SEVEN days can be a long time in football - and when you re left reeling from a 4-1 cup knock-out on a Saturday afternoon, the chance for revenge in the league against the same club a week later can play heavily on a manager s mind. But, North Molton boss
SEVEN days can be a long time in football - and when you're left reeling from a 4-1 cup knock-out on a Saturday afternoon, the chance for revenge in the league against the same club a week later can play heavily on a manager's mind.But, North Molton boss David Peters' focus on his side's re-match with Braunton was rewarded when the Stags were given a second bite of the cherry at the weekend.This time, on their own turf at Rocksfield, his side ran out 3-1 winners against their North Devon Premier League rivals."I had to do some tough talking and make some hard decisions but it worked out for the best," Peters told the Gazette."After the 4-1 defeat I decided to drop a few and re-shuffle the pack a little."After going 1-0 down through a penalty conceded by Dale Bryant and converted by Ryan Dempsey, Molton were 2-1 in front by half-time. Captain Jon Lloyd's rebounded penalty was finished by Ritchie Joslin, while Dean Plummer pulled his side in front with the second.James Marsh made it 3-1 with the third late into the second half."I was proud of the performance and particularly by that of central midfielder Jack Jenkins, who played his best game for us since returning from an injury sustained earlier in the season. He came back to form with a fantastic performance," said the manager.Also in the Premier, Torridgeside and Hartland played out a rollercoaster 4-4 draw that saw Torrie take the lead three times before eventually slipping behind to the visitors and then pulling it back for a share of the points.Kyle Paine (2), Paddy Ions and Mark Sussex were the scorers for Torridgeside, while Richard Davy (2) and Norman Foster (2) were on target for Hartland.Appledore Reserves scored in the first and last minute of the first half in their match at Barnstaple Ammies. But the Ammies' Scott Sharp and Mark Thorne had added two in between Rob Avery and Matt Bolton's strikes for the Fishermen to make the score 2-2 at half-time.Despite enjoying most of the play, the hosts were unable to find a third goal and it was Appledore who stole all three points with a Sam Grimley header mid-way into the second half.In the Senior Division, result of the day goes to Bideford Reserves, who took three points off run-away leaders Torrington for the first time since they were clattered by Pilton Academicals on the first day of the season back in August.The Robins went in front through Hector Christie's penalty kick after Andrew White was fouled in the box after only five minutes.The visitors had chances to extend the lead in the first half, notably through first team player Shaun Lewis, who was playing his first full game after being out since early September due to an ankle injury. Torrington had their fair share of the game but never troubled keeper Ali Bright thanks to a superb performance from Sam Schiller, Oli Cole, Neil Hole and Matt Bryce in the Robins' back four.The second half was an even affair but Bideford's efforts at goal failed to trouble the Torrie keeper.The hosts' cause was not helped when they were reduced to 10 men after Sam Stephens was given his marching orders on 75 minutes."For me as a manager, it was good to see all 11 players run their hearts out for each other," said Bideford boss Derrick Elston.There was a good result also for Braunton Reserves, who, along with Bideford, are starting to mount increasing pressure on Torrington's time at the top of the table.At one stage, Braunton found themselves 3-1 down to an organised Bratton Fleming side who sit fourth in the table, also with games in hand on the leaders. The hosts' first came via an own goal after only a minute. Ten minutes later, Joe Gillard hit the second after collecting from a goal kick and lobbing the keeper who had come off his line.Braunton hit back on 21 minutes only for Bratton to go 3-1 up with another excellent strike by Gillard. The visitors pulled level with two late first-half goals and while only the post denied Gillard his hat-trick, Braunton secured the win with two further goals in the second half. Sam Box (3), Ricky Jeffery and Jordan Darch were the scorers for the Seasiders.Combe Martin Reserves picked up their first three points on the pitch since October, running out 3-0 winners against Chittlehampton.A very good game played at a very fast pace was competed by two young sides that didn't stop running. Ryan Blackmore opened the scoring on the half hour before Combe keeper Tom Hook pulled off a fantastic double save eight minutes later.In the second half, Craig Hawkins scored on 73 minutes, while Bradley Courtney-Pinn got the third with last kick of a game that was a lot closer than the score line suggested. Shebbear United beat Northam Lions with a single second-half Danny Gray strike. It was a good day for Shebbear's Shauns. Stand-in goalie Shaun Clifford pulled off what captain Jeremy Brock described as the best save he had ever seen from an amateur goalkeeper playing in this level of football."We were already walking back to the centre circle for the kick-off when Shaun made an incredible save a la Gordon Banks," the skipper told the Gazette. And while Clifford excelled at one end, 18-year-old Shaun Sluggett also had a good game to earn him a share of the man-of-the-match award with the keeper.The Lions came close too, hitting the woodwork twice and having a last-minute effort headed off the line by Shebbear's Paul Mills.In the other Senior game, Shamwickshire Reserves came back from being 2-0 down to draw 3-3 at Kilkhampton. Ellis Thorne (2) and Adam Walter scored the goals for Kilk, while Carl Armstrong (2) and Dean Moran scored for Shammy.In Intermediate One, second placed Torrington Reserves slipped to a 3-2 defeat at Braunton Thirds while High Bickington climbed above Anchor with a 2-1 win at Sporting Barum thanks to goals by Ricky Galbally and Tom Sanders.Marc Bettiss was the only scorer for an under-strength Torrington Admirals side in a 4-1 home defeat against Bude Town.In Intermediate Two, Buckland Brewer maintained their one-point advantage at the top of the table with a storming 8-0 victory at bottom club Chittlehampton Reserves.Before the game, manager John Adams informed his players that anything less than 100 per cent would mean a spell on the bench. After the game he declared it the best performance of the season.Buckland dominated from start to finish with periods of fine attacking football.The inclusion of Simon Leach, back after six months, paid dividends as he helped himself to a hat-trick. Not to be out done, fellow striker Vinny Bott weighed in with a trio himself.An own goal started the rout after 15 minutes, before Leach struck twice leading up to half time. A goal for Bott, immediately after the break, and a second minutes later by the same player put Buckland in total control. With Simon Adams running the show from midfield he duly obliged with a goal himself after 25 minutes. Late strikes from Bott and Leach to complete their hat-tricks was no more than Buckland deserved from an emphatic display. Also in the division, a good win for Putford Reserves saw them leapfrog rested Lynton into second in the table.Pilton Academicals Reserves claimed their fifth league win out of 10 this season with a 6-1 demolition of Ilfracombe Town Thirds. Gary Grant hit a hat-trick for the Accies, while Shane King, Sam Hommell and Quyen Tran were also on target.Graham Shapland opened the scoring for South Molton Reserves in their 4-2 win against Bratton Fleming Reserves 20 minutes into the match at Old Alswear Road on Saturday.Bratton hit back with a penalty on the half-hour mark before Chris Dent put the Images in front again on 65 minutes. The visitors pulled level again before Shapland struck a second 10 minutes from time and Colin Kennerson made the game safe five minutes later.North Molton and Mortehoe shared the points in a 2-2 draw while Bradworthy Reserves edged past Torridgeside Reserves in a 5-3 mid-table tousle.