LYME Regis Rovers maintained their push for promotion from the Perry Street League Division Three with a comfortable 2-0 win over Farway United 2nds.
This was the Rovers’ first game of the New Year and they blew away the festive cobwebs with a workmanlike performance to retain their third place in the division with 11 of their 20 league games now played.
The Seasiders’ third X1, managed jointly by Rob Larcombe and Niall Davis, lie in third place in the table with 20 points behind leaders Winsham United Reserves (25 points) and second placed Merriott Dynamos (23 points), who have a game in hand over both contenders.
With both the first team and reserves on crucial away games in the Devon & Exeter League, and an early 2pm kick-off, there was not a great crowd to watch the Rovers in a rare home game at the Davey Fort. But those who did attend saw enough to show that the club have a number of talented youngsters who will surely be pushing for first and second team places in the not too distant future.
The Rovers started strongly and winger Ollie Alner – a good prospect for the future – cut inside and shot wide in the opening minute.
The visitors also had a good opening chance when their centre-forward placed the ball wide with Lyme keeper Dave Holland diving at his feet. A few minutes later they had the ball in the net but it was disallowed for an infringement on the edge of the box.
From then on the Rovers dominated throughout the first half with an Olner free-kick being tipped over the bar and Finn Mclean going close with a fierce drive.
Lyme’s continual pressure paid dividends in the 27th minute. Reece Evans latched onto the ball wide on the left, dribbled down the goal line before crossing into the six-yard box for a Farway defender to deflect into his own net with Callum Taylor in close attendance.
Shortly before half-time the Rovers’ had the ball in the net again when first team striker Dec Ellis, recovering from a serious knee injury, showed a bit of his old self in front of goal but it was disallowed for a handball infringement.
It was pretty much all Lyme after the break with their second goal coming after 50 minutes when full-back Ben Bowditch, maurading down the right flank, floated the ball goal-bound and the Farway keeper could only watch it drop over his head into the net.
Peter Peacock, the club’s top scorer so far this season with 15, came on as a substitute after the break but only lasted a few minutes before injuring an ankle.
It could – and should – have been 3-0 when Fin Mclean fired the ball into the net but despite the ball rebounding off a defender, the referee ruled him offside after consulting the Farway linesman.
Farway attacks were few and far between at this stage, although they competed well in midfield, and they came close to pulling one back when Lyme keeper Dave Holland dived full length to thwart a goal-bound drive.
Lyme finished with a flourish with Ellis, getting stronger with every Rovers’ game he plays, going close and Toby Fowler hitting the crossbar in a goalmouth scramble.
This was a good team effort by Lyme with skipper Jack Turner his usual industrious self throughout in midfield with strong support at the back from Rob Larcombe. Ollie Alner looked dangerous throughout and will soon be knocking on the Reserve team door on a regular basis, having already made his debit for the Ressies. Finn Mclean and Ben Bowditch looked to be two more promising prospects.
The Rovers usually play their home games at the Woodroffe School so do not receive the same support as the first team and reserves, but those who did watch this game at the Davey Fort could not fail to be impressed with the spirit and commitment that Larcombe and Davis have managed to engender among their young players.
Lyme Regis 1st X1 lost 3-1 in a crucial Devon & Exeter Premier Division game away to neighbours and league leaders Colyton. The Seasiders were leading 3-1 up to the 80th minute, thanks to a first-half goal from Fred Parsons, but conceded three goals in the last ten minutes. Lyme Reserves went down 2-1 to Division Three leaders Alphington, also after taking a 1-0 lead. Full reports to follow.