UPLYME 1sts travelled to face Central 2nds in a six-pointer with the Exeter team one place and three points behind the Swallows in the Devon and Exeter Division Six.
Central 1sts had no game and there was a good crowd to cheer on the home team. However, they were silenced within two minutes when Cody Bowditch slid a pass down the wing for Ollie Alner who, from a tight angle outside the box, struck his shot first-time over the keeper and into the top corner for a super goal.
Central had plenty of possession and pressed for most of the remaining half, but couldn’t get in behind a resolute Uplyme defence marshalled by Conor Newns. James Beddows, stand-in keeper, produced a brilliant double-save just before half time to keep the Swallows ahead.
The second half was more of the same, with Central pressing through their excellent wingers, but Uplyme defending deeper and counter- attacking through Olner, who should have grabbed a second but shot wildly over-the-counter bar when he should have at least tested the keeper.
The game ended with the single goal being the difference and Uplyme solidified their place in the league.
“We needed to be resolute,” said manager Steve Gillan. “They were a good team when we played them at home and it was clear they had further improved their 11 with some of their eligible first team, especially two excellent, young wide players.
“Our early goal gave us the platform we needed and set us up with our tactics: hold what we have and punish them on the break. The team was a great unit and I can’t praise them enough. James “Scholesy” Beddows was brilliant as a make-do keeper and Conor Newns and Josh Lawrence worked incredibly hard at the centre of the defence. Time for us to move on with confidence, this season.”
This coming Saturday Uplyme are home to Witheridge, third from bottom in the table (kick-off 2.15 pm).