Ladies flourishing at Budleigh
- Credit: Archant
One of the major success stories from a torrid year in local football has been the continued development for Budleigh Salterton Ladies.
The Robinettes underwent a summer of change, with manager Dan Carthew stepping aside to take sole charge of the men’s first-team.
Budleigh started their campaign in the Devon Women’s Football League Premier Division with a terrific 2-1 victory over Ottery St Mary Ladies.
Becky Long and Suzy Osborne gave Budleigh a 2-0 lead in a stirring display from the Robinettes to kick-off the season.
Some of the football on display was a joy to watch and Budleigh had chances to extend their advantage before the pattern changed to set up a grandstand finish.
A penalty awarded to the Otterettes halved the deficit with 14 minutes remaining and Ottery were then awarded a spot-kick, but they spurned the chance to deny Budleigh all three points when this penalty was blazed over the bar.
Budleigh were next due to play the University of Ladies but that game was postponed, and it is a measure of the turmoil this year has inflicted that the students have only managed one league fixture so far.
Availability and injuries left the Robinettes with just 11 players for the trip to Signal Box Oak Villa and it got even worse when a further injury left them with just 10 on the field for much of the game.
Shannon Gilmour did score for Budleigh but they still trailed 3-1 at the interval. Gilmour got another after the break, along with a Beth Acca strike, as Villa ran out 5-3 winners.
A disappointing 4-1 defeat to Liverton United came next but Budleigh got back on the winning train with a thrilling 4-3 triumph over Halwill Ladies.
When the Robinettes shared an entertaining 2-2 draw with Shaldon Villa Ladies on October 25, few could have predicted it would be their final game of 2020.
In a league comprising just eight teams, the original plan was for the ladies to play 21 games this season, taking on each of the clubs in their division on three occasions.
Budleigh are currently scheduled to resume football with a visit from Ottery St Mary on January 3. Whatever happens in this crazy season, the ladies are a key part of Budleigh’s future.