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  • #12465
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    Phil Hiscox
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    New season, New Ideas and I have come up with the idea of a single thread, blog type, diary of the games I watch this coming season. I used to do “featured matches” but that came a bit of a bind so I think maybe a blog with a few comments as I visit games without the need to do full match reports every time.

    Before I start, I’m feeling rather enthused for the new season with plenty to look forward to – I reckon we are all in for a real treat with title races in all 3 Divisions. In the Premier there looks to be several really strong sides so I fancy that will be another fascinating race whilst in both East & West I’m not too sure there is a “stand out” team in either in the same way that Stoke Gabriel & Sticker dominated last season, could be two very open competitions.

    Anyway- a long season ahead – Hope you enjoy !

     

     

  • #12466
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    Game 1

    Sunday 30th July : 12noon : Charity Vase

    Stoke Gabriel 4 Sticker 2 (At Newton Abbot Spurs)

    East Champions Stoke Gabriel got the new season up and running with a 4-2 win over West Champions Sticker, cannot claim to have seen much of the match as lots of people to see and catch up on news etc from the summer but the standout moment was the blowing away – ala Wizard of Oz proportions – of the gazebo protecting the bar-b-q !

    Game 2 :

    Sunday 30th July : 3pm : Charity Bowl

    Tavistock 6 St Austell 1 (At Newton Abbot Spurs)

    This one had me searching the record books as it turned out to be the highest winning margin for a Charity Day game, the funny thing was that St Austell had taken the lead and for a while early in the game they looked the better side, but as the game went on Tavistock were a different class and had “won” the trophy well before the referee blew his whistle.

    2 games in bright sunshine (ever balding head caught the sun too!), 13 goals, £806 raised for the benevolent fund and the season was up and running.

    One thing about the Charity Day that always surprises me, club stalwarts from some clubs travel miles to attend, whilst others from clubs around the corner don’t turn up, and its not a logical mix, their are Cornish clubs that travelled to Spurs such as Helston & Liskeard and regular Devon clubs too such as Crediton & Budleigh who also attend each year. Anyway was great to see all those that attended !

     

     

     

  • #12467
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    Game 3:

    Saturday 5th August : FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round

    St Austell 1 Bridport 1

    When the draw came out last month this was always the tie for me, with just a handful of ties and the league not starting til next week it was a rare chance to visit Poltair Park on a Saturday rather than a floodlit game with the sleeper train home !

    The match itself was OK, both sides having chances to win it but a draw probably being the right result, not that it suits St Austell who have to go to the Beehive on Wednesday night. That said with players suspended and at a wedding they may have a stronger side for the replay as Liam Eddy will be back from suspension and at least those attending the wedding, if not the groom, should be back. Jordan Pearce interestingly benefits as his 2 game ban to start the season still rules him out of the replay, but the fact of the extra game means he can now play in the lilly-whites first league game of the new season.

    These changes to suspensions will have to keep club secretaries and I on my toes, Pearce becomes available but on the other hand Bodmin had a player sent off yesterday and with the new 7 day period (rather than 14) he will now miss Bodmins first league game next weekend.

    Away from the football it was great to spend the afternoon in the company of Richard Rundle, the webmaster of the excellent Football Club History Database, who now lives in the Duchy and recently got the Premiership Trophy for a day to Newquay Library where he works.

    I was also more than proud to see and stand quietly for a minutes silence prior to kick off for Nick Hone, President of St Austell who passed away during the summer, a reminder that life is precious and friendships should be treasured.

     

  • #12490
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    Game 4:

    Wednesday 9th August : FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round Replay

    Bridport 1 St Austell 0

    Clocking the early season miles up as Cornwall last Saturday became Dorset tonight and a trip to St Marys Field for the first time in many years.

    St Austell had players back from suspension and a wedding and looked well up for the match in the early stages until a wreckless lunge from Liam Eddy produced a straight red card and the striker was back to the dressing rooms just 11 minutes after having returned from suspension. Bridport used the man advantage well and took the lead with a cracking drive from distance before the break but failed to get a crucial 2nd goal, partly due to wasteful finishing but also to some good stops from Jason Chapman.

    The 2nd half saw a similar pattern but the lack of another goal kept St Austell in the tie and allowed them to push bodies forward late on as the home side protected their slender lead, but despite a few half chances the Western League side held on to claim the victory.

    Enjoyable night with plenty of banter from a good sized crowd, good to see Pat Whymer still cheerful despite his beloved Cambridge Uniteds early season form and also Kerry Miller who is always good to catch up with the local gossip.

  • #12503
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    Game 5:

    Friday 11th August : SWP Premier Division

    Ivybridge Town 1 Plymouth Argyle 2

    The first Premier Division game of the new season, but far from a balmy summer evening it was typical football weather with grey clouds, damp and drizzly throughout.

    The Friday night games normally draw good crowds and despite the weather it was no exception as 310 were at Erme Valley for the visit of the young Plymouth Argyle side.

    Joe Truelove struck the 1st goal of the league season to give the Ivy’s a first half lead but two quickfire goals midway through the second half were enough for the Pilgrims to claim a 2-1 win.

    Plenty in attendance and good to see Mike Sampson, new treasurer Peter Stevenson as well as Keith Mann and Paul Murphy on observing duty. Honorable mention must be made of the half time home made chocolate cake (yummy) and the persistence of Helston manager Steve Massey for prizing away my programme as they had sold out by the time he arrived !

     

  • #12514
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    Game 6:

    Saturday 12th August : SWP Division One East

    Ilfracombe Town 1 St Martins 1

    With three new sides in the league this season I was looking to get to one of them’s first SWP encounter and as both Honiton Town & Ludgvan share their home grounds with cricket, the choice was the long journey to Marlborough Park, some 71 miles from Exeter and I can travel fairly well into Cornwall from my Exeter home without that distance being covered ! (I do wonder if the FA understand just how much travel our clubs do already, without the snipes about clubs not taking promotion to do even more, but that’s another story).

    A glorious day in the sunshine and a green carpet of a pitch awaited and plenty of home club officials all raring to go meant a superb afternoon. The home side took a 12th minute lead through a powerful Sam Box header from a corner and it looked to be a perfect first day all round, but the second half saw visiting St Martins come back into the game and when the home side were reduced to 10 men following a 2nd yellow card the Exminster based visitors claimed a share of the points as Ashley Barker made it 1-1.

    Several hoppers in attendance including Alan Duckstein from deepest Kernow, Mark Hardy from Farnborough and others as well as league vice chairman Mike Pett.

    Plus point of the day was the superb hospitality from Ilfracombe club officials led by the stalwart that is Tony Alcock with the only negative being the weak wi-fi meaning twitter was a nightmare to update, I even wandered over to the far side where a phone mast is, only to discover it was “vodaphone” and I have an EE !!!

     

     

  • #12533
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    Game 7:

    Monday 14th August : SWP Division One East

    University of Exeter 4 Sidmouth Town 3

    A boost for the old goal ratio as the first early kick off, 6.30, of the new season saw the Students go 3-0 up, only to be pegged back to 3-3 by a Sidmouth Town side who played over half the game with 10 men after a red card, only for the Uni to snatch a 4-3 victory and make it 6 points from 2 games, which is noteworthy as August is normally a poor month for them as term has not started yet.

    Damp old night and one can only hope that the “Summer” makes an appearance soon !

     

     

  • #12547
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    Game 8

    Tuesday 15th August : SWP Division One East

    Crediton United 3 Honiton Town 1

    No fewer than 11 games to choose from tonight but this was top of my list as it saw Honiton Town, the wonderfully named “Hippo’s” playing their first ever game at Step 7 having won the Championship of the Devon & Exeter League last season.

    It was not to be a fairy tale start to life though as they went a goal down before the break against a well drilled Crediton United side who then made the game safe with two goals inside the first 3 minutes of the 2nd half, the first coming from the penalty spot. 3-0 with 40 minutes to play meant Kyrton were able to follow up a win at Liverton last Saturday to make it 2 wins from 2 but Honiton played to the end, had a few chances of their own and scored their first SWP goal when Ben Ede netted. But this was not enough for the Hippos to get out of the pickle (ouch, local pun!) and they will go in search of their first points again next Saturday at Liverton United.

    Cannot ever write a report on a game at Lords Meadow without mentioning Aunty Mary’s cakes, and nice cup cakes with icing and chocolate buttons were on the half time menu this week !

     

     

  • #12555
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    Game 9

    Wednesday 16th August

    SWP Division One West : Penzance 0 Ludgvan 2

    My first sleeper train home to Exeter trip of the new season was to the end of the line at Penzance for the Magpies local derby with new boys Ludgvan.

    Another wet and gloomy night weather wise but that didn’t stop 159 hardy souls from watching a feisty derby which took all of Kevin Knowles experience to handle and keep all 22 players on the pitch.

    Ludgvan took all 3 points, and a maiden Step 7 victory, with two first half goals whilst the home team tested the Hurlers resolute defence more after the break.

    Just the 16th August and all 3 new clubs seen in action, Ilfracombe Town, Honiton Town and now Ludgvan.

    Home about 1.30am after minor delay on train and walked home in the same wet weather that had got me soaked in Penzance hours earlier!

  • #12600
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    Game 10

    Saturday 19th August

    SWP Premier Division : Cullompton Rangers 3 Godolphin Atlantic 5

    A trip out on the double decker bus to Cullompton for the first time this season and an 8 goal thriller for the effort !

    Not my original choice of match, but after some switching around with my plans it was an early season chance to watch The G and despite them only turning up with the bare 11 they contributed to an exciting game, especially after the break.

    Cully will feel hard done by as they led at 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2 before conceding three goals in the last 10 minutes to lose 3-5 with Ed Wilton the undoubted star of the show as the former Carharrack striker helped himself to a personal four goal haul.

    Speeds Meadow is one of those grounds where the loyal club people are always looking to improve facilities and the pitch has had a major, £40,000, face lift with new drainage installed and as thick a carpet of grass as I have seen, they have also added netting behind both goals in the summer…….Not that the strikers needed it today as they both hit the “real” nets on plenty of occasions!

     

  • #12622
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    Game 11

    Monday 21st August

    SWP Division One East : University of Exeter 0 Teignmouth 2

    With the Students being the only side to have nominated Monday for midweek fixtures, this was a quick return to Topsham Road to see them in action but was also a chance for a first look at Teignmouth this season.

    After a cagey and even first half which produced no goals, the 2nd half was only moments old when Sam Chapman opened the scoring which was doubled midway through the half by Myles James. The Students enjoyed plenty of possession and played some neat football on the fine surface but lacked a cutting edge which allowed the visitors to see out the game and collect a useful 3 points on the road.

    Spent the game in the company of new Results Officer Dave Deacon who was stopping off on his way back to Cornwall from having watched Spurs & Chelsea at Wembley on Sunday.

    Word too for the “man in black” after some early drama with the appointed referee not being available a quick call to Match Officials Director Keith Mann saw him leave his tea and get to the ground to get the game covered, not sure if his tea will be in the microwave or the dog when he gets home!

     

  • #12638
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    Game 12

    Tuesday 22nd August

    SWP Division One East : Honiton Town 1 Budleigh Salterton 3

    A first SWP home game for the Hippo’s at their Mountbatten Park HQ which looked splendid with a superb green & lush pitch. The attraction certainly caught the eye as around 200 attended despite it being a 6.30pm kick off and this included several hoppers keen to get a “tick” and be at the first game in the pyramid.

    On the pitch however the Honiton side are still looking for their first points, they fell behind as early as the 3rd minute but did get back on level terms at 1-1 before the Robins ran out 3-1 victors. The Budleigh side with new manager Kevin Hill and a sprinkling of new signings picked up their first win of the season, but will be first of many you would think as they are a very different proposition than the young side who just escaped relegation last season.

    Always good to see a new clubs first home game, and the club did well in hosting it, once they get a start and pick up their first points they will be a welcome addition I am sure.

     

  • #12644
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    Game 13

    Wednesday 23rd August

    SWP West Division : St Blazey 3 Illogan RBL 2

    A very welcome, and in recent times, a very rare home win for the Blaise Park faithful to witness as St Blazey got off the mark for the season with boss Stuart Morgan also getting his first victory.

    The initial signs were good as they had already hit the bar before a 2nd minute goal gave them a perfect start. The visitors then got into the game before, and slightly against the run of play, a quick break made it 2-0 at half time.

    Illogan never gave up and reduced the margin to 2-1 early in the second half before a goal from a tight angle restored the two goal cushion. Even then Illogan scored again to set up a tense finale.

    An enjoyable game with locals like Simon Tonkin, Blazey Paul, Richard Rundle, David Bray (who won the raffle) and Tracy Banfield plus a hopper & his son down on holiday from Southampton.

    Final word, we all read a lot of gossip and opinions on social media, a lot of it frankly is twaddle, but for an opinion based on facts – Stuart Morgan is a promising young manager, putting something back after playing (which far too few do), he has probably, and will certainly not get everything right – but with support and encouragement he will do fine, as will St Blazey this season.

  • #12679
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    Game 14

    Friday 25th August

    SWP East Division : Bovey Tracey 1 Newton Abbot Spurs 3

    A good sized crowd for this Friday Night local derby in South Devon where both hosts Bovey Tracey and visitors Newton Abbot Spurs went into the contest each having won their opening contests.

    It was Spurs though that came out on top as they scored twice in a first half that they bossed to lead 2-0 at the break and although Bovey were much better after the break, and reduced the arrears to 2-1, a late penalty converted by Adam Dyson sealed the win for the visitors.

    Good to see a few holiday makers and hoppers in attendance, as well as some rivals managers on the survillance, and a decent sized crowd for the home club who had some reward for having brought the game forward to the Friday night.

     

  • #12689
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    Game 15

    Saturday 26th August

    SWP Premier Division : Stoke Gabriel 4 Helston Athletic 0

    A first visit of the season to the wonderfully named GJ Churchward Memorial Ground to see East Division Champions Stoke Gabriel back in the top flight and with Helston Athletic, under the management of Steve Massey, they visitors.

    In truth the game was not to much to write home about, the hosts took an early lead from a Rob Farkins header, doubled it through Ollie Booth and were 3-0 up wel before half time through Ollie Critchlow. After that it was all a bit pedestrian with Stoke guilty of taking their foot off the gas and Helston unable to fashion a fight back. Midway through the second half Critchlow added a 2nd for him and a 4th for the Railwaymen to record a first home win, and a first win since the opening day.

    A pleasant afternoon though in the warm South Devon sunshine with the company of Paul Hendy and his wife from Helston, several Stoke Gabriel stalwarts such as Bill Deval, Kevin Besford, John Banks and Ray Tucker.

    The Churchward ground still has work to do to reach Step 6 ground standards, but the summer has seen half the railings replaced, new netting behind the near goal, more concrete paths and a general freshen up for the pitch which looked much better than recent seasons.

    Didn’t win the scratch card but a lovely sausage bap before the game and a large slice of home made victoria sandwich cake at half time, so not a bad day after all !

     

     

  • #12706
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    GAME 16

    Tuesday 29th August

    SWP Division One East : Teignmouth 1 Brixham 2

    A clash of two unbeaten sides in a South Devon Derby at the quaint Coombe Valley tonight with a decent crowd in to see who would come out on top.

    Brixham who had drawn their opening 3 games took the lead from a Stuart Bowker penalty early on and that was the only goal until the hosts bundled in a leveller after the half time break. They did not stay on level terms long as Reece Somers restored the visitors lead after 65 minutes and although the hosts tried to find another leveller, the visitors defence held firm to record their first win of the season, and at the same time, inflict a first defeat on their hosts.

    Another pleasant evening although the nights are starting to draw in with 6.30pm kick offs almost behind us for the winter ahead.

  • #12715
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    Game 17

    Wednesday 30th August

    SWP Division One East : Alphington 0 Bovey Tracey 4

    My final match of August, I guess seeing 17 games is pretty good by this stage, and a first visit of the season to the now closest ground to my home (Exwick Villa were marginally closer).

    Visiting Bovey Tracey edged a close first half and led 1-0 at the break but then started the 2nd period far brighter and made it 2-0, and then 3-0 within 10 minutes of the re-start. They added a further goal late on and the hosts had a player sent off as the light faded, in what was after all the last of the 6.30pm kick offs of the summer – all midweek games from now onwards are scheduled only at grounds with lights.

    Several local personalities in attendance and at least 2 rival managers in Chris Porter and Neil Saunders plus ground-hopper Rob Hornby from Nottingham who was stopping off at the game on the way to his family holiday in deepest Cornwall where he tells me he has Mullion & Porthleven on his radar for visits.

     

  • #12737
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    Game 18

    Friday 1st September

    SWP Premier Division : Plymouth Parkway 5 Torpoint Athletic 1

    A first visit of the season to Bolitho Park for me tonight and a chance to see two Premier sides in action that I had not yet witnessed this season.

    Parkway won 5-1 in front of a decent crowd (despite Malta v England) and on a well prepared and good looking pitch.

    The home side were in front within minutes of the start and were 3-0 to the good at the break, Torpoint battled game fully and pulled a goal early in the 2nd half which briefly saw a fightback on the cards but two more goals late on ensured an emphatic 5-1 margin. Two crackers amongst the goals – Lance Bailey for Torpoints only goal and the 4th goal from Parkway was a well worked effort with Glynn Hobbs running at the defence before unselfishly setting up Luke Durham to score.

    Always good to visit Bolitho Park, it’s a place that always really comes alive for Friday Night Football and with a quality team this season I imagine several high profile nights will be held under the Bolitho Park lights during the season.

     

  • #12749
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    Game 19

    Saturday 2nd September

    SWP Division One East : St Martins 4 Honiton Town 1

    My first trip to Minster Park this season, on the bus to Exminster, for those not sure where they play, and a rather odd match. St Martins were 1-0 up inside 3 minutes, 2-0 after 11, 3-0 after 13 and 4-0 after half an hour for what looked like being a very one sided and high scoring match.

    New boys Honiton Town though are to be commended for not letting their heads drop, battling away and even reducing the arrears to 1-4 by the interval.

    The 2nd half was a however largely a non-event – St Martins had the game won and didn’t play at the same tempo whilst Honiton were happy to steady the ship and avoid any further damage – both sides had the odd half chance but the scoring boots that were evident in the first period were obviously changed at half time !

    Good to see a fair few from Honiton watching the Hippos away including Chairman Roger and Secretary Alan, and a word too for the Hippos linesman – he used to be my manager when I played Under 18’s so that says a lot, Frank Delling played into his 60’s for various Sunday teams and was running the line today at the age of 81 – Yes 81 ! Well done Frank !

    Showing the contrast of my role, last night it was Parkway under lights in a Friday Nighter, today a East game in Exminster and now thanks to a late leveller, my next outing will be a trip to Wordsworth Drive to watch Tavistock at Taunton Town in the FA Cup on Tuesday – Variety is after all the “spice of life” !

     

  • #12779
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    Game 20

    Tuesday 5th September

    FA Cup 2nd Qualifying Round Replay : Taunton Town 1 Tavistock 2

    Their are many who have sought to reduce the number of Step 6 clubs allowed into the FA Cup, more over the threat of extinction roams still large for clubs at our level, but if anybody from Under the Arch at Wembley that cares to venture to games like tonight’s they will learn that the real value of the FA Cup still belongs to the lowest ranked clubs, the underdogs, the minnows…..

    Last year Taunton Town tasted such glory as they reached the 1st Round proper and a trip to Barrow of the Conference, this year they stood – applauded – shook hands – and accepted the magic of the Cup as a Step 6 side had fought as if their very lives depended on it to get a result away at a Step 4 club, and not just any Step 4 club – the Peacocks are a good side, well supported and unbeaten in the league this season.

    Tavistock fought back from 0-2 down last Saturday to earn the replay and from the first whistle it was clear it was a replay they were up for, a surging run, a keeper side stepped, panic and a handball and inside 60 seconds the referee awarded the lambs a penalty and 1 up they were. Midway through the half another surging run saw a cool finish and it was 2-0, dreamland in fact.

    The second half was always going to be about the Peacocks fighting back and the Lambs having to show resolve, when the deficit was reduced after only 10 minutes of the second half it looked bad, but the Tavistock players, every last one of them, fought, were dogged and determined, defended and defended, broke when they could and just damn well held firm. Time dragged, injury time followed, pressure amongst committee men and supporters – poor old Derek Pethick was a nervous wreck – but held on they did!

    For all those behind the scenes, and the supporters who traveled to Somerset, this was one of those nights that you look back on, the days you recall that things were “better then”, the days that meant something. In truth things were always good, bad or indifferent in the past, and the same applies in the future – the important things are to experience and enjoy the good days because they come along all too rarely at our level.

    Chuffed for Tavistock, chuffed for the SWP, determined though to remind those that think the FA Cup starts in January and has no place for the likes of Tavistock that they are wrong – may not be 90,000 in corporate hospitality, but 373 at Wordsworth Drive tonight will to a man agree with me.

     

     

  • #12797
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    Game 21

    Wednesday 6th September

    SWP Premier Division : Exmouth Town 0 Plymouth Parkway 8

    After the tension and competitiveness of last nights FA Cup replay tonight’s game was a bit of a let down. Plymouth Parkway were just too good on the night for Exmouth Town and with goals going in very early in the game it was over as a contest well before half time with Parkway 5-0 up at the interval.

    Parkway added three further goals in the first quarter of an hour of the second half and then a goalless spell from then until the referees final whistle finally signaled the end of the match.

    This was the highest away win in the league so far this season and some of the goals and attacking play, especially in the first hour, was a delight to watch, take nothing away from Parkway they were simply too good on the night for an Exmouth Town side that appears in transition.

     

  • #12808
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    Game 22

    Friday 8th September

    SWP Division One West : Liskeard Athletic 2 Wadebridge Town 2

    This weeks FNF – Friday Night Football – was at Lux Park where West Division leaders hosted Wadebridge Town in front of 101 on a night of heavy showers.

    Both sides have started the season well and the point apiece was enough, until Saturday at least, to make them occupy the top two places in the table.

    The visiting Bridgers scored the only goal of the 1st half through Harry Hopcrofts free kick and doubled the lead midway through the 2nd half after Aaron Hulme headed home.

    The hosts fought back strongly and reduced the arrears with a penalty following a handball with James Lorenz scoring and then gained a man advantage as Wadebridge lost Nathan Bonney to a 2nd yellow card. This signalled a late onslaught with substitute Carlton Farnham hitting a 90th minute leveller.

    Throughly entertaining and hard fought match with a draw probably the right result.

    Pastie was consumed pre match and was as always a Lux Park delight!

  • #12827
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    Game 23

    Saturday 9th September

    SWP Division One East : Galmpton & Roselands 1 Ilfracombe Town 4

    A first visit to the new look South Devon side who were of course Galmpton United last season but who have morphed into Galmpton & Roselands after a tie up with the successful South Devon League club.

    Visitors today, making a first visit to the War Memorial Ground were Ilfracombe Town who are new in the league this year and having had to work hard to establish themselves in the division. I last saw the Bluebirds on the very opening day of the season when they hosted St Martins and drew 1-1.

    Today’s match saw both clubs cancel each other out in the early stages before the visitors had something of a purple patch before the break. The opening goal from an acute angle by Simon Townsend gave the visitors some belief and shortly after Joe Seldon had made it 2-0. The young Galmpton side did reduce the arrears through Colin Brown, but failed to get a grip on the contest after poor marking allowed Cassian Blackmore to re-establish the two goal cushion before half time.

    The second period proved to be a bit of a slog to witness, without being particularly bad tempered the half was a stop – start niggly affair with the referee producing more cards than either team managed worthwhile efforts on goal, the home side lost a player to a 2nd yellow card which only made the chance of a dramatic fightback even fainter. Townsend who had opened the scoring, notched the only goal of the 2nd half some 10 minutes from time to seal the points for the visitors.

    Galmpton & Roselands have a young squad and that often equates to confidence, had they scored the first goal, who knows, but having conceeded 3 in a 15 minute spell before the break they seldom looked like recovering, Ilfracombe meanwhile will feel 4 points from 2 long away days have established them in the division for the winter ahead.

     

  • #12840
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    Phil Mobile
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    Game 24

    Tuesday 12th September

    SWP Premier Division : Helston Athletic 1 Bodmin Town 2.

    My latest train trip into Cornwall was to present the home club groundsman, John Reynolds, with his FA certificate for being the best in the Premier Division last season (East & West are done through County FA’s). What I didn’t expect in the 1st half of September was that I would be greatfull for a playable pitch of any description!

    Storm Aileen made for a wet arrival and throughout the first half, followed by a windy second period, though the conditions dictated, the playing surface itself was fine.

    I had not yet seen Bodmin this season and was aware, by their standards, of a poor start to the league season. After a first 3 point haul last time out they battled to a 2nd win and a jump up of 6 places in the table.

    Bodmin, with the wind, took a slender 1 goal lead at half time but doubled the lead through Adam Carter midway through the 2nd half. Helston reduced the arrears and applied some late pressure as they looked for an equaliser but to no avail.

    Long trip home on the train, but a pleasure to reward a volunteer and a journey made more comfortable by the Helston tea ladies making me a picnic supper for the trip !

     

  • #12858
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    Phil Hiscox
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    Game 25

    Wednesday 13th September

    SWP Premier Division : Plymouth Argyle 12 Stoke Gabriel 0

    Well, where do I start with this one ? Wednesday nights are “goal night” for me, last week 0-8  and tonight 12-0.

    Argyle fielded a strong, but by no means a “first team” and were simply far too good for Stoke Gabriel. “Goals change games” though is a popular quip and I do feel the early goals tonight were the reason why the floodgates opened, everything Argyle hit in the opening stages went in, including several that bobbled around the 6 yard box and fell kindly, one that was scored from an impossible angle and another where the Stoke ‘keeper tangled himself into the netting and was powerless to prevent a close range effort.

    It is obviously hard after a day at work to play such athletic opposition, but (and I spoke to Stoke Gabriel stalwarts at both half and full time) their is an argument that on the night the visitors didn’t have their best performance of the season. I’m choosing my words carefully as clearly players like Graham Carey (suspended by the EFL but eligible to play for the reserves – not our rules, the FA’s) are quality players, Alex Fletcher who scored 5 times before being taken off with half an hour to go is a tremendous prospect. Lamerias notched a hat trick which on any other night would have taken the headlines.

    Last night it was Storm Aileen, tonight was in some ways a “Perfect Storm” for Argyle – I guess they would want that to continue with the first team, but nobody should get too carried away – either up or down – as Argyle will field similar strength teams and not score half as many goals, Stoke Gabriel will pick up points without playing an awful lot different to tonight. Elsewhere tonight Willand Rovers played Wellington in a local derby and that ended 11-0 !

    One final piece of irony, last month Tavistock beat Witheridge 11-0, tonight Argyle beat Stoke Gabriel 12-0, this coming Saturday sees …..

    Stoke Gabriel v Witheridge in the Walter C Parson Funeral Directors Cup !

     

  • #12914
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    Phil Hiscox
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    Game 26

    Saturday 16th September

    FA Cup 2nd Qualifying Round : Tavistock 1 Frome Town 2

    The end of this particular “Road to Wembley” for Tavistock (still in the FA Vase) but they were certainly not disgraced and will feel a tad unlucky not to have at least held their opponents to a replay.

    Frome Town who ply their trade in the Southern League Premier Division, three divisions higher than the Lambs, arrived in style as they had the use of Swindon Town’s official coach for the journey down and were keen to avoid falling to any cup shock of there own.

    The Langsford Park pitch was lush, a tad damp but certainly playable at the start and a decent sized crowd were out in force to support them.

    The early stages were cagey and tense with both sides feeling their way into the tie and it was only in the 22nd minute when the tie came to life as Frome broke and shot home from the edge of the area with Tavistock appealing in vain for a push on the last defender by the striker, looked it too me too, but to the man in black it was not and 0-1 it was. A killer second goal came just before half time with the visitors scoring from an acute angle.

    As half time arrived the heavens opened, very heavy stuff for a while followed by a more steady downpour for the rest of the game. Tavistock worked hard to get back into the tie and just when it looked as if it was not to be they were awarded a 72nd minute penalty which Josh Grant duly converted for 1-2.

    Tavistock went looking for a late leveller, but in truth found the Frome defence to be very solid and they failed to create that one chance that they worked so hard for.

    So that’s that for another year, but a Cup run to look back with pride on and a further demonstration that teams in the SWP can give those from several divisions above a real run for their money.

     

  • #12946
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    Phil Hiscox
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    Game 27

    Tuesday 19th September

    SWP Division One East : Axminster Town 2 Honiton Town 1

    A first trip of the season for me to Tiger Way, the furthest East outpost of the league, and a historic first meeting in at least 30 years of these two neighbouring towns in a first team league encounter.

    As expected a good attendance was at the superb host ground with around 200 watching on with the game only arranged for so early in the season due to a quirk. Ordinarily Boxing Day and Good Friday would be the dates for this type of game, indeed the return is at Mountbatten Park on Boxing Day, but as both clubs are Host clubs for the 2018 Easter Ground Hop, they could not play each other on Good Friday, hence tonight’s floodlit match up.

    Neither team has had the best of starts to the league campaign but that didn’t affect the feisty nature as local pride was put on the line. The hosts took the lead midway through the first half and then scored a real plum of a goal from distance in first half stoppage time to make it 2-0 at the break.

    The Hippos came more into the game after the break but failed to get on the score sheet and with  six minutes remaining the game looked well and truly up. The Tigers had broken downfield fast, the attacker bearing down on goal was fouled with the referee pointing to the penalty spot and red carding the culprit, but the Tigers failed to finish the game off as the Hippos ‘keeper saved the resultant spot kick.

    Despite being a man short, Honiton kept plugging away and on the stroke of 90 minutes they pulled a goal back which led to a few moments of stoppage time where the hosts had to hang on in order to claim the points, and the local bragging rights.

     

  • #12962
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    Phil Hiscox
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    Game 28

    Wednesday 20th September

    SWP Division One East : Budleigh Salterton 3 Crediton United 1

    With the league vice chairman taking in the showpiece FA Cup tie down at Bodmin Town and having been at Tavistock only last Saturday, plus Saltash United being on my radar very soon I was left with the choice of a first trip of the season to either Budleigh Salterton or Witheridge. It could well be argued that the Mid-Devon club getting a first win, with 50 year old Roger Bonaparte scoring thrown in, I made the wrong choice tonight !

    I’m normally unofficially banned by the Robins from watching them play as they think it brings them bad luck, but having seen them win at Honiton last month I felt I could chance a visit to the wet & windy, but very much playable, Greenway Lane.

    Aarron Denny opened the scoring from the penalty spot after player/boss Kevin Hill had been brought down but Crediton levelled the game up at 1-1 as Matt Trenaman scored in first half stoppage time. Budleigh with the winds at their backs commanded the second half and restored the lead through Mike White before substitute James Gill secured the points with a goal two minutes from time.

    I guess my visa to watch the Robins may now be renewed after seeing them win again tonight!

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