LYME Regis 1st team surrendered their 100 per cent unbeaten record this afternoon (Saturday) when they lost 2-1 with an indifferent at home to Whipton & Pinhoe in the Devon & Exeter Premier Division.
The Exeter side arrived at the Davey Fort with only one win from four in the Premier Division, but on this form they will certainly take points off the top sides and could well be among them.
By contrast, Lyme did not look anything like a side leading the Premier pack with five six wins on the trot. For the second week running they struggled in breaking down a much bigger side and failed to produce the flowing football that excited their supporters in a recent victory over a strong Sidmouth side.
They struggled in narrow victories over Kentisbeare and Colyton and made hard work of the East Devon Senior Cup win over Lympstone, who play in a division below Lyme.
The Seasiders, were without marauding wing-back Cody Bowditch, hard working Nathan Womersley and the influential central defender Mike Knight, but they started positive enough with Fred Parsons side-footing a good chance wide from a corner early in the game.
Other good scoring opportunities fell to Joe Bond, shooting wide from an incisive through ball, and Fred Parsons whose point-blank shot was parried by the keeper.
But as the half wore on Whipton and Pinhoe looked the stronger of the two sides and were unlucky not to have taken the lead before half-time after outpacing the Lyme defence.
The Seasiders started the second half in positive fashion with a Joe Bond scissor-kick from and Sam Pollard-Jones cross being dealt with easily by the keeper. Bond was also unlucky when he dribbled into the box and was wrestled to the ground before getting in a shot.
The visitors weathered the storm and looked more dangerous in attack with the opening goal coming in the 60th minute when the ball was headed home from long ball which keeper Will Meech failed to deal with.
Lyme had a couple more chances with Ben Vine going close after a penetrating run down the left and Fred Parsons fluffing his shot after beating several defenders.
Whipton & Pinhoe were unlucky not to have increased their lead when a rasping show ricocheted off the post straight into Will Meech’s arms.
With the minutes ticking away, midfield maestro Mark Bailey, in uncharacteristic fashion, failed to clear the ball from a crucial position which the visiting attack capitalised on to increase the score to 2-0.
In one last desperate attack in injury time, Lyme pulled one back when Ben Turner headed home from a corner, the ball being helped on its way by a defender’s hand.
Manager Gerard Hitchcock was not happy man after the final whistle and I suspect some team changes may well be on the cards for next week’s home match against Upotery who are no push over.
Before the game, Lyme’s youth team players were treated to a training session withe the first team and were given the hour of choosing their man-of-the-match. They chose new signing Alex Rockett, playing at centre half, who was well supported by his fellow defenders, Kingsley Wellman, Nicky Land and Craig Evemy.
Squad: Will Meech; Craig Evemy, Kingsley Wellman, Alex Rockett, Nicky Land; Sam Pollard-Jones, Fred Parsons, Mark Bailey, Ben Turner; Ben Vine, Joe Bond. Substitutes: Daley Homes, Julien Simier.
Lyme Reserves made the long journey to North Tawton where they were beaten 3-1 in Devon & Exeter Division Three, a result leaving them in the bottom three places. Full report to come.
Lyme Rovers started life in Perry Street Division Two, following promotion last season, in positive fashion with a 2-0 win over Ilminster Town A, their goals coming from Pete Peacock and French signing Mick Dagorn. Back in the goalie’s jersey for the Rovers was Chris Higgs, who early in his career was on Exeter City and Dorchester Town books, after a long lay-off with a shoulder injury. Full report to come
Uplyme lost 5-1 at home to Perry Street League Division One leaders Pymore, whilst newly-promoted Charmouth drew 3-3 with Misterton Reserves. Full reports to come