Dawlish Town 5 UAU Exeter 1
The Thirds bounced back after their disappointing result last week with an emphatic 5-1 win over UAU Exeter. Right from the start the Town defence looked solid and fantastic performances right across the back four were the foundation for this excellent result.
Town started brightly and as confidence grew they began to put the UAU defence under pressure. The all important break through came mid-way through the first half when Matt Jones neatly flicked the ball over the keeper after some great work by Matt Riches. It did not take long for Town to double their lead. A beautiful through ball found Tom Ormandy in acres of space and he showed a healthy mix of composure and audacity to take the ball around the advancing keeper before stroking it home.
After the break Town continued to press forward and were unlucky to have a goal disallowed when the ref spotted an additional ball on the pitch. This minor set back was not enough to turn the game though and Matt Riches snatched a third for the home side on the hour mark when he slotted the ball home with his left peg. By this stage Town were playing some fantastic football and Alan Griggs capped a fine display with a magnificent curling effort from 25 years.
At four nil the game appeared to be all over but UAU were not about to lie down. With 20 minutes left they pulled one back with a strike that rivalled the Griggs effort minutes before. Town keeper Wayne Pearce was unsighted by the low sun and was unlucky not to pull off another fine save having previously denied the visitors on a couple of occasions.
Although UAU briefly looked like mounting a come back Town were quickly back on top. Nigel Stocks was desperately unlucky to see yet another Griggs-esque effort rebound off the cross-bar. Yet there was still time left for a fifth Town goal. A great team display was capped off when Jonny Lawson came off the bench for his debut, to dispatch a half volley into the roof of the net from close range.
Dawlish Town 2 Heavitree Harriers 1
Dawlish Town Thirds made it back to back victories after coming from behind to beat Heavitree 2-1 on Saturday. Every Dawlish player, played their part in a pulsating game, which could have gone either way. The fact that Dawlish came away with all three points is a testament to the fighting spirit that is coursing through the team at present. Although this really was a team display special credit should go to Chris Sergeant who had an excellent game at left back.
Right from kick off it was clear that this was going to be a much closer game than the corresponding fixture earlier in the season, which Heavitree won comfortably. In a frenetic first half both sides had several chances to take the lead. However, some good defensive work by both teams meant that the score remained at 0-0 right up until first half injury time when it was Heavitree who finally broke the deadlock. As the ball broke free in the Dawlish box one of the Heavitree strikers latched onto the loose ball and fired a superb shot into the roof of the net. It was a cruel blow for Dawlish who had more than played their part in the opening 45 minutes.
Crucially Dawlish Town’s heads did not drop as a result of conceding just before half time and the second half quickly began to resemble the tit-for-tat nature of the first half. Neither side seemed capable of fashioning any clear cut chances as once again both defences held their own. Eventually it was Heavitree who carved out the first real chance of the half. Having got in behind the Town defence the right winger played in a tantalising low cross which went straight through the corridor of uncertainty between the defence and the goalkeeper. The Dawlish players could only look on as ball glided through to the advancing striker at the back post. He looked certain to score but the ball evaded his outstretched boot by millimetres.
It proved to be a decisive turning point. With quarter of an hour to go the ref adjudged that Jonny Lawson was fouled as he attempted to flick on a long ball from Nigel Stocks. Ryan Gray, who had already gone close with a couple of free kicks earlier in the game stepped up and unleashed an unstoppable thunderbolt into the top right corner of the net from fully 25 yards. Although the game continued to ebb and flow and both sides had chances to win it, as time ticked away it appeared as if the game would end in a hard fought draw.
However, Matt Riches had other ideas. Deep into injury time he received the ball in the centre circle. He feigned to play it out to the right wing before playing a sublime defence-splitting through ball on to the lightning quick Matt Jones. Jones still had a lot to do as the Heavitree keeper rushed off his line to claim the bouncing ball. Yet Jones remained ice-cool under pressure to lift the ball over the keepers head and into the unguarded net to make the final score 2-1 to Dawlish.