NEIL Last rescued all three points for Bovey Tracey in their 3-2 Peninsula League win over Stoke Gabriel & Torbay Police at the G.J. Churchward Memorial Ground.

Lewis Perring and Simon Laughton had Bovey in a commanding lead but they were level-pegging at half-time as Joe Aldous and Ryan McCaskill capitalised the visitors’ complacency. Last applied to winning touch 10 minutes from time.

‘It’s not the first time I’ve had this conversation,’ Bovey boss Tony Radford said on his side’s habit of making life hard themselves, ‘but to win a bit ugly, away from home, when we’re playing every two or three days, end of the day it’s the result [that matters]. 

‘Performance is bitty but it is three points – lovely.’

Perring gave Bovey the lead with a free-kick on seven minutes which, from the edge of the box, somehow snuck between the legs of goalkeeper Jim Weeks.

The left-back was again instrumental as the Moorlanders went two to the good on the half-hour mark. Returning a changed man from a period in the sin-bin, Perring whip an inch-perfect corner delivery in for Laughton to power home an authoritative, towering header.

Two minutes later, Stoke man Aldous made the most of a Moorlanders mix-up and lashed home to halve the deficit. Parity was restored on the brink of half-time when the Bees hit Bovey on a counterattack when the guests saw penalty appeals waved away. McCaskill was on hand to finish off the break.

‘We’re either really good or really poor,’ Radford explained. ‘We don’t have a middle-ground, and that’s the bit we need to tweak somehow. 

‘We were 2-0 up and coasting but you could tell we came off the gas – just slightly – but when we do that, we ship goals. I’ve said before that teams don’t have to do a lot to score against us, and both of their goals they had to do nothing. We gifted both of them, which is so frustrating. 

‘At half-time I told the lads to not come back [into the dressing room] unless we had three points. I don’t care how they get there as long as they get there.

‘We want to play football and we want to get it down but it’s just that bit in between; we’re being really casual in our box. The first goal we’ve passed it back to the ‘keeper and it’s hit our other defender and it’s gone to matey [Aldous] and he puts it in the net. 

‘It’s just about choices and decision – it’s no different to running through on goal and not squaring it to someone. Composure in both boxes is our problem – there’s being composed and there’s being half-asleep which happen to be the problem.’

Last netted the winner on 80 minutes, and it was a goal of individual endeavour. The midfielder pressed Stoke’s ball-carrying last man, broke past him and, when Weeks hesitated to approach the ball, steered round him and placed it home.

There was still time for Bovey to add gloss to the scoreline as Peninsula League top scorer Ollie Aplin met a dangerous with his head but glanced inches wide of the post.

‘Ollie works his backside off,’ Radford insisted. ‘I said to him after the game, ‘mate, great work-rate,’ and his response was, ‘that’s all I had, didn’t hit the net, did I?’ 

‘If all our players were off their game but ran as much as him we’d win more than we’d lose. He brings everything else as well as goals – I know, at the moment, it’s a little bit tough but we play again in two days, so they’ll come.’