Reserves lack consistency to keep pace with front runners

WITH no first team fixture, Lyme Regis Reserves were able to field a stronger side than of late in their Devon and Exeter Division Three encounter with Honiton Town 2nds.

With Lyme in fourth position in the table and the Hippos’ second string experiencing an indifferent season, having lost five of their opening ten games, three points were very much on the cards for the Seasiders.

And whilst the Seasiders started strongly, putting together some neat passing movement, Honiton soon started to dominate play.

Ben Bowditch went close with  well placed shot which was turned round the post by the home keeper but that was about the only scoring chance Lyme created the first half.

Honiton took the lead after 20 minutes from a good through ball which the Hippos’ centre forward put away with ease.

Lyme defended stoutly, especially Toby Fowler who stamped out a number of good chances with his committed tackling, but the stuffing was knocked out of the Seasiders in the 35th minute when keeper Rob Harp fluffed an easy gathering to help Honiton take a 2-0 lead.

A disappointing first half concluded when a bizarre penalty decision went against Lyme for a seemingly innocuous challenge in the box, which failed to draw and appeal from the home players, but sent the Seasiders in at half time trailing 3-0 and their morale severely dented.

The second half started in similar fashion with Lyme under constant pressure before manager Matt Preece brought on substitute Fred Thomson who added some much needed oomph up front.

It immediately paid off with Thomson rising about a resolute Honiton defence to head home from a pin-point Mark Bailey corner.

Lyme really turned the corner when first teamers Rob Fellingham and Fred Parsons came on and for the final 20 minutes Honiton were put under pressure.

Thomson had a good chance to reduce the arrears when he turned in the box but failed to connect cleanly with his shot. A Fellingham cross was also headed wide by Jon Davies but in the final minute Davies made amends by firing home a parried Parsons shot to make it 3-2.

In injury time Lyme suffered another blow when Toby Fowler was red carded for an alleged elbowing offence, which the player vehemently denied.

This was a game that Lyme were capable of winning, but they need to find more consistent form, not an easy prospect when they rarely field the same line-up two weeks running.

Squad: Rob Harp; Robbie Fowler, Toby Fowler, Gary Knight, Cam Fowler; Alex Rowe, Jon Davies, Mark Bailey, Callum Garrett; Louis Rinldi, Ben Bowditch. Subs: Fred Thomson, Robbie Fellingham, Fred Parsons.

Despite this defeat Lyme stay in fourth place  but having played more games than the three teams above them, they will find it challenging to stay in touch with the front runners. Next Saturday they are away to Seaton Reserves.

Lyme Regis 1sts, without a game on Saturday, are at home to Premier division strugglers Sidmouth Town 2nds next weekend.

Lyme Rovers were away to Dowlish Wake and Donyatt, losing 9-0. Club secretary Rob Thom was drafted in at the last minute to keep goal at the age of 51.

Woodmead Halls

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