A SECOND Western League win of 2022 was just what the doctor ordered for Buckland Athletic as they brought all three points back from Wellington on Saturday.
Goals in each half from Josh Webber and Ryan Bush earned Paul Froude’s side a 2-0 victory in Somerset – which helped to banish memories of Wednesday’s Les Phillips Cup exit at the hands of Saltash United.
‘I was pleased with the reaction from the players,’ said Froude this week. ‘We asked for one and that’s what we got.
‘It wasn’t a game for the purist as the pitch didn’t really allow for that. But we defended well and restricted Wellington to little more than long shots, really.
‘The back three were superb, as were the three in front of them. The clean sheet was a big target of ours as we’ve conceded far too many goals over the past few weeks.’
There was less joy for Newton Abbot Spurs in the Peninsula Premier East despite a late resurgence from Marc Revell’s side away at Sidmouth Town.
The visitors went 3-0 down thanks to a brace from former Buckland man Nathan Cooper and one from Jamie Vaughan-Ryall.
James Moxon replied twice to make it 3-2 and set up a tense finale, but ultimately it was too little, too late.
‘I told the lads after the game that we have to accept they are just slightly better than us,’ said Revell.
‘They were hungrier, they wanted it more and they were 3-0 up. It was only a late onslaught from us which made it a tense finish.
‘It was frustrating and we didn’t really deserve to win or draw the game based on our performance.
‘I’ve said to the players that they all have to drive each other on to be better. We have performed at a high level multiple times this season so now I expect it every game.’
Bovey Tracey had no game scheduled on Saturday, but they were expecting to welcome title-challenging Brixham to Mill Marsh Park in the Peninsula Premier East on Tuesday night.
Relentless rain at the beginning of the week put paid to that, with the match being called off due to a waterlogged pitch.
‘It’s really disappointing as we were expecting there to have been a good crowd there,’ admitted Bovey manager Will Small.
‘We were working on the pitch for most of the day on Monday, but unfortunately despite our best efforts we couldn’t get it on.
‘The fact we didn’t have a game on Saturday either makes it even more frustrating. We just want to play football matches.’
Teignmouth are into the semi-finals of the McDonald’s League Cup despite a ‘rusty’ performance away at Alphington.
The Teigns hadn’t had a game in the Devon Football League South & West since February 5, but goals from Ash Donohue (2) and Jay James got them over the line.
‘It was probably a good game for the neutral but we were poor,’ said Teignmouth manager Liam Jones.
‘But it was only our fourth game in about 10 weeks, so I don’t really want to be too harsh on the lads.
‘It was a bit like a rusty pre-season performance. The intent was there but we were just lacking in quality.
‘Our levels dropped when we took the lead. There were no real hairy moments but we definitely could’ve made things easier for ourselves.’
An enforced fixture break did Buckland Athletic Reserves some good as they produced a 1-0 win at home against Bere Alston United in the DFL South & West.
Lewis Round headed in Charlie Nichols’ set-piece for the only goal of the game as the Bucks bounced back from a 4-0 defeat at the start of February.
‘Off the back of the Argyle defeat we had two weeks off,’ said manager Craig Hutcheson. ‘We reverted back to our original shape and we were able to welcome back the likes of Josh Squires, Chris Newnham and Matt Beer.
‘In the first half I thought we played some good football. We got the ball into good areas but just couldn’t capitalise on our chances.
‘We lost Ross Beer to the sin bin just after half-time which evened things up a bit for a little bit. But then Charlie Nichols has put a set piece straight on to Lewis Round’s head, which he diverted in.’
Liverton United hadn’t played since February 12 in the DFL North & East division, but brushed off the cobwebs to win 3-1 away at Exmouth Town Reserves.
Goals from Emi Mucaj, Vito Percinovic and Ben Towler did the trick for John Fleet’s men. Paul Barnes replied for the home side, which also featured first team manager and Torquay United legend Kevin Hill.
‘We still struggled a bit for numbers so we took along a couple of the reserves,’ said Liverton boss Fleet. ‘It was the same old story in that respect.
‘But we dominated the game, really. They were on top for the first five or 10 minutes but once we settled down we grew into the game.
‘When Ben Towler made it 3-1 10 minutes after half-time they lost their belief, and we weren’t really too troubled.’
For more reaction and pictures from Saturday’s matches, including a full round-up from the South Devon League, pick up a copy of tomorrow’s Mid-Devon Advertiser, Dawlish Gazette or Teignmouth Post [March 3].