Tuesday, May 7, 2013
THE Premier Division champions will be decided tonight (Wednesday) as neck and neck rivals Torridgeside and Bideford Reserves go down to the wire in their final matches.
Following a 2-1 win at home to Bradworthy on Saturday, Torridgeside go into their game away to Putford with the narrowest of advantages, just one ahead on goal difference.
They will be bidding for their second trophy in a gruelling week of three games in seven days.
Saturday’s win over Bradworthy came two days after a 5-1 victory over Hatherleigh in the Torridge Cup final last Thursday.
First half goals by Mark Bettis and Rob Holland set Torridgeside on their way against Bradworthy.
Soon after the break Lee Clarke pulled one back for the visitors, but Torridgeside held on to take the points that put them back on top of the table.
Bideford had briefly taken back pole position after their 4-1 midweek win at Braunton.
They went 2-0 ahead with goals by manager Sam Stephens and Nathan Bate before Ross Maynard pulled one back for Braunton from the penalty spot.
But further goals by Aaron Stevens from the penalty spot and Joe Grimley saw Bideford safely home.
Tonight they have potentially the tougher challenge of Shamwickshire Rovers, with both league and family honours at stake.
Shammy are led by manager Gary Ford, whose son Ben and son-in-law Tommy Hayne are both members of the Bideford squad!
“Come Thursday it will either be me or them who are laughing. But it’s only a game of football,” said Gary.
Shammy showed their own credentials midweek with a 4-3 win at home to long time title contenders North Molton, who are now in fourth place. “Despite missing players it was our best performance in six months,” said the Shammy manager. Their goals came from James Bateman, Andy Allin, Ross Glover and Joe Barker.
Tom Marsh struck four goals as North Molton made amends with a 6-0 win on Saturday over a makeshift Georgeham and Croyde, who had seven first teamers missing - on a stag party in Amsterdam! Liam Craze and Marcus Mahoney filled their goalsheet.
Bradworthy followed up their narrow Saturday defeat with a narrow Sunday victory 1-0 at home to Dolton, Ben Moulder scoring their goal.
First team manager and ‘long retired’ goalkeeper Steve Jenkins filled in between the sticks for both games.
Braunton and Shebbear United shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw that was played on the Ilfracombe ground. A Ross Maynard penalty again accounted for the Braunton score.