Seasiders fall to another late goal

WITH the referee’s watch moving into injury time,  it looked as though Lyme Regis 1st had held the mighty Cronies to a deserved draw. But not for the first time this season, the Seasiders conceded a late goal to Premiership hopefuls with the Exeter side scoring the winner in injury time.

Lyme were anxious to get something out of this game, having conceded three late goals in the last ten minutes of their game two weeks ago at  Colyton, also one of the favourites for the Premier title, surrendering a 1-0 lead for 80 minutes to finally lose 3-1 after a late onslaught from the East Devon side.

Cronies made their intentions clear right from the starting whistle by going on the attack and Lyme keeper Will Meech was soon in action, thwarting a good scoring chance when he brought off a brave save at the feet of an attacker with the goal beckoning.

In-form centre-back Kingsley Wellman found himself in the referee’s notebook when he was yellow carded for a shoulder charge from just outside the penalty box, an indication that referee Brian Perryman, a former Lyme manager,  was more than aware of the competitive nature of both these sides and was determined not to let things get out of hand. By the end of the game, two more Lyme players ended up in his book.

Lyme’s best chance came in the 25th minute when a fierce shot from 20 yards out skimmed the bar.

The game turned in Cronies’ favour in the 32nd minute when keeper Will Meech did well to get his hand to a volley from close range but could not prevent the visitors going 1-0 up.

Cronies had to chance increase their lead after 37th minutes when Wellman was adjudged to have brought down a player in the box, but the penalty-taker blazed the ball over the bar.

Meech was soon in action again pulling off a diving save to tip the ball past the post.

Lyme finished the half strongly in their bid for the equaliser with two quick corners and Ben Vine scooping the ball over the bar from close range in the resulting goalmouth melee.

Lyme came out after the break in determined fashion and within a minute levelled the scoreline when Vine finished off a splendid move, slotting the ball wide of the visiting keeper. Vine also went close when his free-kick was tipped over the bar.

As the game progressed Lyme found themselves under continued pressure but defended well as the Cronies’ front line staged attack after attack. With the game going into extra-time, the Lyme defence were caught on the hop and centre back Gary Knight was forced to take out the marauding winger with a slide tackle.  From the resulting free-kick, Cronies hammered the ball home and celebrating although they had won the league.

Lyme will feel slightly hard done by some of the refereeing decisions,  but there was no doubt about the tackle that caused the final free kick, although many thought a yellow card for Knight was harsh.

Over 90 minutes Cronies were the better side and deserved their win, but it was another gritty Lyme performance against a top side.  The Seasiders stay in fifth place in the Premier Division, but the points gap is now widening with the leading teams.

Manager Gerard Hitchcock was pleased with the all-round effort of his side, saying they all “put in a good shift”.  For me, striker Sam Pollard-Jones was Lyme’s star man; his strong running up front caused the Cronies’ defence some anxious moments.

The shock result in the Premier Division was high-riding Colyton losing 3-2 away to Beer Albion which saw them slip to third place.

Lyme Regis Reserves continued their winning run with a 3-1 victory over Sampford Peverell, their goals coming from Sam Bevis (2) and Daly Holmes.  (Full report to follow).

Lyme Regis Rovers’ bid for promotion from Perry Street Division Three took a blow when they went down 1-0 away to Winsham, the winning goal coming from a penalty after Lyme keeper Jim Larcombe brought down a Winsham player on the edge of the box. Bizarrely the referee gave Larcombe the chance of choosing between awarding a free-kick and sending him off or a penalty with him staying on the pitch. He chose the penalty but was unable to save it. (Full report to come).

Uplyme went down 5-1 at home to Waytown Hounds in Perry Street Division One whilst Charmouth banged in eight goals without return to keep their challenge for promotion from Perry Street Division Two on target.

Next Saturday’s fixtures (February 2nd): Lyme Regis 1st v Exwick Villa;Pinhoe v Lyme Regis Reserves; Uplyme v Ilminster Town Reserves; Charmouth v Crewkerne Rangers Reserves; Lyme Regis Rovers v Merriott Dynamos.








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