Tuesday, March 5, 2013
TOP pair Bideford Reserves and Torridgeside both opened their important March programmes like lions, with significant wins against two of their closest contenders.
Having struggled midweek before overcoming Chittlehampton 2-1, leaders Bideford on Saturday became the first team of the season to take the scalp of chasing North Molton.
Bideford dominated and went 3-0 up before conceding North Molton a consolation goal in the closing minute.
Will Nicholls headed home the opener from a corner after half-an-hour for a 1-0 half-time scoreline. A fine solo run and shot by Nathan Bate made it 2-0 with 10 minutes to go and Rikki Williams hit the third with a well placed lob from the edge of the box with five minutes left. Molton’s late reply came from substitute Tom Marsh.
The two wins put Bideford three points clear at the top, although Torridgeside – now the only unbeaten team in the division - have two games in hand.
Torridgeside maintained their pace with a 3-0 win at home to third-placed Braunton.
A stunning Marc Bettis strike from 30 yards got them off the mark early in the game and after a period of ebb and flow he was there again on the stroke of half-time when Braunton gave away possession and he was quick to make them pay.
Braunton came more into the game in the second half, but despite enjoying plenty of possession, were never able to find the finishing touch..
A big Braunton shout for a penalty was ruled out and the ball went immediately to the other end, where Matt Hunnibell was penalised for a controversial handball, Braunton arguing that the ball was driven against his leg. Paddy Ions hit Torridgeside’s third goal from the resulting penalty.
Boca Seniors also gave clear indication that their challenge is still alive and well with two wins and 17 goals in two days to move up into third place.
They were 6-1 winners away to Bradworthy on Saturday with goals by Matt Deakin (2), Scott Sharp (2), Mark Barrow and substitute Mark Gilfillan, Bradworthy’s reply coming from Matthew Carter.
Two score five
Next day brought a goalfest, with an 11-3 win at home to Shebbear United.
At half-time it was still in the balance at 4-2, but then Boca moved up a gear. Scott Sharp hit five goals and the others came from Mark Galliford (2), Mark Turner (2) Mark Gilfillan and an og.
Charlie Tubb gained the accolades with five goals in Dolton’s 6-2 win away to Chittlehampton, the other coming from Rob Knight. Availability of both their preferred strikers made a big difference to Dolton, but the result was put down to a fine team performance in which every player deserved praise.
Chittle’s goals came from Nico Pfieffer and Kyran Jones.
Despite again having regular players missing, Shamwickshire Rovers were 2-0 winners away to Ilfracombe Town Reserves.
James Bateman’s move to midfield paid dividends when he slammed a spectacular 30-yarder into the top corner for the first half opener and captain Gary Buck netted the second with 20 minutes to go before being red carded for a bad challenge.
Appledore Reserves enjoyed most of the ball at home to bottom-of-the-table Putford, but did not make the most of it and were made to sweat before taking the points 1-0.
Mike Jones scored the goal midway through the opening half.
Georgeham and Croyde were disappointed not to take more than a point from their visit to Shebbear, which ended 1-1.
They, too, enjoyed most of the possession, but struggled against a solid defence and an on-from keeper.
Connor Stapley put Georgeham in front, but Shebbear struck back just before half-time and no-one could find a way through in the second half.