East Devon football was treated to one of the great El Jurassico derbies in recent memory, as Axminster Town edged past Sidmouth Town in a rollercoaster nine-goal thriller.

Both teams entered the game with aspirations to claw back ground on the leading duo in the South-West Peninsula League, Ivybridge and Bridport, and it was the Vikings of Sidmouth who made the first impression.

A Sam Hatswell corner on eight minutes was headed goalwards by Ben Lawrence and, despite a good save from Axminster goalkeeper Chris Wearing, Will Jenkins was in the right place to fire home the rebound.

The lead was doubled when Nathan Cooper surged down the wing and delivered a fizzing cross, which was forced over the line by Chim Channah. Axminster responded with a goal from Richard Hebditch five minutes before the interval and the game was then turned on its head.

The Tigers of Axminster were scintillating in the second period, rattling in four goals to lead 5-2, with Ben Palmer, Craig Veal, Jake Quick and Charlie Wilson all hitting the net for a seemingly comfortable victory.

Sidmouth, however, still had something in the tank. Jenkins grabbed his second and then his hat-trick goal to set up a tense finish, and it needed a fabulous late save from Wearing to secure a breathless three points for the Tigers.

Elsewhere in the SWPL, Honiton Town battled gamely at Newton Abbot Spurs before going down to a 3-1 defeat in the autumn sunshine. A free-kick from Lewis Couch proved to be the consolation for the Hippos.

Ivybridge Town continued their dominance at the top with a 7-0 hammering of Torrington but Bridport are still in the race, as they pinched a last-gasp victory at Okehampton Argyle. Crediton are in third, thanks to a 4-0 defeat of bottom club Dartmouth.

The early-season major success story in Devon football has to be Willand Rovers, who are two points clear at the top of the Southern League Division One South.

Travelling to Westbury United on the weekend, Willand recovered from going behind on 21 minutes to level through Alfie Moulden. Westbury regained the lead but Ryan Guppy found a second equaliser nine minutes from time and Nathan Byrne won it for Willand deep into stoppage time.

Bideford remain just outside the play-off positions after a 3-1 defeat at Wimborne Town, Finn Roberts scoring the consolation for the Robins, while a late goal from Daniel Koita gave Tavistock the Devon bragging rights at Exmouth Town. The 1-0 win lifted Tavistock into mid-table, while Exmouth are third from bottom.

Barnstaple Town extended their unbeaten start in the Toolstation Western League to nine matches, as they romped to a 6-0 win at home to Wellington. Oscar Massey was lethal for Barum, bagging four goals on the day, with Stuart Bowker and Blake Shapland also on target.

Falmouth remain top after a 6-1 demolition of Street and high-scoring victories were the theme in the division, as Bridgwater thumped Torpoint 5-0 and Brixham trounced Millbrook 7-0. Ilfracombe Town produced one of their best displays of the season to beat Welton Rovers 3-0.

County Cups took centre stage for local clubs in the Devon Football League and the Devon & Exeter League. Beer Albion won 2-0 at Appledore Lions, Honiton Town 2nds secured a 2-1 win at Brixham Town but Dunkeswell Rovers were unlucky to lose 4-3 at home to Paignton Villa in a game packed with drama.

It was a rough weekend for the professional clubs in Devon, as Plymouth Argyle, Exeter City and Torquay United all slumped to defeat.

The Pilgrims led Swansea 1-0 at half-time in the Championship but were over-run after the break, losing 3-1. A goal one minute from time condemned Exeter to a 1-0 home defeat against Barnsley and ten-man Torquay lost by the same score against Maidstone in the National League South.