LYME Regis 1st team maintained their 100 per cent record this afternoon (Saturday) and opened up a six-point lead at the top of the Devon & Exeter League Premier division with a gritty 1-0 victory over nearby rivals Colyton.
Last season Colyton beat the Seasiders both home and away and finished in fourth position and one place above them in the Premier division, but they have not made the best start to the season and are now languishing in mid-table with four points from four games.
Colyton fielded a weakened side due to unavailabilities, including the influential Richards brothers, Jake and George. But they put up a tremendous fight in a game in which was not pretty to watch for the purists.
Before the game Lyme were informed that goalkeeper Lee Cleal, one of the best glove men in local football, was no longer available for selection this season due to personal circumstances.
His place was take by the reliable Will Meech, last season’s first choice keeper, and he demonstrated in the first few minutes that he would not relinquish his position between the sticks without a fight, bringing off two brave saves, entering a melee of Colyton attackers and punching clear.
There was plenty of action at both ends, and some desperate defending at times, but few clear cut chances, two of the best for Lyme falling to Cody Bowditch and Sam Pollard-Jones who both failed to capitalise after getting themselves into good scoring positions.
Colyton gave the Lyme defence plenty to think about but they found the Seasiders’ back four in robust form, especially centre-back Kingsley Wellman who relishes such close encounters, wining virtually every challenges in the air.
In Lyme’s four previous games this season, they raised their determination in the second half, and so it was in this game when they took the lead within a minute of re-start of the second half, Joe Bond curling one in from the edge of the box.
The second half really belonged to Lyme with a number of scoring chances being thwarted by the Colyton keeper Sam Riley. Fred Parsons, impressive as ever, tested him on number of occasions, as did the fleet-footed Ben Vine looking a constant danger.
At the other end, Colyton were unfortunate not to have equalised when Cody Bowditch headed off the line with Meech beaten.
New signing Craig Every came on midway through the second half to replace Mark Bailey and looked a useful acquisition in midfield.
Whilst not Lyme’s best performance of this new season, they did enough to increase their lead at the top of the division to six points with Cronies in second place after beating Upottery 4-0 on Friday evening, but with two games in hand.
Whilst there were no outstanding individual performances, the Lyme defence looked solid enough with Wellman winning praise for his sheer determination and never-say-die attitude.
Squad: Will Meech; Cody Bowditch, Gary Knight, Kingsley Wellman, Alex Rockett; Ben Vine, Mark Bailey, Fred Parsons, Nathan Wormersley; Sam Pollard-Jomes, Joe Bond. Substitute; Craig Every, Callum Fowler, Freddie Andrews.
This coming Saturday, Lyme are at home to Lympstone (kick-off 2 pm) in the East Devon Senior Cup.
Lyme Regis Reserves gained revenge for last week’s 4-1 defeat away to Hemyock in the Devon & Exeter Division Three by beating the Blackdown Hills side 2-0 at the Davey Fort, their goals coming from new signing Dan Rendell and a Shane Fetherstone penalty.
Next week the Reserve are away to close rivals Axmouth United in the Bill Lee Cup.
Axminster Town jumped two paces in the South West Peninsular Premier East division with a 2-0 home victory over Torrington.