East Budleigh player-boss inspires team to derby win

Action from the East Budleigh meeting with Beer Albion Reserves. Picture IAN HITCHCOCK

Action from the East Budleigh meeting with Beer Albion Reserves. Picture IAN HITCHCOCK - Credit: Archant

East Budleigh player-manager Matt Jones inspired his side to victory when his 34th minute cross-cum-shot broke the deadlock in an entertaining Macron League Division Three local derby meeting with Budleigh Salterton, writes Mark Auton.

East Budleigh started brightly with both Jack Howarth and Jacob Rice going close before the visitors gradually found their feet and enjoyed some good possession forcing the Jays keeper Dean Rawlings to finger tip one effort on to the bar.

The home side had to make a change with Dan Atkinson replacing Tom Chudley and with his first main contribution Atkinson saw his header saved.

In what was a scrappy start to the second half the Robins were having much of the play, but often lacked a finish in the final third; Matt Tett headed wide midway through the half.

Three minutes later Hugo Demetre laid the ball through for Rice who produced an accomplished finish with his left foot to give East Budleigh a two-goal cushion.

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Budleigh committed players to attack; George Pannell was denied by another good block from Rawlings, but the East Budleigh defence of Jones, Steve Hitchcock, Dan Reynolds and Darren Everest stood firm.

At the other end of the pitch, Liam West went agonisingly close. Liam Matthew somehow headed a chance over and Atkinson shaved the upright.

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Both Demetre and West had fine games, but Rawlings was voted Man of the Match for an East Budleigh side who complete their campaign at Vicarage Road against Tedburn St Mary on Saturday (April 27).

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