Tuesday, October 15, 2013
This week’s North Devon Gazette Football League review
Boca Seniors held onto their 100% record in the North Devon Gazette Football League Premier division – but only just.
They were pushed all the way by Barnstaple AAC in a thrilling game, won by the odd goal in nine.
Barnstaple will not score four times and lose the game too many times this season, but that was the case here as goals from Giles Daniel, Wayne Parkhouse and two from Craig Sandle were overhauled by visitors Boca.
Ciaron Lishman scored twice for the away side, while James Hill and Elliot Whitecross each scored singles and an own goal helped Boca over the winning line.
Boca’s winning run will be challenged again next weekend when they host last season’s runners-up Bideford Reserves.
Despite the win, Braunton remain top after recording a 3-1 win of their own over North Molton.
The league leaders had fallen behind, but Ross Maynard got them back on level terms before Nathan Knight and Joe Seldon saw them to another win.
But manager Mark Harris is concerned with the mistakes his team are making.
“We didn’t play particularly well,” he said. “We’re making too many little mistakes but we’re getting there.”
Last season’s winners and runners-up fell further off the pace of this year’s leaders but entertained as they played out a 2-2 draw in a game of two halves.
Nathan Walter put last year’s champions Torridgeside ahead in a first half which they dominated, but Bideford came out a different side in the second half and were soon level through Jake England.
Nathan Bate then scored directly from a corner to put Biddy Reserves in front, but Darren Parish grabbed an equaliser with seconds to play.
The draw leaves Bideford Reserves fourth and Torridgeside fifth, eight and nine points behind leaders Braunton respectively.
Torrington moved up to third with a tighter-than-expected 2-1 win at struggling Georgeham & Croyde.
Appledore Reserves recorded their first win of the season with a 3-1 victory over fellow strugglers Bradworthy to move up to 13th, while Dolton stayed clear of them in 12th with a 2-1 win over Fremington.
Shamwickshire Rovers managed their biggest margin of victory this season with a 4-0 drubbing of Chittlehampton.
The last remaining unbeaten record in the senior division has gone after Ashwater succumbed to the impressive Braunton Reserves on Saturday.
Braunton withstood a huge amount of pressure to come away with a 1-0 win, defending valiantly as Ashwater won 21 corners.
The decisive moment came when a defence-splitting pass from Tom Hunnibell found Tavis Fairlie, a touch of class which was enough for the visitors to take all three points.
Landkey Town moved second with their fourth consecutive league win.
They outclassed Lynton & Lynmouth in a 4-0 win which sees them well-placed going into next week’s clash with bottom-of-the-table Morwenstow Reserves. Braces from Joe Gillard and Danny Hommell earned the win for Landkey.
Park United remain third after providing a big win of their own.
Park dominated the game with Torridgeside Reserves and ran out 6-0 winners to boost their goal difference to +27 – which only Braunton Reserves can better.
Woolsery also remain in touch at the top after a 3-0 victory over North Molton Reserves.
A Simon Appleby brace and a Billy Pearce strike led them to the win, which moves them fourth ahead of a tricky trip to Braunton on Saturday.
Merton also picked up a win to move into the upper reaches of the table, as they beat Putford by three goals to one.
James Ashton’s goal for the visitors was overshadowed by efforts from Luke Ashton, Craig McConnachie and Thomas Parish as Merton marched to a fifth win of the campaign.
Combe Martin picked up just their second three points of the season, beating South Molton 3-2.
South Molton led early on through Rob Reed but were then on the receiving end and found themselves 3-1 down with 10 minutes to play.
South Molton pushed hard but could not find an equaliser after James Wilson gave them a sniff and Combe Martin held on for a pivotal win.
League leaders Braunton Thirds overcame a scare against Equalizers on Saturday as they came back from two goals down to win 5-2.
Mathew Mitchell and Jack Popham had put Equalizers in control of the game, until a sending off and a penalty turned the game on its head.
Equalizers boss Adrian Lynch was less than impressed by the referee’s decisions.
“I have seen a lot of football played and I have never seen so many bad decision made by a ref in a game,” he said.
There were no such worries for Ilfracombe Thirds, as they powered to second in the table with an 8-0 win over lowly Clovelly.
Anchor Chiefs, too, found the going rather more straightforward as a 5-0 win over Sporting Barum moved them third.
Chiefs leapfrogged Pilton to get there, after they dropped points for a third straight game in a six-goal thriller with Hartland split three apiece.
High Bickington picked up a win over bottom-of-the-table Northside Atlantic to move ninth, while Northam Reserves and Barnstaple AAC Reserves couldn’t be separated in a 2-2 draw.
Woolacombe & Mortehoe stay sixth after a 0-0 draw at Torrington Reserves.
Chivenor stayed top of Intermediate Two with a routine 2-1 win over Woolacombe & Mortehoe Reserves.
They maintain their one-point gap over Haxton Rangers, who also put three points on the board this weekend.
They proved too strong Appledore Academy, beating them by four goals to two.
Fremington Reserves moved third with a 3-2 win at Putford Reserves, while Woolsery Reserves bagged a 4-0 win over bottom club Merton Reserves.
North Molton Thirds are up to fifth thanks to a 4-1 win over Anchor Chiefs Reserves.
Blake Ladley was on target twice, while Sam Damsell and Oliver Chalk also found the net for the home side.
Neil Challis pulled one back for Chiefs but the result never looked in doubt.
Hartland Reserves surprised Chittlehampton Reserves to record their second win of the season, and they did so by an impressive margin, winning 6-2.