DESPERATELY looking for three points at home to fellow Devon & Exeter League Division Three strugglers Axmouth United, Lyme Regis Reserves put in another inept performance on Saturday and conceded a point late in the game through some sloppy defending.
Axmouth are sitting a place below Lyme at the foot of the table and this win puts them just behind the Seasiders but with two games in hand. So the threat of relegation is now a real possibility unless Lyme can find some form to lift them up the table in the second half of the season.
Despite an experienced side, many of whom have played first team football, the Reserves have now lost five of their last six and are struggling to play as a cohesive unit.
Conditions at the Davey Fort were far from conducive to playing attractive football but Axmouth seemed to adjust to the muddy conditions better than the Seasiders.
Lyme started off strongly enough but it was Axmouth who went closest in the early stages when the ball was lobbed over the bar from close range with Lyme keeper Rob Harp stranded.
The Reserves got the ball in the back of the net in the 26th minute from a Wally Blackmore header but he was ruled offside. Soon after, Alfie Jacques had a good effort on goal minutes later but placed the ball wide. A long shot from Mark Bailey was headed off the line with the keeper floundering and a cross from Sam Pollard-Jones was met by Steve Batey whose header rebounded off the bar.
Axmouth grabbed the advantage just before half-time after a mix-up in the home defence and Lyme had two efforts cleared off the line in the dying seconds of the first half.
As the game wore on the conditions took their toll on Lyme who ran out of energy and endeavour after the break. Hard working Nathan Womersley fired high over the bar from a long Batey throw-in and the Seasiders dragged themselves back in the game in the 55th minute when Sam Pollard-Jones rifled the ball home after a goal-bound short from Bailey was blocked.
Lyme failed to capitalise on this and conceded the winner in the 82nd minute with the defence in sixes and sevens.
This was certainly not the response manager Dominic Rowe was looking for after losing 8-3 to Halwill 2nds the previous week. The Reserves have a free day this coming Saturday but then on January 25th they have a massive mountain to climb at home to league leaders North Tawton.
Squad: Rob Harp; Ben Bowditch, Wallace Blackmore, Aflie Jacques, Josh Rawlins; Nathan Womersley, Alex Rowe, Sam Pollard-Jones, Mark Bailey, Matt White, Steve Batey. Subs: Shane Featherstone, Julien Simier, Daley Holmes.