Cullompton Rangers 5, Budleigh Salterton 4 (aet)

Nine goals there may well have been, but this was no nine goal thriller, certainly not from a Budleigh perspective, writes Alan Beer.

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The game was overshadowed by some extremely questionable decision making and then shipped a goal deep into the incredible nine minutes of time that was added on at the end of the contest!

The Robins made a great start and were ahead in the third minute when Mark Lever and Jack Greenslade combined to set up player-boss Danny Williams who made no mistake from 20-yards. The hosts levelled on 20 minutes when Jack Towill’s cross found Ryan Leverton who scored from close range to complete the first half scoring.

Three minutes into the second half the hosts took the lead in controversial fashion! Budleigh keeper Adrian Pullin spilled a free-kick which Andy Hawkins got a touch on. The linesman did not flag for the ball crossing the line, but the match official, from the edge of the area, deemed it was indeed a goal, much to the consternation of the Robins’ players and supporters’.

Undaunted, and with a sense of justice they were quickly level when the lively Jack Greenslade scored. The Robins then had a flurry of players booked as frustrations grew at seemingly unfair decision making from the touchline! Williams then made a rash challenge in front of the home dugout and the referee was quick to issue a straight red card leaving the Robins’ to negotiate the final ten minutes a man light.

However, it was ten-man Budleigh who finished the stronger and looked to have won it when Greenslade scored his second, but the hosts, with a huge slice of good fortune, levelled deep into an incredible nine minutes of added time, this in a game where the neither physio had entered the field of play, and just three substitutions had been made at that stage! Adding insult to injury, the last-gasp equaliser went past Pullin off a defender!

Robins keeper Adrian Pullin then conceded a silly penalty, but atoned himself with a superb save. Minutes later though he was beaten for the fourth time in the contest by Gary Wills. Cully then added a fifth through Marcus Pethick and, despite a late goal from Mark Lever, the Robins’ fate was sealed.

On Saturday the Robins look top end a sequence of four straight defeats when they visit Galmpton (3pm).

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