THE shock result – at least on paper – in the Devon & Exeter League Division Three on Saturday was Lyme Regis Reserves’ 6-0 win over table-toppers North Tawton.
But closer examination of North Tawton’s league position revealed that it might not have been quite such a shock after all. North Tawton’s top spot in Division Three comes courtesy of playing four more games than the No 2 side, Exmouth Spartons, who trail by four points.
Even closer examination shows the North Tawton sit on top the table with a negative goal difference because of their poor away form, having conceded 21 goals on the road.
A chat in the Davey Fort clubhouse with two of their players revealed that they find it difficult getting players to travel and the long journey into Dorset saw a team performance which looked far from promotion potential.
Not that the 6-0 win by the Reserves should be underplayed as this was clearly a much better performance than recent games which have seen the Seasiders’ second string struggling near the foot of the table.
At long last the Reserves looked like a cohesive outfit, playing with tempo and purpose. Manager Dominic Rowe, one of Lyme’s most creative players now in his first year as a manager, looked a much relieved man as his team tuned the screw on an inept table-toppers.
Lyme looked well up for it from the kick-off and were given an early boost when the visiting keeper completely miskicked a crossing from a Sam Pollard-Jones with Steve Batey chasing the ball down as it trickled over the goal line.
Pollard-Jones had increased Lyme’s scoreline in the 24th minutes with Batey making in 3-0 from a Pollard-Jones corner which was helped on by Nathan Womersley. And the Seasiders wrapped up the first half to send them in at 4-0 when Batey converted a Mark Bailey cross.
Lyme continued to dominate after the break although North Tawton did get the ball in the back of the net, it was disallowed for an infringement outside the box.
Goal number five came in the 67th minute when Womersely cooly slotted the ball home and it was Womersely who sealed the 6-0 win when he converted a Mark Bailey corner in the 89th minute.
This was a good all-round performance with full backs Ben Bowditch and Josh Rawlins causing the visitors all sorts of problems with their runs down the flanks and Womersley worked hard for his double strike. Matt White also did well with strong running up front.
This coming Saturday the Reserves are away to fourth placed Winkleigh where Rowe will be hoping his side can build on their much improved performance.
Squad: Rob Harp, Aflie Jaques, Wally Blackmore, Ben Bowditch; Mark Bailey, Alex Rowe, Nathan Womersley, Sam Pollard-Jones; Steve Batey, Matt White. Subs: Luke Clifton, Dan Rendell, Shane Featherstone.