LYME Regis 1st team gave a good account of themselves in their first game back after lockdown when they held Devon & Exeter League Premier East Division Leaders Feniton to a 2-2 draw at the Davey Fort.
Ambitious Feniton looked every inch championship contenders in this COVID-19 reduced division, fast direct and always dangerous on the attack, but Lyme matched them in most departments and could well have snatched a victory.
Lyme fielded a strong side with former Axminster players Tyler Wellman, Cameron Vere and Kieran Daniels in the squad, but the Seasiders had enough home-grown talent on the park to indicate they could well be contenders in the Premier East Division next season.
Indeed, Lyme got off to a brilliant start, taking the lead after just 12 minutes when Wellman nodded home a corner from short range.
Possession was fairly even in the opening exchanges and Lyme keeper Bret Garner kept his side in front with a low diving save to his left to tip the ball around the post. As the half wore on Feniton pushed hard for the equaliser but the Seasiders held on to their lead until half-time.
The visitors looked even more dangerous at the start on the second half and were back on equal terms within three minutes when their paces striker, Max Cooper, outstripped the Lyme defence and slotted the ball home to make it 1-1.
And within a minute Feniton had taken the lead, the goal coming again from Cooper who took advantage of a defensive mistake and cooly shot home leaving Garner no chance.
But with Daniels and Ben Vine now on the pitch as substitutes, Lyme did not keel over. Vine, who struggled with injury in his last season with Lyme, looked sharp and dangerous when he ran at the Feniton defence, hitting the bar with a close short-range shot.
Considering this was the first competitive game for several months for both sides, neither team stopped running the second half and Lyme were rewarded for their endeavour with the equaliser coming in the 72nd minute when and in-swinging corner from Vine was head into his own net by a Feniton defender.
The Lyme defence found themselves stretched as the game progressed as Feniton pushed for the winner and centre-back Kingsley Wellman was forced into a number of do-or-die tackles to save the day, including one a brilliant clearance off the line.
Lyme had a late chance to grabbed all three points late in the game when a long shot from Vine went wide.
Lyme squad: Bret Garner; Cameron Vere, Kingsley Wellman, Jake Sergeant, Sam Pollard-Jones; Mark Bailey, Tyler Wellman; Fred Parsons, Dan Rendell; Robbie Fellingham, Joe Bond. Subs: Ben Vine, Kieran Daniels, Ricki Sergeant.
View from the dug out:
Man-of-the-match shared by Sam Pollard-Jones at left-back and Came Vere at right-back for their defensive duties as well as attacking contributions. We lacked fitness but overall we were pretty happy with the performance against a team expected to win every game. A draw was probably a fair result – Julien Simier and Mark Bailey