Tuesday, February 25, 2014
This week’s North Devon Gazette Football League round-up
BOCA Seniors maintained their unbeaten run in the North Devon Gazette Football League Premier division and extended their goal difference to plus 46 in the process by beating Ilfracombe Reserves 4-0 on Saturday.
This weekend saw the most matches played for a number of weeks, with Boca staying top thanks to two goals from Taro Bishop and one each from James Hill and Mark Thorne.
Struggling Bradworthy are next up for Boca on Saturday, with Boca now racking up 15 wins and one draw from their 16 league games this term.
Braunton kept the pressure on at the top, picking up a narrow 1-0 win at Fremington to keep the gap down to just two points.
Braunton have played a game more than Boca, but with 14 wins from 17 games they look to be the only genuine challengers for the title.
Braunton entertain last season’s champions Torridgeside this weekend.
Bideford Reserves’ title tilt may be over after they succumbed by three goals to two to fourth-placed Torrington.
Steve Bartlett’s side picked up their tenth win of the season in dramatic fashion, after a ‘gritty performance’.
Torrington went a goal up through a Nathan Delaune header, before a fine strike from James Bateman levelled things up.
17-year-old Tyler Evans Laude, who Bartlett believes will become a ‘cracking player’, then finished well to put Torrington back in front, but the game was all square again before half time when Anthony Moyse nodded home from a Bideford free-kick.
The second half proved a more sober affair, but Torrington managed to find the decisive goal 10 minutes from time when debutant Trevor May popped up to make the difference.
“I was absolutely delighted with our attitude,” said Bartlett.
Torrington face Boca in the Torridge Cup this week, before going toe to toe with Barnstaple AAC in the league on Saturday.
Bideford Reserves did, however, pick up three points earlier in the week, when they played host to Fremington.
In-form Will Nicholls netted a hat-trick for the Robins, while Mischa Howe also got on the score sheet.
Shamwickshire Rovers recorded the biggest win of the weekend in the Premier division, dispatching of second-bottom Georgeham and Croyde in a 7-0 win.
Shammy have struggled to pick up points themselves this term, but put that behind them on Saturday to move up to 11th in the table.
There was good news, too, for bottom club Chittlehampton, who picked up only their second point of the campaign at home to Shebbear United.
They will have an ideal opportunity to build on the result this weekend, when they travel to Georgeham and Croyde.
Braunton Reserves appear to be well on their way to the Senior division title following another comfortable win at the weekend.
Braunton brushed Shamwickshire Rovers Reserves aside in impressive fashion on Saturday, beating them 8-0 to maintain their eight-point lead at the top of the table.
Braunton had hat-trick heroes Dave Mason and Alan Woodcock to thank for their latest victory, who were ably assisted by Lee Eates (1) and Danny Ball (1).
The Lobb pitch did well to hold out, and it now looks as if only Park United have a realistic chance of chasing down the league leaders.
Following the recent spate of postponements, a number of teams now have games to catch up on, including Shammy Reserves, who were again in action on Sunday.
They played host to Lynton and Lynmouth, and this time got the result they were after with a 3-1 win to keep them 12th.
Putford, too, were faced with a double header, but rose to the challenge impressively, scoring 10 goals en route to a pair of wins.
Putford first beat fellow promotion chasers Landkey in a remarkable game which finished 6-4, before outplaying South Molton on Sunday in a 4-0 win.
The wins saw Putford rise to sixth, ahead of their home game with Merton this Saturday.
North Molton Sports Club Reserves still haven’t given up hope of lifting the trophy themselves, and kept themselves in the running with a 7-3 win at Torridgeside Reserves.
Torridgeside put in one of their better performances of the season, but North Molton’s attacking threat proved too great in the end as they picked up a 12th win of the season.
Merton are still yet to draw a game, but won’t be too disappointed with that stat if they continue to match their result at Lynton and Lynmouth on Saturday.
Merton won the game by two goals to nil to pick up their first win in three games.
Northam Lions also picked up an important three points, beating Combe Martin by the odd goal in seven.
Northam will expect to make it two in a row when they host bottom of the league Morwenstow Reserves on Saturday.
Anchor Chiefs dropped points for only the fifth time this season as they were surprisingly held 1-1 by Northam Lions Reserves.
Chiefs remain in the hunt for the Intermediate One title, though this was a result which will do little to help their cause with the sides above them, Braunton Thirds and Equalizers, not in action at the weekend.
They will face another tough task this week, entertaining Pilton Academicals on Saturday.
Ilfracombe Thirds moved level on points with Chiefs by beating Sporting Barum by a convincing four goals to one.
Troy Burton bagged a hat-trick for the home side, while Colin Woodcock was also on target as Combe went fourth.
High Bickington went seventh with a hard-fought 3-2 win over Barnstaple AAC Reserves in the only other game played in Intermediate One.
Haxton Rangers have wrestled back top spot in Intermediate Two courtesy of a 6-1 win at Georgeham and Croyde Reserves.
Haxton usurped North Molton Thirds to take back control of the division, with three games inhand on their nearest rivals.
Braunton Fourths cemented their place in third with a 5-1 win over Anchor Chiefs Reserves.
Terry Robertson netted twice, and Ryan Lark, Tyler Newnham and Raith Whattingham all scored once to move Braunton two points ahead of Chivenor.
At the other end of the table, South Molton Reserves and Lynton and Lynmouth Reserves played out a highly entertaining 3-3 draw.
Ashley Short put Molton in front inside of five minutes, before adding a second and a third in the opening 20 minutes to give Molton a commanding lead.
But Lynton got one back before half time and came out swinging in the second half, pulling a second back on the hour mark and equalising with just five minutes to play.
In the division’s other game, Putford Reserves were held 2-2 at home to Woolsery Reserves, a point which moved the visitors up to 12th.