Hippos take giant leap towards first title

PROLIFIC: James Meliville took his goal tally for the season up to 40 with four in Hawkchurch United's 9-0 thrashing of Shepton Beauchamp Reserves in the Perry Street League Division One. Photo by HOWARD LARCOMBE

Beer edged out in thriller – Hawks hit nine

NEWS from the East Devon clubs in the Devon & Exeter and Perry Street Leagues;

Heavitree United 4 Beer Albion 3
Devon & Exeter Premier Division
BEER Albion were pipped by Heavitree United in a tense, bruising seven-goal thriller at Wingfield Park on Saturday writes Richard Honnor.
The condition of the playing surface was abysmal – it was cut-up, uneven and grassless in places – and contributed to mistakes on both sides. But it did make for an exciting spectacle with Heavies dominating the possession but with Beer always looking dangerous on the counter.
From the outset Heavitree imposed themselves and the Beer defence, missing centre back Andrew Foster, were regularly brushed aside by their strong running opponents. The Heavies should have been two goals up within five minutes but two chances were squandered from close range after poor marking.
The hosts took the lead on 24 minutes with a Jordan Harris header from a corner which was deflected in off the post by Beer full back Josh Moughton as he tried to clear his lines.
It would have been 2-0 two minutes later but for a flying save by keeper Mark Rooke after the Heavies had once again cut through Beer’s defence.
But Beer equalised on the half hour when midfielder Pedro Fontes started a move deep in his own half before an interchange of passes between Simon Smith and Walker ended with Smith providing a clinical finish from 12 yards. The Fishermen almost went ahead on 40 minutes when Walker crossed to Fontes whose shot was cleared off the line with the keeper beaten.
But with half-time approaching Heavitree went 2-1 ahead when a long pass out of defence found Harris who beat Rooke with a low shot from 18 yards. Beer were gifted an equaliser within a minute of the restart when Walker was brought down in the box and Smith converted the resulting penalty.
Heavitree again edged in front through a bizarre own goal from Shaun Denslow who, in an attempt to clear a low cross, half-volleyed into his own net. But the plucky Fishermen would not lie down. On 62 minutes, they levelled at 3-3 when, after fine work from MoM Walker split the Heavies wide open and Fontes slammed the ball home from six yards.
Good chances came and went at both ends, but Heavitree clinched the points three minutes from time when Matt Byrne hit an unstoppable shot from way out that flew into the top corner. This was hard on the Fishermen whose battling performance deserved a point.
Next Saturday, Beer entertain struggling Hatherleigh Town at the Furzebrake (3pm ko), the match sponsor is Beer Ball Albion.

Starcross Generals 3 Millwey Rise 2
Division Five
THIS game was rather lacklustre with both sides making elementary mistakes all over the field for the first 35 minutes writes Dick Sturch.
It was then that the game provided some purpose when Nathan Wormesley’s shot was tipped over and from the resulting Sam Turner corner Shane Featherstone’s powerful header gave the vistors a slender lead at half time.
Five minutes after the restart the home side were level from a 20-yard free kick that gave stand in keeper Matt Lewis no chance. A few minutes later the Generals split Millwey’s defence and took the lead only for Wormeslwy to stab home the equaliser two minutes later.
Millwey began making far more inroads into their opponents half. Featherstone struck the crossbar from distance and Alex Rocket’s strike from even further out was brilliantly saved by the home keeper.
Continuous Millwey pressure was eventually undone in the final minutes when Rocket was adjudged to have handled from a shot, which no way he could have evaded. This provided O’Brian the chance to secure the winner from the spot. Turner, Rocket and Zak Meaker were all prominent for Rise while Lewis in goal could not be faulted for the goals.

Millwey Rise Res 0 Amory Green Rovers Res 0
Division Nine
In their penultimate game of the season Millwey missed a hosts of chances and felt they had thrown two points away. The visitors didn’t have one shot on home goal throughout the match.
It did give the home side another clean sheet but they still need to win in the return fixture next week to guarantee a third place finish. Leon Finbow, Dave Bridges and Henry Alexander Mitchell were the Millwey stars. D&E

Round-up with Collin Goodwin & Howard Larcombe
HONITON TOWN struck a massive blow in their quest their first ever Premier title when they demolished their nearest rivals NEWTOWN 4-0 on their own turf. Braces from Tim Genders and Aiden Barrett did the job for the Hippos, and they will be full of confidence when the pair meet again in the reverse this Saturday.
Third placed ELMORE kept up the chase with a 6-3 victory at reigning champions TOPSHAM TOWN. OKEHAMPTON ARGYLE took their winning streak to 10 with a 5-3 win against FENITON. Mark Simic, Ben Allen and Louis Hilton scored for Fenny. SEATON TOWN were 3-0 winners at EXMOUTH AMATUERS with Jacob Rowe, Kyle Freeman and Josh French (pen) on target.
HENRY’S CRONIES are through to the Firewatch Devon Senior cup final after knocking out the holders EXETER UNIVERSITY RES 4-1. The semi was switched to the college ground after last week’s abandonment, but this time the Cronies made sure with Liam Carey (2), Matt Fanson and Billy Rouse scoring.
Cronies were also hoping to be crowned Division One champions had WELLINGTON TOWN RES managed to take points off WITHERIDGE RES, but the mid-Devon side kept them waiting with a 4-0 victory. SIDMOUTH TOWN RES moved into second place after winning 3-1 at COLYTON whose consolation came from Callum Somers, and LYME REGIS beat ALPHINGTON RES 3-2 to keep their hopes of a top three slot alive. Dom Rowe, Rob Fellingham and Dec Ellis won it for Lyme who played the last half with 10-men after Fellingham was red-carded for handball on the line.
The LYME REGIS RESERVES were also celebrating after beating STOKE HILL 2-1 to reach their first ever Football Express cup final. Ryan Fifer and Mark Batey scored for the Seasiders who also peppered the woodwork.
UPOTTERY RES are through to the Geary cup final thanks to a 1-0 win against ILMINSTER TOWN RES.
PERRY STREET underlined their claim towards the Division Three crown as they stormed to a 9-0 win against CLYST VALLEY. Their closest rivals EXETER UNIVERSITY and BAMPTON both won but AXMINSTER TOWN suffered a setback as they crashed 5-3 a home to NEWTON POPPLEFORD where Gary Spiller (2) and Brad-Lee Miller bagged the consolations. CREDITON UNITED made up a little ground on leaders ROYAL OAK in Division Five with a 4-2 win at BEER ALBION, as did WINCHESTER but they had a far harder task to shade NORTH TAWTON 5-4.
CRANBROOK kept alive their slim hopes of winning the Division Seven title after a 3-2 win at SEATON TOWN. Karl Suggs scored twice.
Finally, Pete Smith scored the consolation as AXMINSTER TOWN 3rds were thrashed 6-1 at BRAVEHEARTS’ in Division Eight.

HAWKCHURCH United remain in the hunt for promtion from Division One after thrashing Shepton Beau Res 9-0 with goals from James Melville (4), Glenn Harding (2), Gavin Herrod, Brad Cross and Ollie Pearse.
But FARWAY UNITED RESERVES crashed out of the Reg Eglo cup beaten 3-0 in the quarter final at Crewkerne Rangers Res.
Meanwhile, Eastlee Park was waterlogged for the FARWAY first team’s scheduled visit by Charmouth for a Daisy Hutchings Cup quarter final tie.

Sports Editor | Covering the whole of the Pulman's/View From group of titles. Howard has been covering sport in the East Devon, South Somerset and West Dorset region since 2007.