Caradon’s 34 match unbeaten run came to an abrupt end at Torbay two weeks ago, so North Devon sensed an ideal opportunity to inflict more pain on the Cornish visitors and push themselves in to the top three in the Southern One tabletable.
A goalless first half was not an aesthetically pleasing return for the number of spectators that had made the trip to Park School. With regular striker Ashley Thorne dropping back in to midfield to deputise for absent midfield maestro Ben Andrew, the home side created few opportunities to score. The only real credible chance was spurned by Guy Cockcroft shortly before the break and a number of green cards on both sides, including one for Cockcroft, made it hard for either team to build any fluency to their game.
The deadlock was finally broken with Cockcroft tapping in from close range, early in the second half. However, North Devon's propensity this season to give the ball away cheaply let Caradon back in to the game with two well worked goals.
Excellent link up play down North Devon's left flank saw Captain David Orr slot in to level the score, only for Caradon to retake the lead with a deadly drag flick five minutes from time. The home side rallied shortly after by winning a penalty corner, which Cockcroft converted to bring the scores level. His subsequent sending off for a cynical challenge moments later could not detract from a well-earned draw.
"I think a share of the points was fair result and we probably would have taken that at the beginning of the day", summarised a jubilant Ashley Thorne, North Devon's man of the match.
This Saturday (November 30) North Devon travel to University of Exeter E.