PREMIER division new boys Lyme Regis 1st came within five minutes of pulling off their most impressive Devon & Exeter League result on Saturday – but conceded three goals in the last five minutes to send close rivals Colyton back to top spot.
The Seasiders went into the clash in fourth place in the Premier division and it looked like they were going to hang on to that position before the East Devon side equalised in the 85th minute and then went onto score two more goals in the last tfew minutes to win the game. It was clear they were not going to surrender the top place without a fight to the end.
Lyme looked the better of the two sides in the first half and went in at half-time with a 1-0 lead courtesy of a goal by Fred Parsons who slotted the ball into the far corner of the net after just three minutes.
The Seasiders had two other good chances in the first-half, whilst keeper Will Meech never had to make one save.
It was a different story in the second half when the home side upped their game and Lyme looked like they were missing the tenacious tackling of midfielder Ben Turner, who last week suffered a serious face injury putting him out of action for ten weeks, and Robbie Fellingham’s creativity in the centre of the park. They also had to do without in-form striker Sam Pollard-Jones until the second half.
Colyton got back into the game with a free-kick. The referee put his whistle in the air, signalling the players to wait for him to blow for the kick to be taken, but the home team took the kick immediately catching Lyme on the hop. Lyme manager Gerard Hitchcock was furious and remonstrated with the ref after the game.
Once Colyton equalised there was only one side in it as they banged in two more goals. The Lyme supporters couldn’t quite believe they had not held on for victory as they drudged back home over the hill.
Hitchcock, whilst obviously disappointed with the result, was pleased with Lyme’s overall performance against the much-fancied East Devon team.
“We are not a million miles from competing with the top teams in our first season in the Premier division but we have to believe in ourselves,” he told LymeOnline Sport.
This defeat saw Lyme drop back into fifth place in the table as the goals conceded pushed Cronies into the fourth spot of goal difference. Next Saturday (January 19) Lyme are away to Upottery, who are two places below them in the table trailing by five points, having played one more game. It’s never easy against Upottery on their hill-top pitch and the following week (January 26) the Seasiders face another massive challenge at home to the much feared Cronies. Six points from these two matches will keep them well in contention for a top three place.