This week’s North Devon Gazette Football League round-up
There were wins for each of the top five sides in the North Devon Gazette Football League Premier division this week, as Boca Seniors extended their incredible winning run to twelve matches.
Boca beat Appledore Reserves 4-1 thanks to two goals from Ciaron Lishman, one from Jimmy Hill and another from the outstanding Matt Deakin.
Despite controlling the game throughout, Boca did concede a consolation; the only fly in the ointment for the league leaders.
Torrington got the better of last season’s champions Torridgside in a typically scrappy local derby which finished 2-0 to the visitors.
Nathan Delaune scored in both halves to give Torrington an important three points.
“It wasn’t a pretty game,” said Torrington manager Steve Bartlett. “We’ll play better than that and lose but the result’s what counts in a derby game.
“Winning the derby, you feel like you’ve got an extra point.”
Braunton stayed within four points of the league leaders with a hard-earned 3-2 win over Shebbear United.
Martin Davey scored twice for the visitors, who came into the match as underdogs, but goals from Sam Box, Simon Townsend and substitute Nathan Knight helped Braunton to an important three points ahead of their clash with Boca at the beginning of January.
Bideford Reserves stayed third courtesy of a 2-1 win over struggling Bradworthy.
Biddy started the season with some slightly patchy form, but have now strung together five wins on the trot.
Barnstaple AAC moved back up to fifth with an impressive 3-0 win over Ilfracombe Town Reserves.
Craig Sandle scored twice for the home side, who have gone through an indifferent run of form in their last few games, and Edward Jenkins was also on target to wrap up the three points.
Georgeham & Croyde finally picked up their first win of the season at the 13th attempt, beating Dolton by two goals to one to move them clear of bottom club Chittlehampton.
Park United closed to within one point of table-topping Braunton Reserves by registering the biggest win of the season so far – a 16-1 win over Morwenstow Reserves.
In a weekend of crazy results in the Senior division, North Molton Reserves played out a classic against Lynton & Lynmouth.
Lynton & Lynmouth will not score five times away from home and lose too often, but they did on Saturday as doubles from David Eastman and Max Smith and a single from Matt Pugsley were not enough to come away with any points.
Marcus Mahoney scored two for North Molton, along with goals from Dan Milewski and Darryll Reed.
Substitute Prince Sexon got a vital brace for the home side to tip the scales and claim the win at 6-5.
Barnstaple FC continued their impressive run of form with a 2-1 win at Shamwickshire Rovers Reserves.
It’s now six wins in a row for Barnstaple, who face fellow high-fliers Woolsery on Saturday.
Woolsery will also go into that game on the back of a win, having beaten Merton 3-0.
The win took them above Merton and into fifth, only four points behind Barnstaple FC in third.
Ashwater’s recent revival also continued, as they won 4-1 at Combe Martin.
Ashwater had lsot three games on the spin, but this result and a 5-1 win last week over Merton have seen them climb back to eighth place, with several games in hand on many of the sides around them.
South Molton showed some fight in their game against Northam Lions, picking up an all-important point for their 2-2 draw.
Kames Campbell put Molton in front inside ten minutes, but the Senior division strugglers were behind by half time.
Josh Hicks managed to turn in a scrappy equaliser for South Molton with just five minutes to play as they avoided defeat in the league for just the second time this season.
Equalizers missed the chance to go top of Intermediate One as they lost 3-2 at Hartland.
Two freak goals helped the home side to a 3-1 lead at half time, and despite a late rally from Equalizers and two goals from Jack Popham, the match was beyond the visitors.
Pilton were in good form on Saturday as they put seven past bottom club Clovelly.
Pilton are still fifth but have games in hand on two of the clubs above them after goals from Jack Ryder (2), Adam Gregory, Alex Boreham (2), Lloyd Harvey-Bryant, Matt Bryant.
One of those teams, Ilfracombe Thirds, were held 3-3 by High Bickington this weekend.
Combe missed the chance to go second, despite a brace from Colin Woodcock and another strike from Tristan Leech.
Anchor Chiefs picked up an impressive win over Northside Atlantic to move within four points of the top of the league.
Chiefs came away 5-2 winners to remain fourth, though they still have games in hand on second and third.
There was also a good win for Torrington Reserves, who beat Barnstaple FC Reserves 5-1 to move seventh.
In the only other game in Intermediate One, Barnstaple AAC Reserves picked up a good point at Woolacombe and Mortehoe, after their game finished one apiece.
North Molton Thirds hit the summit of Intermediate Two in style with a 6-1 win at bottom of the table Merton Reserves.
Oliver Chalk netted a couple, and there were also goals from Andrew Alexander, Archie Griffiths, Blake Ladley and Max Holding.
Simon Cottle scored for Merton, but the gap between the two sides showed as North Molton went top for the first time this season.
North Molton were offered the chance to hit the front after Chivenor slipped up at home to fellow title hopefuls Haxton Rangers.
Haxton came away with a 2-1 win, which puts them within three points of the leaders with games in hand.
Braunton Fourths put their indifferent recent form behind them with a 5-0 win against South Molton Reserves to stay within eight points of top spot.
Harry Boot, Jake Hawkins, Ross Wensley, Raith Whattingham and Jake Rush all found the net for Braunton.
Fremington missed their opportunity to go top – despite scoring four times.
They were beaten 6-4 by a battling Appledore Academy in a fine game between two good attacking sides.
Woolacombe and Morthehoe Reserves were also made to work before securing a famous victory, as they beat Putford Reserves 4-3.
Anchor Chiefs Reserves stayed seventh with a 6-2 win at Lynton and Lynmouth Reserves, while Hartland Reserves moved up to 11th with a 3-1 win at Chittlehampton Reserves.
North Molton Thirds face Chivenor on Saturday in what could prove a decisive match in this year’s Intermediate Two title race.