IN THEIR HANDS: Paignton Saints Reserves inched closer to the Div 5 title with a narrow win over Broadhempston. (c) MiraclePR.com
Only three games were passed fit to play in the South Devon Football League this Saturday on a day that should have seen most of the opening round of the divisional cups completed.
Hookhills United and fellow Division Two side Broadmeadow STFC managed to complete their Lidstone Cup tie but only because Hookhills took the decision to give up their usual Whiterock pitch and move to nearby Furzeham Green in Brixham. Chris Bennett notched again for the side he joined over the summer and he was joined on the score-sheet by Thomas Grant as Broadmeadow narrowly won through 2-1 to put themselves on another cup run. Carl Bradley hit Hookhills’ goal.
It was even tighter at King George V in Watcombe as the Les Bishop cup match between Torquay Town and Babbacombe Corinthians Reserves went all the way to penalties. There were four goals shared in normal time and another goal apiece in extra-time before Town took control of the penalty shoot-out to win it 4-1. Rob Hemming had a good afternoon with two goals and he was joined on the score-sheet by Jamie Guy. Corries’ goalscorers were Christopher Fitch, Ashley Pollard and substiture Ashley Thomas.
The only league game was in Division Five where Paignton Saints Reserves were looking to climb up to second place by overcoming visiting Broadhempston United at Paignton Community College. Things started well for them when a lovely ball from Reece Jones was latched on to by Matt Reed who placed it past the ‘keeper for his third goal in two games, putting his side one up. The good feeling soon turned sour when a Broads cross, which looked to have come to nothing, was greeted by the referee’s whistle for handball and a penalty for the Robins. Saints were mystified by the decision but Broads’ took their opportunity to level the scores. Saints retook the lead though thanks to Sean Hooton’s sheer persistence as he out-jumped the ‘keeper and tapped the ball into an empty net. Down the other end, the referee then awarded another penalty to Broads after Saints ‘keeper Chris Stubbs was adjudged to have fouled the opposition striker. The visitors once more drew level from the spot and then went ahead after some poor home defending. Saints manager Josh Wiginton was less than pleased and his half-time talk seemed to do the trick as, similar to the previous week, a much-improved second half saw his side dominate for long periods. Following a Broads corner, Saints cleared the ball to Rich Cadwallader who played a nice ball to Hooton. The latter then hit an unstoppable shot into the top corner to put saints level at 3-3. Saints again took a hold of the game and Dave Walker headed home from Simon Harris’s cross to put them 4-3 up. There were some nervous moments at the end, including a late corner and goalmouth scramble, but again Saints held on to inch themselves further up the table and keep the title firmly in their own hands. Broads’ goals came from Dean Barter (2) and Sam Caunter.
“It was a little bit of a crazy first half,” said Wiginton. “But I picked the boys up a little bit at half-time and they picked the performance up in the second half and played some good football and put the work rate in.
“It’s a good win and we carry on the run. We’re ten games unbeaten but there are some good teams in the league. We’ve still got WBB, Watcombe and Ilsington to play away so we’re taking each game as it comes. But if we win the next seven games, we win the league.”