Stags find sparkle as Putford threaten to give Kersey a case of the bonfire night blues

NORTH Devon Gazette Premier Division leaders North Molton had to come from behind to beat Putford 3-1 on Saturday.

Gary Walter put the visitors 1-0 up from the penalty spot at Rocksfield as the Stags failed to find an early bonfire night sparkle.

Alex Lane helped spare his team mates the half-time fireworks from manager Mark Kersey with an equaliser 10 minutes before the break.

After the re-start, the plot could have been somewhat different were it not for an outstanding goal line clearance to deny Putford a 2-1 lead.

Instead, with the goal intact, Molton went straight up the other end and won a corner, Liam Craze lighting the blue touch paper for Kyson Chugg to head an unstoppable rocket past Will Tallamy.

Greg Holland made it 3-1 to the hosts with 10 minutes to play.

Stags manager Kersey said he was happy with his side’s response from the previous week’s performance against Appledore.

Ilfracombe Reserves won for the first time in three games to maintain second spot in the table, albeit having played more games.

The Bluebirds were convincing winners against a weakened Torrington side fielding seven second team players due to unavailability and injury.

Torrie went in 5-0 down at half-time at Vicarage Road but put in a better second half display to finish the game on the end of a 7-1 score line.

Carl Power, Kye Goodman and Mark Gilfillan all scored two each for ‘Combe. Pete Varley added a single and Shane Hookway scored the consolation for the hosts.

The last time Shebbear United played at Appledore’s Marshford Ground was as finalists in Intermediate Two’s Bideford Tool Cup in May 2007.

They won the match against Grosvenor 4-3 but little did they know that just four years later, they’d be playing Premier Division football at the same ground.

Things didn’t start well on Saturday as Appledore Reserves took a 3-0 half-time lead through Charlie Logie, Seth Hodorowski and a Tom Barton penalty.

Goals by James Vanstone and Greg Mitchell in a better second half performance reduced the deficit to 3-2 but Shebbear were unable to match the goal tally of the previous cup-winning visit.

Manager Ben Jenkinson said: “It was our first league defeat in five games and although we were our own worse enemies in the first half, we played a lot better in the second.”

Appledore manager Kevin Fishwick said: “We played really well in the first half and it really could have been seven or eight-nil at half-time were it not for their goalkeeper.

“They stepped up their game and stopped us playing in the second half.”

Georgeham and Croyde went 1-0 down against bottom club Combe Martin before running out 5-1 winners

Mark Hunt finished well for the visitors after good work down the right flank.

Joe Budd equalised for the hosts before the break and the floodgates opened in the second half as Budd completed his hat-trick and Dave Newsome and Sean Creely also scored.

Combe Martin manager Glen Borthwick praised his struggling side’s competitive spirit: “We’ve lost a lot of players but we’ve been getting better over the last five games and the spirit and atmosphere between the lads has been absolutely fantastic.

“The work rate has also been exceptional with every player giving it everything from first to last minute,” he added.