Christmas in the DFL
Happy New Year from all of us at the Scott Richards Solicitors DFL and it was great to see the rain disappear over Christmas and a decent programme of fixtures in both divisions last weekend.
Starting with the North & East Division and going back to Boxing Day, there were two fixtures played and an impressive 4-1 victory for Alphington at home to St Martins. The Alphas followed that with a 6-2 triumph at Topsham on Saturday, moving them to fourth in the table.
It was a tough result for Topsham, who also went down to a 3-1 loss at Heavitree a couple of days after Christmas. Heavitree took that confidence to leaders Newtown on Saturday but could nothing to stop a home side in exhilarating form, as they ran out 7-2 winners with a brace from Ben Howard and further goals scored by Jack Gill, Cory O’Donoghue, Kyle Bassett, Dale O’Donoghue and Scott Chambers.
The one other game played on Boxing Day was a festive cracker for Exmouth Town Reserves, as they won 5-1 at Budleigh Salterton. To their credit, mid-table Budleigh responded with a 5-2 win over Chudleigh Athletic on Saturday.
Bottom-club Clyst Valley came so very close to getting off the mark on Saturday, edging ahead through Troy Membury but Liverton United struck back in the second period with goals from Neil Last and Simon Laughton to win 2-1.
Bovey Tracey Reserves also remain entrenched in the bottom two after going down 5-0 at home to St Martins, moving the visitors third in the table. Exwick Villa are second after doubles from Nathan May, Mitch Ward and Sam Johnson gave them a 6-0 victory at Witheridge. In the final game, a solitary goal from Ben Aiken secured Braunton all three points at Teignmouth.
There were even more goals in the South & West Division over the festive period, starting with an entertaining Torbay clash that saw Roselands win 3-2 at Paignton Villa with goals from Alex Kassis, Curtis Clarke and Sonwabile Mlenze.
It was a particularly tough one to take for bottom-club Villa and they suffered a brutal 9-0 loss at Buckland Athletic Reserves on the weekend, while Roselands followed up that victory with another goal-fest, this time going down 4-3 at Newton Abbot Spurs Reserves, with Tom Sercombe scoring a brace and Matt Williams and Matt Tall on target.
The result rounded off a happy Christmas and New Year for the Spurs, this time Sam Hancox and Liam Ashwell scored the goals in a 2-1 win over Totnes & Dartington. The Tots recovered with a 2-2 draw at home to Bere Alston on Saturday. Dan Follett and Sam Hicks scored for the visitors, while Adam Biggs and Dan Block notched for the Tots.
Plympton Athletic recorded a terrific 3-1 win at Plymstock United on the Saturday after Christmas and then won 2-1 at the Plymouth Argyle Development side on the weekend, Lucas Lapthorne scoring in both victories. Plymstock, meanwhile, regrouped to draw 3-3 with Tavistock Reserves on Saturday, goals coming from Kriss Young, Ant Davey and a Joe Cox.
Paignton Saints were in electric form, dismantling Lakeside Athletic with an 8-3 triumph and Jamie Micklewright bagging himself four goals. Ottery St Mary produced arguably their performance of the season in winning 5-2 at Waldon Athletic and a great result for a side nearer the bottom of the table.
The final game was a show of strength from league leaders Kingsteignton Athletic, recovering from conceding first at third-placed Watcombe Wanderers to eventually win 5-1.