WITH just one more game to play, Lyme Rovers moved to the top of the Perry Street League Division Three after a workmanlike and impressive 5-2 victory over fourth placed Thorncombe Reserves at the Davey Fort on Tuesday evening.
Former leaders Winsham United Reserves now trail by two points, but they have a game in hand so it could be a nail-biting finish to the season for the Rovers who will be going for the double when they meet Combe St Nicholas A in the final of the John Fowler Cup at Halstock on Easter Monday, (kick-off 3 pm).
Winsham meet Thorncombe on Saturday and then have to play Merriott Dynamos on Thursday, May 2nd to complete their fixtures.
The Rovers’ last league fixture is also against Merriott Dynamos at the Davey Fort on Saturday, April 27th.
The Seasiders third string got off to a shaky start against Thorncombe when they conceded a goal in the first two minutes after a mix-up in the Lyme defence which left keeper Ron Harp exposed.
But they soon settled down and had numerous scoring chances before former first team top scorer Joe Bond, getting his fitness back after a period travelling, scuffed the ball over the line after excellent work by Dec Ellis, who beat several defenders before laying the ball of to Pete Peacock whose shot was parried by the keeper. Bond was lurking among a throng of defenders to steer the ball home on 37 minutes.
Within three minutes the Rovers had taken the lead, and again it was Bond who was well positioned to rifle the ball home after controlling it cleanly.
The Rovers started the second half strongly and extended their lead in the 47th minute with Bond completing his hat-trick after a good inter-passing movement between Scott Meyers and Pete Peacock to make it 3-1.
Thorncombe got back in the game through a penalty for handball but Lyme regained the initiative in the 79th minute through a well placed Darius Pickering free-kick and Bond completed an excellent performance with a real goal- poacher’s strike after a brilliant run from Ellis
It would be difficult not to to give Bond the man-of-the-match accolade, having scored four goals, but Dec Ellis, recovering from a serious knee injury that kept him out for many months, was in brilliant form which will be welcome news for first team manager Gerard Hitchcock who will no doubt be already thinking of his line-up for next season.
Lyme defended well with joint manager Niall Davis missing very little in the air and his co-manager Rob Larcombe working hard in midfield.
This season the Rovers have nurtured some impressive young talent and it won ‘t be long before the likes of Darius Pickering, Freddie Andrews, Ollie Alner and Ben Bowditch are knocking on the door of the Reserves and first team.