Budleigh battle well in defeat at Stoke Gabriel

PUBLISHED: 16:47 22 August 2018 | UPDATED: 16:47 22 August 2018

Football on pitch

Football on pitch

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Budleigh Salterton went down 5-1 on their visit to a strong Stoke Gabriel side, but journeyed home with plenty of positives to take from the contest, writes Alan Beer.

Goal!Goal!

The Robins, who are back in action tonight (Wednesday) when they are at Honiton Town for an East Devon derby meeting – kick-off at Mountbatten Park is at 6.30pm – gave as good as they got for long periods in South Devon.

Indeed, it was Budleigh who struck first, taking a 17th minute lead when, during a scramble in the home penalty area, an enterprising overhead kick by Jack Howarth was turned home by George Pannell.

Stoke Gabriel, fielding a much more experienced side than the youthful Robins, tried manfully to get back into the contest, but they got little joy against a solid Budleigh defensive unit.

There was just a minute left to play in the first half when Liam Moseley tucked the ball home from close range to send the sides into the break on level terms.

Two goals inside the opening eight minutes of the second half put Budleigh on the back foot.

Robbie Bowker struck with a close-range header that gave Budleigh glovesman Martin Hindle no chance and then, with the Robins’ back line a little too high, they were caught on the counter and Moseley ran onto a fine through-ball to make it 3-1.

In the 69th minute, some terrific Budleigh play opened up the Stoke Gabriel back line and, when Jake Chudleigh crossed from the left, the ball was met by Pannell, who saw his effort fly just wide of the mark.

As so often happens in tight games, just six minutes after being a whisker away from 3-2, Budleigh were 4-1 down as home sub Steve Bowker scored at the far post. Two minutes later Budleigh were left playing with 10 men. One of their planned substitutes had cried off late in the day leaving them with only two subs, so when Karl Riddell had to limp off with an injury it left the visitors playing a man light for the final 13 minutes.

To rub salt into the wound, the home side added a fourth in added time through Steve Bowker.

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