A LOW key first half saw Axminster Town on the back foot and trailing 1-0 at the break against a well drilled Teignmouth side at Tiger Way last night.
THE Tigers came into the game without injured skipper Callum Garrett (groin) and vice captain Darren Hutchings (hamstring) so Mark Scott, who himself came through a late fitness test on a tight groin, took the armband while left wing back Charley Skilton started on the bench having played for the Exeter City Under 17s team in the afternoon.
The Teigns forged an early chance with Ax keeper Scott Wells-Burr forced to beat out a fierce drive, he then got a touch on an effort from Jack Baxter that was then headed away from under the bar.
The Tigers first attempt came in the 11th minute when Tony Pinder cracked an effort just over the bar after good link up play with Dan Beer.
The opening goal came seven minutes later after the visitors forced a trio of corners.
The first was blocked on the line by Nathan Warren, the second was headed round the post by player-manager Jon Hurford but the third was met by centre back Hayden Roe who rose, more or less unchallenged, to head home.
Ax, second best at this point, tried to respond and Paul Nicholls fired a shot narrowly over before a Gary Spiller cross from the right just evaded the lunging Pinder at the back post.
But the visitors deserved their lead with the hosts’ decision making in the final third sadly lacking and possession gifted away.
They were much better after the interval and were on top for 25 minutes with Spiller and Pinder looking lively down the right.
Visiting keeper Luke Ashford, who had a brief stint in a Tigers’ shirt back in 2012, made his first save on the hour when he tipped a looping header from Craig Every from the edge of of the box over the bar.
Moments later Ax missed a golden chance when Ashford flapped at a Pinder cross but the ball fell to Sam Dibling, who was well shackled and had an unusually quiet night, but he scuffed his shot and the ball rolled wide from seven-yards out.
Two minutes later they went close again, this time Spiller showed great skill to pull down a high ball before teeing up Pinder whose swerving shot dipped inches over the woodwork.
And with it went the Tigers chances as the tempo dropped and Teignmouth began to look dangerous on the counter. Sam Chapman stabbed a reactive volley just wide but went one better in the 79th minute with the goal of the game – an unstoppable drive from just inside the area that zipped into the net off an upright giving Wells-Burr no chance.
At the other end the Tigers, now in a 3-5-2 formation, went close when Ashford did well to save efforts from Hurford and Warren.
But the visitors struck again in the 90th minute when Lloyd Gardner, who impressed all evening, showed good pace down the right before setting up Sean Ayre who guided the ball home.
Sub Joe Urquart grabbed a consolation deep into injury time with his first goal for senior team, but the Ax slipped to their third defeat on the spin while the win takes Teignmouth back up to fourth spot.
Hurford’s summary was simple: “We had good chances, but they [Teignmouth] took theirs through our own mistakes.”
Next up for Axminster, still eight in the table, is Saturday’s trip to face lowly ALPHINGTON.
Axminster: Scott Wells-Burr, Craig Every, Dan Beer, Mark Scott (capt), Shaun Wells-Burr, Paul Nicholls, Gary Spiller, Nathan warren, Sam Dibling, Tony Pinder, Jon Hurford.
Teignmouth: Luke Ashford, Jack Greenslade, James Myles, Hayden Roe, Scott Baxter (Capt), Piers MacLaughlin, Jack Baxter, Jake Smith, Sam Chapman, Lloyd Gardner, Sean Ayre. Subs: Kingsley Burrows, Matt Eves, Geoff Breslan, Liam Jones.
Referee: Ryan Hedges.