Football: League hope for better weather

ONLY eight of the 27 scheduled games survived in the Taunton & District Saturday League.

Locomotives are through to the Quarter-Final of the Somerset Junior Cup at the third attempt of getting the game played against Victoria Sports by winning 4-2. They now play the Quarter-Final game next week against Stoke sub Hambdon. On target for them were Joe Wilkinson with two goals, James Conway and Justin Dawes with one each.

Two of our own, Bishops Lydeard and Bridgwater Sports, were due to meet but the game was beaten by the weather. Staplegrove, however, did play at Tor on a pitch that was really sticky and heavy and didn’t allow the Grove to play their normal fast flowing football.

They took the lead on 18 minutes when Nick Izzard floated a free-kick into the crowded penalty area. The ball was half-cleared but landed at the feet of Nick Crowford who despatched it in the corner of the goal. Tor’s tactic of beating the heavy pitch was to continually pump the ball from the back as far forward as they could for the strikers to collect. It was one of these balls that eventually caught out the Grove defence as Tor equalised early in the second half. The game could have gone either way at this point with both sides pushing for the win but it was Tor that took the 2-1 lead when one of their players headed home. It didn’t happen for Blagdon Hill who lost out 4-0 to Stoke Rovers in Round 4 of the Somerset Intermediate Cup.

Similarly, Hamilton Hawks were knocked out but they gave it a good shot and only lost 4-3 to Interhound. Mike Clark and Mark Thomas both scored for Hawks with their opponents providing an own goal.

In the league, a victory for SRL Allsaints at Dulverton would have seen them rise up to third in Division 1 but it wasn’t to be as the home side won the game 2-1 with goals from Nathan Harrison and Robert Copeland; on target for Saints was Mark Pope.

In Division 2, leaders Middlezoy Rovers have opened up a ten-point lead at the top of the table after a 3-1 home win over Porlock.

Dan Russell opened the scoring for Rovers after just three minutes with a delightful lob over the Porlock keeper. They did the same thing in the second half when they made it 2v0 five minutes after the re-start when Chris Singleton struck from 15 yards. Josh Lewis ensured victory from the penalty spot on 70 minutes before Andrew Woodard got a late consolation for the away side.

In Division 5, Woolavington took the lead against Sampford Blues Reserves through Josh Corkett, Blues should have equalised from the penalty spot but Warren Toth wasted the opportunity. However, the second half was all Blues scoring three times to win the game 3-1; Luke Lawrence got two of them and substitute Dave Taylor got the third with his first touch after coming on.

There was an exciting encounter at Exmoor where they were hosts to Staplegrove Colts. The home side took the lead through player-manager Jimmy Baker but Grove equalised through Alex O’Leary cutting in from the left.

Michael Wilson put Grove in front with a speculative shot but it wasn’t long before Rangers came back to equalise though Clinton Kneeshaw and it stayed at 2-2 until the break. O’Leary put Grove ahead again and his colleague Oli Cross made it 4-2. Sean Kendall, in the Exmoor goal, kept it to a two goal advantage by making several one-on-one saves against Grove strikers and that inspired his own players.

Dan Rice got one back with a cheeky back-heel before Jimmy Baker got his second late in the game.

It looked like the points would be shared but Cross got his second and Grove’s fifth in the 89th minute – but that wasn’t the end.

Colts were awarded a penalty which O’Leary despatched to get his hat-trick with the last kick of the game and a 6-4 win for Staplegrove.

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