SHAMWICKSHIRE Rovers' title hopes took a mighty knock with a 3-1 defeat against Braunton on Saturday. Mark Harris' side have not been firing on all cylinders of late - and with six players unavailable for the game against Shammy, things were looking bleak
SHAMWICKSHIRE Rovers' title hopes took a mighty knock with a 3-1 defeat against Braunton on Saturday.Mark Harris' side have not been firing on all cylinders of late - and with six players unavailable for the game against Shammy, things were looking bleak."We were really down to brass tacks," admitted Braunton manager Harris. "We have lost Ben Leyland to Appledore and had a number of players out for various reasons. I had 12 available and my 45-year-old assistant Tim Leyland took a place on the bench, despite not playing for a number of seasons. But we gave ourselves a real talking to before the game and came out fighting from the first whistle. You don't become a bad team overnight and I told my players that if they played for each other, we could turn our recent bad run of form around."Despite an early set-back on 20 minutes, it worked. A looping deflection off defender Dave Bennett had given Shammy an unlikely lead. But, almost instantly, Braunton hit back with a Daryl Read header that all but crossed the line before being hooked out by a Shammy defender. Read shook off his disappointment five minutes later, levelling the scores with a fine shot into the roof of the net.With things tied at half-time, Braunton went looking for more in part two. They were rewarded on 55 minutes after Dean Moore broke the off-side trap to round the keeper and slot home. With 25 minutes left to play, half-time substitute Elliott Whitecross sealed the win for Braunton. When the ball dropped to him in the box, Whitecross side-stepped the defender and rifled the ball into the far corner.It was a good weekend for league leaders Boca. Two games, two wins - through to the next round of the Brayford Cup with a 4-1 win over Hartland and five points clear in the race for the league title after a comprehensive 8-0 victory against bottom-of-the-table Kilkhampton on Sunday.After 35 days since their last match, Boca returned to action with a 4-1 win in their twice-postponed Brayford Cup first round tie with Hartland.The home side played some nice intricate stuff, most of it coming through the left side combination of Richie Joslin, Lee Capner and Richard Shannon. But 10 minutes in it was the ever industrious Giles Daniel who tricked his way through to fire low into the the net for the opening goal. Matt Deakin made it two with a well-taken finish from six yards and Daniel claimed Boca's third before half-time to effectively kill the tie off.In a scrappy second half, striker Tarrant Wotton grabbed a deserved fourth goal with a header before Hartland claimed a consolation minutes from the end. At Kilk there were hat-tricks for 'Mr Assister' Taz Wotton and Richard Shannon and singles from Sid Daniel and Richie Joslin.A bonus for Darren Todd's men is that not only are the goals flowing, but early season defensive issues are a distant memory thanks to great form from Lewis Ovey, Shaun Ley and a returning Brad Munden. Even keeper Darren Babb is getting in the act, making a fine penalty save mid-way into the second half against Kilk. Munden was man-of-the-match, although the strikers will grab the headlines . Yes, it's good to be at Boca right now.Pilton Academicals maintained the chase in third spot in the Senior Division after coming out odd-goal winners in a seven-goal thriller at Clovelly, But following their 4-0 win at Shamwickshire Reserves, Torrington are looking threatening in fourth spot, still with games in hand.Intermediate One table-toppers Combe Martin Reserves and Landkey fought out a close encounter in the Arlington Cup before the Combe boys came through 2-1 to maintain their unbeaten record.After three postponements, the Arlington Cup match between Torrington Admirals and Sporting Barum finally took place. This was also a close match and went to the team which took its chances the best -Admirals coming out 2-1 winners.Sporting had an excellent first half, with the majority of the play, but could not get the ball in the net. A minute before the break Sporting keeper Tom Webb pulled off an excellent save with his legs after the Admirals broke through, but he could not stop a well taken shot a minute later to send them in 1-0 behind.On 70 minutes the Admirals doubled their lead. This spurred Sporting to greater efforts and they were rewarded with a goal from Lee Kerswell, but further pressure failed to produce an equaliser.Equalizers breezed through their Arlington Cup encounter with Braunton 3rds 6-1.Darren Floyde made the most of two early chances to put Equalizers in control and Adrian lynch headed the ball down for Lee Holding to slot home a third before the break.A solo run saw Holding grab his second and Taro Bishop added another before substitute Matthew Mitchell made an immediate impact with the sixth.Torrington Reserves held on to their unbeaten Intermediate Two record, but slip from the top of the table on goal difference after being held to a 1-1 draw by fourth-placed Park Utd.Anchor go above them to the top, although they had to battle before taking the points 4-2 away to lowly Bradworthy Reserves.