BIZARRE own goals at both ends saw Bovey Tracey draw 1-1 against Brixham at Mill Marsh Park last night.
The Fishermen, who are chasing promotion from the Peninsula Premier East, went ahead when Tyler Yendle looped Scott Robinson’s cross into his own net.
Matt Clenahan’s over-hit back-pass got the hosts back on level terms just after half-time and that’s how it stayed.
The game was barely five minutes old when the travelling side were gifted their breakthrough.
Robinson’s weak cross looked destined for the gloves of Bovey stopper Jim Weeks, but Yendle’s intervention saw the ball loop over his keeper and into the far corner.
Back came the Moorlanders almost immediately at the other end, with a combination of Grant Fisher and some desperate defending denying Cieran Bridger twice from close range.
The remainder of the half passed by without much in the way of chances until another defensive lapse levelled the game up three minutes after the break.
Centre-half Clenahan seemingly had plenty of time to play a pass back to Fisher, but instead caught the visiting stopper out as the ball trickled into the far corner.
Brixham had a couple of decent looks at going back in front – Lewis Perring getting back well to deny Robinson and Weeks coming out to smother at the feet of skipper Kieran Parkin.
But ultimately neither keeper would be seriously troubled again as a healthy Wednesday night crowd saw the points shared.
The result leaves Tim Porter and Jason Couch’s men second in the league standings, level on points with third-placed Okehampton Argyle and five behind table-toppers Torpoint Athletic. They both have a game in hand on the Fishermen.
Bovey, meanwhile, sit 13th ahead of Saturday’s trip to Torrington – who they will leapfrog with a win at Vicarage Field.
‘You’ve got to be happy with that based on where we are and where they are in the league,’ said Bovey manager Will Small. ‘They’re challenging for a title so had to come here and win, and we did a good job.
‘We limited their chances, their goal was a lucky goal and I think if anyone looked like scoring a second it was us.
‘They went aerial quite a lot and played long ball, while we looked to play a lot more football on the deck. The ball just wouldn’t bounce for us in the right area, but we’ll definitely take a point.
‘They’re a good side. We’ve had lads coming in who haven’t played for a little while and lads who haven’t played together recently.
‘Against a team who are challenging for a title and who have been together all season as a squad, I think you take the positives from it. It’s definitely an improvement on the past few weeks.’
A few eyebrows were raised when the team sheets were submitted before kick-off as both sides called upon the services of Buckland Athletic players.
The likes of Ben Carter, Ryan Bush and Bridger all pulled on a different shirt to usual – which Small says is down to the time of season.
He explained: ‘Come the end of the season you get leagues finishing at different stages and it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. People are always going to bring in players from elsewhere.
‘I knew they were going to bring in a couple, and likewise we’ve managed to bring in a couple.
‘When we bring in players, it’s players who have played for our club before and have always played for me.
‘They will always help us out whenever they can, so it’s not unfamiliar faces or bringing in random people for a one-off game. That’s kind-of what they did tonight with Bushy.
‘For us, we have a core group of lads who we can always call upon, and hopefully moving forward towards next year we can entice them to come back and be a part of it again.’
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