AS Braunton and Boca continue to battle it out at the top of the Premier Division, competition is so close that the first to blink is likely to lose out.
After a 5-4 defeat in extra time at the hands of Morwenstowe in the Torridge Cup midweek, Braunton were missing key players through injury for their league game at home to Putford on Saturday. But they maintained their pace with a 3-0 win thanks to a brace of goals from Graham Green and another from Simon Townsend.
Boca have been making up ground as they play off their games in hand, beating North Molton 5-2 midweek and Bratton Fleming 4-0 on Saturday. They remain 11 points behind, but with six games to play compared to Braunton’s three.
Having shuffled their pack to keep the squad fresh for their busy end to the season, Boca dominated the early exchanges against Bratton, but were rewarded with only one first-half goal, a close range strike from Tom Marsh.
With Bratton’s centre half duo standing firm, it was not until 15 minutes into the second half that the title challengers scored again with a curling 20-yard free kick from Mark Barrow. Then Damien Green sent in a cross that seemed to have been safely gathered by Bratton’s keeper, only for it to slip through into the net. James Davey added the fourth with a good backpost header from a Barrow cross.
Bradworthy got back on track following three defeats in a row in the league and cup with a 4-0 win at home to Georgeham and Croyde on Sunday.
They took the game to the visitors with some of their best football of the season. Dan Furse cracked a thumping shot from 20 yards in off the post for the first goal and others followed from Carlo Chandler (2) and Toby Curtis.
Barnstaple AAC are battling hard to get out of the relegation zone and gave themselves a boost with a 2-1 win at home to Shebbear. Midfielder Charlie Logie netted his first goal since returning to the Ammies a couple of months ago and although Shaun Sluggett pulled one back for Shebbear, a second half penalty from Oliver Rigler was enough to give Ammies the valuable points.
A 20 minute first half spell produced three goals in the Combe Martin versus Torridgeside clash. First blood went to Torridgeside with a goal by Carl Mott after 11 minutes, only for Combe to hit back four minutes later through Steve Wells. But after another fibe minutes had passed Corey Hynd put Torridgeside back in front. The second half was a stalemate until Marc Bettis made it 3-1 to Torridgeside.
Shamwickshire’s bid to stay in the top six was further enhanced with a 2-0 win at home to Dolton. Brothers James and Matt Downing netted the goals, both in the first half.
North Molton bounced back from their midweek defeat by Boca with a 4-2 win at home to Torrington. A Greg Holland goal came Molton a 1-0 advantage at half-time, but Torrington then pulled 2-1 ahead with goals by Tom Bulley and Tom Hawkes. Torrington were reduced to 10 men with a controversial sending off and Molton stormed back with further goals by James Tapp, Greg Holland and Tyson Chugg.
Georgeham and Croyde and Appledore Reserves fought out a 0-0 stalemate.