LAST season Lyme Regis 1st finished top of the Devon and Exeter League Division Premier East division – their best achievement in the club’s long history – but it was somewhat dissipated by the fact the division ended up with just five teams completing the season because of COVID-19. Nevertheless, Lyme will go down in the record books as Premier East champions.
This season the Premier East and West divisions have been amalgamated which means the competition will be even stronger. Lyme lost their first match of the new season to Lapford, who beat them in last season’s Premier play-off, and currently lead the division with seven points from three games.
Lyme got their first points on the board yesterday with a 2-0 home win over a young Dawlish United side.
The Seasiders were fielding a much stronger side than their trip to Lapford, although they still have a few injury problems.
Lyme started very strongly and after early intense pressure on the Dawlish goal, a glorious 25-yard strike from Callum Garrett put them 1-0 ahead after just four minutes.
That pressure was maintained throughout the whole of the first half with the Seasiders creating a number of chances which they failed to convert.
The visitors hardly tested the Lyme keeper Chris Higgs with they exception of a couple of high balls which he dealt with effectively.
The score stayed at 1-0 until half-time, but the Seasiders could well have been going into the interval with a much bigger lead had they been more clinical infront of goal.
It was a different story in the second half when the young Dawlish players dictated play for long periods, although their finishing rarely threatened Higgs.
Lyme continued to create chances, particular with long balls being chased by Brad Rowe who came close on a number of occasions.
Rowe was rewarded for his endeavor in the 81st minute when he took full advantage of a long ball down the right flank and slipped the ball wide of the advancing keeper to make it 2-0.
Dawlish had the chance to reduce the arrears late in the game when Higgs was forced to bring off a brilliant save, tipping the ball over the bar.
Although their finishing left a lot to be desired, there were plenty of pluses for Lyme. It was good to see Callum Larcombe, back home from his travels, in fine form, although he limped of with a groin injury late in the game, Callum Garrett was superb in midfield and Gary Knight was rock solid at back.
Lyme are missing an out-and-out striker and will be looking forward to seeing top scorer Joe Bond, nursing a broken foot, back in action.
Next Saturday Lyme face another stern test when they travel to second placed Thorverton.