Manager gives his verdict...

AXMINSTER Town manager Jon Hurford felt his first season the helm at Tiger Way was ‘mixed’ as the curtain came down on their South West Peninsula League Division One (East) campaign with a disappointing 4-1 defeat at Bovey Tracey on Monday evening.

The Moorlanders made a decent start to last night’s encounter at Mill Marsh Park and deservedly took the lead after 10 minutes. But the match took and even deeper turn for the worse for Ax five minutes later when keeper Brett Garner was shown a straight red card for a last man foul –  a decision which the Tigers disputed.

“Brett came out his area to sweep up a long ball over the top and the centre forward got there first,” said Hurford. “It didn’t look like there was any contact and the Bovey player went down after taking a heavy touch, the red card was a killer for us.”

The Tigers immediately switched to a 4-4-1 line up with centre back Shaun Wells-Burr donning the gloves. But he was beaten as Bovey doubled their lead only 10-man Ax to pull one back before half time through top scorer Sam Dibling.

The visitors continued in a positive vein after the turnaround and created some decent chances but a double for the hosts killed the game and Ax trooped home emptyhanded.

“We ran out of steam in the end bu the lads fought right to the end and worked hard,” added Hurford, who summed up the season as a whole: “It’s been a mixed season regarding results but very enjoyable. We’ve had some really good wins and we’ve got some talented young players that will only improve.

“Now I’m looking forward to a break and then start preparing the side to better ourselves for next season.”

Axminster, sixth last time out, are currently lying eighth but appear destined for a 10th place finish this term.

Team: Brett Garner, Mark Smale, Shaun Wells-Burr, Elliot Dyer, Charley Skilton, Jamie Barfoot, Darren Hutchings, Sam Dibling, Kieran Daniels, Tony Pinder, Jonny Hurford. Subs: Lewis Burridge, Dan Galloway.

This article first appeared in the Independent. To get the latest articles when they appear, buy the print edition every Sunday or subscribe to our online edition HERE.