopes of a top two finish look to be over. Shaun Cotton opened the scoring for Saints with a low drive beating James Wannell in the Livvy goal. Billy Reay added the second, tapping in after a fumble by Wannell. Midway through the first half, Wannell was then involved in a nasty collision with Saints striker Luke Johnson and, despite lengthy treatment, he was unable to play any further part in the match. The long stoppage seemed to work in Liverton’s favour, as they finished the half the stronger team but were unable to find a way past Jimmy Spriggs in the Saints goal. Saints regrouped during the interval and started the second half well, soon increasing their lead with Joe Jordan bundling home a shot from Johnson. Marc Shears temporarily reduced the deficit for Liverton before a fine Jamie Micklewright brace killed the game as a contest. There was still time for one more goal, Kurtley Hassall stabbing the ball home for his first goal for the club. Buckfastleigh Rangers are still in with a shout of the runners-up spot after they were awarded a home walkover against AFC Staverton who were unable to raise a side. Brixham Town followed up last week’s 7-2 win over Dartmouth AFC Reserves with a 6-2 victory at St Mary’s Park against the same opponents. Baxter scored twice for Stoke Gabriel Thirds as they repeated their 2-1 Lidstone cup win over Waldon Athletic in their league game at Windmill Hill. Waldon, who have lost five league games in a row, remain bottom. Teignmouth Reserves enjoyed back-to-back wins by beating Kingsteignton Athletic Reserves 3-1 at Broadpark, Mike Sanders with the penalty consolation for the Rams.
In Division Three, Roselands Reserves pulled off a 3-2 away win over leaders Broadmeadow STFC to leave the title still wide open. Adam Blackburn opened the scoring with Roselands’ man-of-the-match James Beech hitting a double. But the feel good factor at Poole Lane, following East Allington United’s Herald Cup win, meant that second-placed Riviera United were unable to capitalise, their eight game winning run ending at East Allington Reserves, Fin Watson with a brace. These results were great news for Torbay Police who look likely title winners in their current form which included a 5-0 home win against Roselands on Wednesday night; the Bees fielded a strong line-up, captained by Bobby Chancellor, and started brightly, striking the woodwork on a couple of occasions and forcing some great stops from the Roselands keeper. Not taking chances almost cost them though when Chris Bashford was forced into making a good save following a one-on-one. The Police eventually broke down the Roselands defence through a Zac Chancellor goal to end the half 1-0 and an early goal in the second half seemed to kill the fight in Roselands as the Bees went on to score three further goals. Max Prestwood hit a brace and John Bolus scored a fine solo goal. Chudleigh Athletic Reserves took a strong side to the Galmpton War Memorial Ground on the Saturday as they looked to keep their promotion hopes alive but hat-tricks from Max Prestwood and Bobby Chancellor led the Bees to a 6-1 victory and fourth place in the table. Dave Hatch was among the goals for Harbertonford Reserves who said goodbye to the Hams for another season with a 2-0 win over Abbotskerswell. Upton Athletic Reserves still prop up the table despite a resounding 8-2 victory over visiting Teign Village.
Ashburton Reserves picked up four points this week and sit top of Division Four alongside three other clubs on 44 points, although Ashes have games in hand. Blowers, Stocker and Drinkwater scored the Wednesday night goals which earned a point at home to Paignton Villa Reserves but the Ashes will be disappointed to have let a 3-1 lead slip after conceding a penalty. Saturday was much better for them as they came away from Les Bishop finalists Newton Rovers with a 4-1 win, Blowers with two this time and Murphy and Roles with the others; Kieran Fletcher found the net for Rovers. The other Les Bishop finalists, Barton Athletic, go into Friday night’s game in fine form, winning their 14th successive game at home to Newton Abbot ’66 Reserves on Saturday. The Sixes deserve credit for putting three past the miserly Athletic defence (the first team to do that since October) but Barton scored six to win the game. Kingsbridge and Kellaton United, who were without a game, complete the top three but Torbay Police Reserves were unable to close the gap by much after they were held 1-1 at home to a spirited Dittisham United who led until Luke Bowser’s 85th minute leveller. Paignton Villa Reserves extended their unbeaten run to four with two wins in four days at Whiterock. On Saturday, Villa sent bottom club Broadhempston United to their fourth straight loss with a 3-2 success while a single goal last night was enough to clinch the points from Torquay Town.
On to Division Five and Hayman and Crowhurst finally ended Bishopsteignton United Reserves’ perfect record on Wednesday night. The Newton United Reserves players found the net at Michaels Field in a battling performance which saw United deservedly win 2-1, Hall with the Bishops consolation. And mirroring Kingsteignton’s surprise results in the Premier, United followed that up with a 4-3 away win at second-placed Riviera United Reserves on Saturday, strikes from Samuel, Guttridge and Chapman and an own goal in that one for United. That result was good news for third-placed Babbacombe Corinthians Reserves, who didn’t play, but even better news for Paignton Saints Reserves who now have the runners-up spot in their own hands. Following a four week break, Saints managed to put together an important win at home to Chudleigh Athletic Thirds and score a few goals to boot! Things started well as Matt Furness netted after 50 seconds, adding his second just three minutes later. Danny Scott and Ashleigh Barlow then made it four goals in 14 minutes. Chudleigh got their consolation just before half time but Saints took control again in the second half, scoring another four with Matt Furness completing his hat-trick (his fourth of the season) and taking his tally to 27. The other goals came from Ian Simons, Jack Mullen and Josh Wiginton to complete a comfortable 8-1 win. Ilsington Villa are looking good for a top six finish; after their fine result at Riviera United last week, Villa hit Malborough United for six with Dan Uglow opening the scoring in the first half and Darren Watts (2), Si Westwood and veteran Steve Chivers (also 2) completing the rout in the second half – a perfect preparation for tonight’s tough test at Bishops!