NINE goals were shared at Mill Marsh Park last night as Bovey Tracey earned their first win of pre-season against Buckland Athletic Reserves.

The Peninsula League hosts raced into a two-goal lead before being pegged back to 2-2 by the visitors from the Devon Football League.

Two more goals either side of half-time made the game safe before the Bucks grabbed a late consolation to leave the final score 6-3.

Will Small’s men were ahead with only seconds on the clock after Oli Aplin was played in and finished low past makeshift Buckland keeper Owen Stockton.

The first team central midfielder was picking the ball out of the net again on five minutes after Finn Roberts’ cut-back wasn’t dealt with and Aplin gobbled up the rebound for his second.

But fears of a totally one-sided affair were quashed with just under quarter of an hour gone when Luke Lewis rose highest from a corner and thumped John Fleet’s side back into it.

And moments later they were level thanks to a mazy run down the left-hand side which resulted in Josh Hurren slotting past home custodian Dom Aplin.

Joe Crook saw a goal to complete an unlikely turnaround ruled out by the linesman’s flag before Bovey re-took the lead with half an hour gone.

Roberts broke down the right and unleashed a trademark thumping effort into the roof of the net which left Stockton with no chance.

The two-goal lead would be restored seven minutes before half-time when Bucks centre-half Casey Cooper headed Pete Mwaro’s cross into his own net.

Substitute Luke Manuel made it five just before the hour when he was fouled in the area, dusted himself off and fired the resulting penalty straight down the middle.

Jerry Revell was responsible for making it 6-2 on 67 minutes – the bustling young striker sliding the ball across Stockton to finally get a goal which his recent performances have deserved.

There was almost another own goal with 10 minutes left when Fin Holmes thumped a Roberts cross against his own post.

But it was Buckland who would have the final say as Josh Squires rounded Aplin and rolled the ball into an empty net with two minutes to go.

After the match, Bovey manager Small admitted that despite the victory, he was far from pleased with a lot of what he saw.

‘It was our first win and probably our worst performance,’ said Small. ‘We started really bright and really quick with a couple of early goals and then it was back to bad habits.

‘We thought we had the game won, switched off, didn’t win our individual battles and didn’t try hard enough.

‘Next thing you know it’s 2-all, we’re on the back foot and scratching our heads as to what has happened.

‘It was good to get minutes into certain people – Cal Leech needed a good run-out and got that – and we took our goals well, so there are a couple of positives to take from it.

‘But experienced lads who have been around long enough were making too many sloppy mistakes.’

Following a 2-1 win over Watts Blake Bearne on Saturday, new Bucks boss Fleet was satisfied with the fight his side showed.

‘I probably would’ve taken that result having not had a goalkeeper,’ Fleet admitted. ‘I think we probably could have played a little bit better at times – we over-played and we didn’t need to help them get goals.

‘I think we just need to learn when to play out and when to go a little bit longer because we just put ourselves in trouble.

‘But that will come, I think. A lot of the lads have been drilled into playing football all the time and sometimes you can’t do that.

‘But I’m really pleased that we scored three goals. I said to them at half-time that it could have gone one of two ways at 2-0.

‘It was almost like we were the deer in the headlights initially. We were all over the shop, which is to be expected with a group of lads who have been chucked together a bit.

‘I feared the worst for a little while, but actually I thought the lads showed great character to get it back to 2-all.’