NEWTON Abbot Spurs eased to a 7-0 victory over Buckland Athletic Reserves last night to continue their unbeaten pre-season run.
The Peninsula Premier East visitors had too much pace and fitness for their Devon Football League hosts – who had goalkeeper Toby Bennett to thank for keeping the score down.
The busy Callum Noyce helped himself to a brace and there were individual efforts from Jaden Bond, Owen Green, Sol Barclay, Finn Pearse and Will Hancox.
It was actually the hosts who came closest to opening the scoring when they rattled the post from a corner in the seventh minute.
The Spurs saw gilt-edged chances for Pullman and Green come and go before eventually taking the lead with quarter of an hour gone.
Green had his shot saved by Bennett, but full-back Bond was on hand to gather the rebound, cut inside and fire into the far corner.
Five minutes later Noyce doubled the visitors’ lead when he beat the offside trap to latch onto Pullman’s ball and strike low past Bennett.
Noyce – who could’ve scored five goals on another night – had an overhead kick well tipped over by Bennett, and he was involved again as Spurs scored their third.
Noyce’s pinpoint cross put it on a plate for Green, whose effort found the net via the palm of Bennett.
The goal of the evening was scored five minutes before half-time when Barclay let one fly from 30 yards which thumped the underside of the crossbar on its way in.
It was 5-0 just before the hour mark when towering centre-back Pearse got his head on a Will Hancox corner.
Hancox turned scorer for the sixth when he side-footed in of the left-hand post, before Noyce rounded off the scoring with the last kick of the game.
Despite the impressive scoreline, Spurs manager Marc Revell wasn’t 100 per cent pleased with his side’s performance.
‘It was good for 60 minutes but I was a bit annoyed for 30,’ said Revell. ‘We will play teams in our league who I think will be at Buckland’s level and we dropped to that for half an hour.
‘We were rash, too quick going forward and panicking at things. [James] Moxon won’t mind me saying, I’ve just had a pop at him for losing his head for 40 minutes. He has to be more composed and reset himself.
‘But overall it was good – 60 minutes of good football, but for spells we dropped below the levels I expect.
‘I’m not going to spend pre-season telling the lads how great they are because they’ll go into the season with a false sense of security.
‘When we’re playing against teams from lower leagues than us we should be going through motions of good habits, not bad.’
In the opposite dugout, Buckland Reserves boss John Fleet appreciated that his team had been beaten by a better side.
‘It was a tough game and I think they are a very good team,’ Fleet admitted. ‘Not only are they Peninsula opposition, I think they’ll be right up there challenging in that league as well.
‘We started really well – for the first 10 or 15 minutes we were on top and looking good. I wanted to go with pace upfront and we caught them out a couple of times.
‘The first half an hour was a tale of them being clinical with their chances, whereas we had three good chances and didn’t take them.
‘I’m happy with the run-out, but I think we could have kept the ball a little bit better because teams like this don’t need any help in terms of having possession.
‘That’s two tough games out of the way, and like I said to the lads they’ll learn more from those two games than we will against lower opposition.’
Fleet also reserved praise for goalkeeper Bennett, who followed the manager across from Liverton United earlier this summer.
‘He was superb,’ Fleet added. ‘It gives the defence so much confidence having him back there. He couldn’t do a lot about the goals, to be fair – a lot of them were pretty well-worked.
‘And I’d say a lot of them were down to Spurs’ good play rather than many mistakes from us. They were very quick, very incisive, very fit and you get that as you move up the levels. That was the difference tonight.’