The Seasiders’ seven years in Devon football

lyme devon exeter league
Lyme’s very first match in the Devon & Exeter League against Woodbury in August 2014, led by skipper Matt Laing and players including Keiren White, Aaron Cleal, Levi Hoole, Dom Rowe, Rob Fellingham and Ritchie Durrant

IT may seem incongruous that Lyme Regis Football Club, formed in 1885 and affiliated to the Dorset FA for all those years since, play in the Devon & Exeter League.

Apart from a short period in the Dorset League in the 1950s, the Seasiders have played most of their football in the Perry Street League, of which they are founder members.

The club considered rejoining the Dorset League when some of the more talented sides in the Perry Street League joined the Somerset League.

But the strict pitch criteria in Dorset meant that the Lyme club, with its narrow pitch, would never be able to progress to senior football. They would always be considered a junior club.

Lyme made the decision to enter the Devon & Exeter League seven years ago, starting in Division Three in the 2014/15 season, working their way up to the Premier Division, the highest standard at which they have played, finishing in fifth in the last full season.

Lyme Reserves joined the Devon & Exeter League Division Seven in the 2015/16 season and have worked their way up to Division Three.

Lyme has retained its long association with the Perry Street League with the Rovers now playing in Division One.

Here’s Lyme’s statistics for their seven years in Devon football, compiled by club chairman Howard Larcombe:

Lyme 1st team

  • This is our seventh season (including COVID reduced 2019/2020 n Started in 2014/15 finishing 2nd in Div 3, followed by 2nd in D2, 6th in D1, 3rd in D1, 5th in Premier and 5th in Premier (incomplete COVID season).
  • First ever goal was scored by Dom Rowe in 1-1 home draw with Woodbury (Chris Higgs scored the first team’s last ever PSL goal!).
  • Most goals: Joe Bond 89 (he wasn’t here for three of the 6 seasons!), followed by Fred Parsons and Ben Vine (both 37).
  • Biggest home win was 11-1 v Culm Utd in March 2016 when Joe Bond, Dec Ellis and Julien Simier all netted hat-tricks. Bond also scored a hat-trick in the 9-2 win in the reverse fixture two weeks later which is the biggest ever away win.
  • Longest unbeaten run is 10 games at the end of the 2017/18 season which culminated in Brad Rowe and Spaniard Ruben Rogel scoring the goals in a 2-1 win over Heavitree United Reserves, which clinched a first ever trophy as the Grandisson Cup was hoisted at Ottery St Mary.

Lyme Reserves

  • Currently in sixth season. Started in 2015/16 finishing 6th in Div 7 followed by 3rd in D6, 4th in D5, 5th in D4 and 6th in D3 (COVID).
  • First ever goal was scored by Ben Strong in 3-1 defeat away at Tivvy Park Rangers.
  • Most goals: Steve Batey (49) followed by Julien Simier (19).
  • Biggest win was 11-0 at Offwell Rangers during a best-ever eight-game unbeaten run in April 2018 with Batey and Jake Bearpark both scoring four. This was followed three days later by the team’s biggest home win – a 9-0 hammering of Dunkeswell Rovers. Batey also netted five in a noteable 11-2 victory at Westexe Rangers in February 2018.
  • The Ressies have also tasted success in the league’s cup competition’s with back-to-back successes in the Football Express Cup. Dec Ellis scored the winner in a 1-0 victory over North Tawton at Elmore FC in May 2017 while a 5-3 penalty shootout triumph finally saw off the challenge of Elmore Reserves at Budleigh Salterton FC 12 months later after Bearpark had netted in a 1-1 draw after extra time.
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About Philip Evans 816 Articles
Veteran journalist and newspaper manager Philip Evans has worked in the publishing industry for more than half a century. He started out as a reporter for Pulman’s Weekly News as a young man and went on to work for an international publishing company in the UK, South Africa and Australia before returning to Lyme Regis where he is still reporting on local events as he has done for more than 53 years.

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