Woodbury and Exmouth Spartans the only local sides to play on another soggy Saturday

PUBLISHED: 09:50 24 January 2018 | UPDATED: 09:50 24 January 2018

East Budleigh 1st team at home to Dawlish. Ref exsp 48 17TI 3783. Picture: Terry Ife

East Budleigh 1st team at home to Dawlish. Ref exsp 48 17TI 3783. Picture: Terry Ife

Archant

Beer Albion were the only top flight side to stage a game when they entertained Witheridge Reserves, who they beat 3-1 thanks to a brace from player-boss Richard Walker and one from Chris Long.

The Macron League top flight would normally stage 24 matches across three weekends, but it’s been just 11 games played since the turn of the year.

Indeed, of the 11 games played, Exwick Villa have staged three of them on their new all-weather G3 surface in Exeter and Beer Albion’s usually weather-resistant Furzebrake home has hosted two of them with six other clubs – Cronies, Exmouth Town Reserves, Heavitree United, Newtown, Upottery and Witheridge – staging the other matches.

Interestingly, all but two of the 11 games played so far have produced home wins. The exceptions have been a 4-0 success for all-conquering Elmore on the G3 pitch at Exwick and a January 13, 3-3 draw at Beer where Seaton Town were the opposition.

In terms of the state of play with regard to the remainder of the current football season, there are still 15 Saturday match days to go until, and including, the first Saturday in May (May 5).

In terms of local sides playing in the top flight, Exmouth Town Reserves have played only a dozen of their 30-game season so far and so already have 18 games to fit in between the final Saturday of January and the first weekend in May.

Topsham Town, who look set for a battle to beat the drop from the top flight, have 17 left to play and so both clubs will be hoping there are not too many more soggy Saturdays in the coming months.

In Division Two, Woodbury took part in one of the day’s six matches to beat the weather, but they dropped home points in a 1-1 draw with Kentisbeare. The Woods were in action last weekend for only the second time since December 16. Woodbury share top spot with Bampton – both teams have 33 points – but the Mid Devon men have played two games fewer. Only Axminster Town reserves, with 18 games played, have seen more Division Two action this season than Woodbury.

Also in Division Two, East Budleigh were again washed out. The Jays have not played at home since December 16 and are next in Vicarage Road action against Halwill on February 3. They currently sit third bottom and have played a number of games more than the two sides to sit below them.

In Division Three, Lympstone are in the bottom three and have played 15 of their 26-game season. They are currently on a miserable run of no wins in eight with their last victory their 4-0 home success over Tedburn St Mary on November 4.

Otterton’s Division Four trip to Crediton United fell to the weather and that means they have played just the one game since the turn of the year – that a January 13 single goal success over Sandford. Otterton sit mid-table in the division with 18 points from 14 games so far and that leaves them currently eight points clear of the bottom three.

Exmouth Spartans beat the weather to stage their Football Express Cup tie against all-conquering Elmore Reserves and the Tiverton-based side took the spot in the next round courtesy of a 4-1 success. Spartans have played more football than anyone since the turn of the year, having played on each of the first three Saturdays of the year, one away at Cranbrook and back-to-back home games. None of the other teams in Division Six has played more league games than Spartans, who have only seven left to complete their programme. In Division Eight, East Budleigh Reserves got a game in when they travelled to the usually weather-resistant pitch at Bradninch, where they beat the home club’s second team 9-3. That makes it 18 goals in their two meetings with the Mid Devon side this season!

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