East Budleigh produced their best performance of the Devon & Exeter League season to trounce Hatherleigh Town 6-1 and give themselves some breathing space at the bottom of Division 1.  

The return of Rian Hill was a major boost for the Jays and Budleigh dominated from the start. It was Adam Wilkinson who took advantage of a mistake from the visiting ‘keeper to lob him from 25 yards. Jack Howarth scored the second with a smartly taken free-kick and it was Hill that made it three on the stroke of half-time. 

A slower start to the second half from East Budleigh saw Hatherleigh pull a goal back, but the three-goal cushion was soon restored when James Bridge made it 4-1, and the Jays were thoroughly enjoying their afternoon. 

Manager Matt Jones made a couple of changes that the away side could not cope with and it was Player of the Match Wilkinson who scored the goal of the game with a wonderful strike into the top corner from 30 yards. 

Substitute Joe Bowden rounded the Hatherleigh ‘keeper to finish off a well-deserved win for the Jays, who will look for more of the same when they host third-placed Beer Albion 2nds this Saturday. 

East Budleigh Reserves had to battle their way back from a 4-2 deficit to gain a point at Culm United, thanks largely to a treble from Dan Atkinson in what turned out to be a brilliant match. 

A bright start from the Jays saw them race into a two-goal lead. Player of the Match Atkinson opened the scoring with a curling shot from outside the box, before Tom Christian tapped home from close range when unselfishly set up by Ben Wilks. 

Seemingly cruising, a calamitous 15 minutes littered with errors saw Budleigh go into the break 4-2 adrift, as Culm demonstrated their own impressive ruthlessness in front of goal.  

However, Budleigh rallied and got back into the game when Atkinson scored from close range with Wilks again the provider. After more sustained pressure, Atkinson won and converted a penalty to leave both sides with a point. 

Despite the draw, East Budleigh remain top of the table and have another tough away trip at Elmore 3rds, who are fourth, this weekend.