Football: Exmouth Town hit top spot – but only after dropping home points

Mixed fortunes for our East Devon clubs on the third Saturday of March with Exmouth Town failing to win their home meeting with Street, writes Stephen Birley.

But a point was good enough to take Town top of the Western League table while, in the South West Peninsula League Premier East, Axminster Town ended a 12-game winless run with a superb single goal success at fourth-placed Newton Abbot Spurs while Sidmouth Town were 2-0 winners on their visit to Torrington.

However, both Honiton Town and Ottery St Mary did not see action – Honiton owing to an unfit playing surface and the Otters because they were unable to raise a team. Exmouth Town sit top of the Toolstation Western League after a 2-2 Southern Road draw with Street.

Town went into the game knowing that with morning leaders Tavistock not having a match, a point would be good enough to see them go top.

Ben Steer and Max Gillard scored the Town goals. There was a superb turnout of 312 at Southern Road and the Exmouth Town AFC 50/50 was equally well-supported with the club having a first prize of £100 alongside other prizes of £30 and £20.

Oscar Lattas scored the only goal of a close contest between Newton Abbot Spurs and Axminster Town.

Lattas netted in the 46th minute to give the Tigers their first win in 12 starts. It was only a second defeat of 2022 for Spurs who also failed to score in a game since last August – some 30 games ago.

The clean sheet at Newton Abbot for the Tigers was their first since their last win – a 1-0 success at home to Honiton Town on November 17.

What’s more, the Tigers’ win – and a deduction of points for Ottery St Mary – means that Axminster Town are now the highest placed of the four East Devon teams playing in the South West Peninsula League, Premier East.

Sidmouth Town kept their hopes of avoiding a bottom two finish alive with a 2-0 win at Torrington.

With seven games remaining, Town sit second bottom, but now just five points shy of both Torridgeside and Honiton Town.

Torridgeside have 10 games left to play and Honiton Town have 13 still to play in their campaign.

Honiton Town were once again forced to sit out another matchday after Mountbatten Park failed a Saturday morning pitch inspection ahead of their scheduled game against Torpoint Athletic.

The Hippos have not played since February 12 and will be hoping they can get Saturday’s (March 26) home game with Cullompton Rangers on.

If they do, it’ll be a first Honiton Town outing for 42 long days.

Ottery St Mary were another side not to see any action this weekend, but in their case it was all, very much, of their own doing as they advised the league they were unable to raise a side to travel to Plymouth Marjon on Friday night and so, for the second time this league campaign, the Otters ‘gave’ their opponents the game.

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