Two cup defeats in six days for Seasiders

THERE have been few seasons in the last two decades when Lyme Regis 1st team have not delivered a trophy or two – but there’ll be no prestigious silverware at the Davey Fort clubhouse this season after the Seasiders were dumped out of the two major competitions within six days.

Last Saturday the Seasiders were completely outplayed by Devon & Exeter Premier highflyers Lapford in the East Devon Senior Cup on the all-weather pitch at Axe Valley College because the Davey Fort pitch was ruled unplayable.

Lyme have yet to win a fixture on the artificial surface and never made use of the wide expanses of the full-sized pitch whilst Lapford, currently third in the Premier division, took full advantage of wide open spaces, winning 5-1 in one of the Seasiders’ most disappointing performances of the season.

Last night (Thursday) Lyme fielded a less than full-strength side against Feniton in the Morrison Bell Cup  under floodlights at Ottery St Mary, another full-sized pitch.

Feniton have gone seven games without defeat, which has seen them sprint up the Premier division to the runner-up spot, and they were really pumped up for the game which they dedicated to their player Hamish Culling, who died recently.

Their supporters turned out in force to join in a two-minute applause in memory of Hamish and all the players wore a T-shirt emblazoned with his portrait under their club strip.

When the their first goal went in, the scorer took off his short and ran into the crowd to celebrate and got a booking for his exuberance, slightly unnecessary considering the circumstances.

Lyme were without a number of influential players, including the Knight brothers, Gary and Mike, but this was a much better performance than Saturday’s disappointing showing against Lapford. They also lost defenders Alex Rocket (hamstring) and Cody Bowditch (shin splints) in the first half.

The Seasiders were trailing 2-0 at the break but it could have been more had it not been for a dogged performance by keeper Rob Harp, who spent much of the game under siege.

Shortly after half-time Lyme midfielder Ben Turner got a straight red for violent conduct, having kicked a Feniton player right in front of the referee. Turner was distressed by the decision as he maintain it was unintentional.

Feniton added two more goals before the final whistle with Harp again thwarting a number of goal-bound attempts. Lyme added a consolation goal from Joe Bond, his 20th of the season, shortly before the final whistle.

Lyme did well to restrict Feniton to four goals. Harp gets my man-of-the-match award for a stoic performance whilst centre-back Kingsley Wellman had one of those games that won him player-of-the-year last season.

Squad: Rob Hart; Cam Fowler, Alex Rockett, Kingsley Wellman, Cody Bowditch; Nathan Womersley, Ben Turner, Robbie Fellingham, Mark Bailey; Sam Pollard-Jones, Joe Bond. Subs: Luke Clifton, Brad Rowe, Shane Featherstone.

This was Lyme’s third defeat on the trot with 13 goals conceded. It’s been 21 years since the Seasiders lost four games in succession and they will be going all out to get back to winning ways tomorrow (Saturday) when they are at home to Premier division bottom club Hatherleigh if the Davey Fort is playable.

Lyme asked whether Hatherleigh could play the game on the Axminster all-weather pitch in the morning but they said they could not raise a side for an earlier start-time.

Lyme Regis Reserves will be looking to maintain their recent good form with an away trip to Division Three basement boys Upottery 2nds whilst Lyme Rovers will continue their bid for promotion from Perry Street League Division Two at home at the Woodroffe top pitch to Winsham Reserves (kick-off 2.30pm)

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