This week’s North Devon Gazette Football League round-up
The race for the North Devon Gazette Football League premier division title is neck and neck after leaders Boca Seniors suffered a surprise setback at Shamwickshire Rovers on Saturday.
It was only Boca’s second defeat of the season, but enough to open the door to chasing Braunton - who duly took full advantage with a commanding victory over Barnstaple AAC.
Boca may still have been feeling the effects of the Christmas period on Saturday and were punished time and again by Shammy Rovers.
Shammy’s goals came from Joe Barker, James Bateman, Matt Downing, Sam Bissett and Ross Glover, and left Boca with the losing feeling for only the second time since the beginning of the 2013-14 season.
Braunton made no mistake in their first game of the new year, firing on all cylinders at Lobb Field.
Alan Woodcock scored four for last season’s runners-up, and there were two strikes each from Sam Box and Simon Townsend.
Ross Maynard also scored, while Ammies’ consolation goals came from Harry Knill and Ryan Young.
Boca, who have already beaten Braunton twice this season, now only top the table on goal difference.
All other matches this weekend fell foul of the weather.
Much like in the premier division, the remainder of the North Devon league suffered a near wash-out this weekend, with just two more fixtures surviving in the senior division.
Braunton Reserves remain on track to challenge for the title, having recorded a 10th victory in 13 league games on Saturday.
They won 2-1 at North Molton Reserves, with the goals coming from Jordan Evans and Raith Whattingham. Blake Ladley scored for North Molton.
The win helped Braunton up to third in the table, now just a point behind Hartland in second with three games in hand and only three points off leaders Landkey Town.
In the only other senior division game to be played, a Chris Dent double made it back-to-back wins for Chittlehampton.
They beat Lynton and Lynmouth by two goals to one, with Lynton’s goal coming from David Eastman.
Seven matches are scheduled for the coming weekend, including Hartland versus Torridgeside Reserves and Landkey against Woolacombe and Mortehoe.
INTERMEDIATE ONE AND TWO
Only one match was played in intermediate one on Saturday, with North Molton Thirds recording a convincing 3-0 win over Northam Lions Reserves.
The Stags moved up two places to seventh following the win, while Northam remain in the bottom two with just three points from their first 11 games.
Sam Phillips scored twice for North Molton, with Chris Nicol also on target.
Matches were equally scarce in intermediate two, but the weather couldn’t stop Georgeham and Croyde Reserves from putting eight past a stunned Lynton and Lynmouth Reserves.
It was only a fifth win of the season for Georgeham, enough to leave them 10th. They face a tougher prospect on Saturday, when they are due to travel to second-placed Appledore Academy.