East Budleigh hit by second-half fightback

Honiton 2nds at home to East Budleigh. Ref mhsp 40-16TI 9156. Picture: Terry Ife

Honiton 2nds at home to East Budleigh. Ref mhsp 40-16TI 9156. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

A second-half fight-back from visitors Winchester saw East Budleigh lose by the odd goal in five in a Division Three fixture, one of only six games across the nine divisions of the Macron League to beat the weather on the second Saturday of February, writes Mark Auton.

Jack Howarth and Dan Atkinson netted for Budleigh in the first half, giving them a healthy two-goal lead at the interval.

The opener arrived as early as the fourth minute when Atkinson chipped in a cross that was nodded home by Howarth at the far post.

Budleigh continued to pass the ball around well, George Harris was lively, whilst Jacob Rice was denied when the Winchester stopper was quick to smother the ball at his feet.

The away side began to get a foothold in the game and were frustrating the Budleigh attack with their high defensive line often catching them offside.

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Five minutes before the break Harris produced an excellent run which saw the keeper unable to hold on and as the ball ran loose Atkinson followed the ball in and was on hand to poke home.

Budleigh had a warning at the end of the half as Winchester should have reduced the arrears before the break.

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Five minutes into the second half Budleigh sloppily allowed the Exeter side back into the contest and this gave them the impetus; on the hour mark they were awarded a penalty, Dean Rawlings saved but the ball ran nicely back to the taker, who levelled the game.

Budleigh made changes sending on Ben Wiltshire, Liam West and Tom Chudley, but were finding it hard to carve out opportunities now and it was Winchester that added a winner a quarter of an hour from time.

In defeat, both Hugo Demetre and Darren Everest worked hard.

East Budleigh remain third in the table with 10 games remaining in their league campaign.

This Saturday (February 9) Budleigh will look to bounce back when they host Clyst Valley on Saturday (kick-off 3pm).

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