LYME ROVERS put in a solid performance against a robust Netherbury in the first round of the Jack Venn Cup, winning 6-2 at the Woodroffe School on an afternoon when most other games were called off due to the heavy rain.
For the second week in a row, Rovers started with a strong wind behind them, knowing that that they would face a tough second half against. the elements.
Within two minutes, the Lyme’s third string had taken the lead; Mark Bailey, returning from a hamstring injury, scoring directly from a corner.
Playing some of the best football of the season so far, they moved the ball well, creating chances, and narrowly missing several attempts, before Robbie Fowler bundled over a back heel on 20 minutes.
A lapse in concentration allowed Netherbury to pull a goal back on the half hour. Knowing they would face an onslaught in the second half, it was crucial to get another goal before half time, and Will Baines popped up with his first Lyme goal, volleying in a loose ball from a corner from 18 yards with only first half stoppage time to play.
From the resulting kick-off, Fin Mclean and Pete Peacock chased down a loose ball at the Netherbury keeper’s feet, with the keeper hauling down Mclean for a penalty. Peacock slotted home the kick for a 4-1 half-time lead.
Netherbury came out quickest in the second half, and within five minutes had pulled a goal back. A long ball down their right flank saw the attacker lob the ball over the on-rushing Chris Higgs from a tight angle.
Rovers remained composed and grew into the football in increasingly tricky conditions, keeping the ball low and maintaining possession well.
Pete Peacock grabbed his second of the game midway through the half, reacting quickly to fire home. The game was sealed with 15 minutes to play, as Peacock netted a third. Tempers flared at a Netherbury corner, with the Netherbury captain lucky to escape punishment for several incidents.
Tempers flared again at the final whistle, but the incident was well handled by referee Craig Board, and several of either side’s cooler heads. Man-of-the-match was Rovers’ skipper Toby Fowler, followed closely by the ever-industrious Peacock.
The Rovers return to Perry Street Division Two action on Saturday (November 9) and will be challenging for the top place at homes to Winsham United Reserves (kick-off 2.30 pm).
Lyme 1st team’s away trip to Chagford in the Devon & Exeter league Premier division also fell foul to the weather, as did the Reserves’ home match. This coming Saturday, the Seasiders travel to Shaftesbury Town Reserves in the Dorset Senior Trophy.
Uplyme and Charmouth also had a free afternoon because of the weather. On Sarturday, Uplyme travel to Crewkerne Rangers in Perry Street Division One.