THE TWO South West Peninsula League Division One (East) matches played in East Devon Wednesday night brought defeats for hosts Axminster Town and Honiton Town against their high flying – and free scoring – visitors Newton Abbot Spurs and St Martins.
The game at Honiton saw the Saints maintain their push for the title with an extraordinary 7-4 victory! Skipper Ben Ede gave the hosts an early lead from a fine 20-yard free kick, but St Martins were soon in front at 2-1 before Ede netted his second from the penalty spot.
The Saints gave a lesson in fine finishing as they marched into the break 5-2 up and never looked back despite the best efforts of home keeper Rowan Symonds who made three superb saves.
Ede completed his hat trick with the pick of the goals – a curling shot into the top corner after cleverly wrong footing two defenders. But the visitors weren’t about to be caught in the goal fest and eased to victory with top scorer Stuart Davies also bagging a hat trick.
Word soon reached Axminster’s Tiger Way ground where kick off ws one hour later putting added pressure on current leaders Newton Abbott Spurs who needed a win to reassert their own title claims. They should have been in front after 15 seconds but skipper Adam Dyson fired wide of the far post. But the Spurs skipper and league top scorer was to make amends as the match progressed.
Ax right winger Aaron Daniels continued his good run in front of goal when he put his side in front against the run of play with a pinpoint 25 yard curling shot that dipped over Spurs’ keeper Dom Aplin.
But the Tigers lead lasted just two minutes as Dyson atoned for his earlier miss by bundling the ball over the line at the second attempt after Ax gloveman Scott Wells-Burr had parried his initial effort.
Spurs took the lead in the 54th minute when Dyson’s close range header was clawed away by a defender but the referee and linesman adjudged the ball had crossed the line, awarded the goal, and saved Ax from finishing the game with 10 men.
The visitors went close again 20 minutes from time when Dyson’s volley smashed against the post but he duly completed his third hat trick in four matches with a tap in four minutes from time after team mate Liam Moseley had robbed defender Elliot Dyer who dwelled on the ball too long to round off a 3-1 win.