LYME Regis 1st’s much-awaited return to the Davey Fort was celebrated this afternoon (Saturday) with a display of fast-moving football and clinical finishing rarely seen by the Seasiders’ faithful supporters in recent times.
Dawlish United travelled to the Davey Fort in second place in the Devon & Exeter League Premier East division and after Lyme’s disappointing 3-1 defeat by Colyton last week, the South Devon outfit might well have been expecting an easy afternoon.
It was 42 weeks ago that the Seasiders’ senior squad had a home game and there was a big crowd at the Davey Fort, anxious to see whether the squad, now managed jointly by Mark Bailey and Julien Simier, had what it takes to compete for honours in this strangest of seasons.
They weren’t disappointed; in fact, they were ecstatic at the end of 90 minutes, having put nine glorious goals past United without return, six of them coming in the first half. It was the best 45 minutes of football I’ve seen at the Davey Fort for some time.
The scene was set within the first minute when midfielder Tyler Wellman powered the Seasiders into an early lead with a bullet-like header from a perfect Robbie Fellingham corner.
The writing looked on the wall for the visitors when a curling shot from centre-forward Joe Bond bounced off the bar after seven minutes and, within a minute ,Fred Parsons, as influential as ever, made it 2-0 when he side-footed the ball home after some clever work from Sam Pollard-Jones.
By this time, Lyme’s fast-flowing football had me thinking that Dawish were in for an uncomfortable afternoon and it could have been 3-0 within minutes when Dan Rendell blazed the ball over the bar with an open goal begging.
Number three, however, didn’t take long coming when Parsons executed a clinical volley which gave the visiting keeper no chance. Soon after he blazed the ball over the bar from a good position,.
A glorious through ball from Pollard-Jones, whose excursions down the left flank caused havoc in the Dawlish defence, enabled Bond to round the keeper and slot the ball home to make it 4-0.
Dawlish didn’t let their heads drop but their first real attempt on goal didn’t come until the 36th minute with a shot that went wide.
By this time Bond was cooking on gas, placing the ball wide after a penetrating run down the left and then from another incisive Pollard-Jones feed made it 5-0 in the best move of the half.
After the break , Bond (pictured) completed his hat-trick within a minute of the re-start when he waltzed around the keeper to send Lyme in with a 6-0 advantage.
Early in the second half Bond was substituted for Brad Rowe, another dangerous striker, safe in the happy knowledge that having scored his 25th hat-trick for the Seasiders he was now well and truly a member of Lyme’s top strikers’ club.
After the break Lyme lost their rhythm for a short while during which Wellman’s fierce drive was saved with a full-length dive from the Dawlish keeper. Rendell was unlucky from close range and Ricky Sargent shot wide after a penetrating run down the right.
Joint manager Mark Bailey brought himself on for the final few minutes and had only touched the ball once when he slotted home goal number seven after brilliant approach work from Wellman.
Lyme finished in exciting style with Rowe completing the 9-0 scoreline with two late goals, rounding the keeper and smashing the ball home from a great Josh Rawlins’ assist, and then a more spectacular drive which left the keeper with no chance.
It would be easy to name Bond the man-of-the-match for his impressive hat-trick, but that would be unfair to his team mates as they all performed well and contributed to such a fine performance.
The defeat saw Dawlish drop a place in the Premier East table as Lyme settle into sixth position, having played only three games with a season six weeks old.
Next Saturday (October 31) the Seasiders are away to local rivals Seaton Town who were beaten 3-1 this afternoon by Beer Albion. Seaton have won just one of their five games.