Budleigh finish SWP League season in third spot
PUBLISHED: 08:41 16 May 2013 | UPDATED: 08:41 16 May 2013
Budleigh Salterton’s superb season came to an end with the Greenway Lane side securing a marvellous third place finish in the South West Peninsula League, Eastern Division, writes Alan Beer.
In a terrific campaign on the pitch, the fixture programming was certainly most unkind to the Robins.
They began the season with three Saturday home games, two in August and one in September.
They were not then at home on a Saturday in league action until mid-November and then played three successive Saturday home games in December.
They then played on Greenway Lane Saturday league fixtures in both January and February and, with the season now completed, their last Greenway Lane Saturday game was on February 23!
The other five home games were played as midweek fixtures which traditionally draw lower crowds and therefore generate less income.
Such scheduling has certainly made life very difficult for the good folk charged with balancing the books at Budleigh!
In bygone years the club used to be asked to stage area cup matches, but even these seem to a thing of the past!
The Robins run-in began with an April 10 defeat to Stoke Gabriel that secured the South Devon second place behind champions Exmouth Town.
The Robins then went on a four game unbeaten run with three wins and a draw, leaving the battle for third between Budleigh, Appledore and Newton Abbot Spurs, but both of those failed to take points from their game in hand.
First up the Robins beat Axminster Town by the odd goal in five thanks to a brace from George Pannell and one from player-boss Danny Williams. Then it was on to
Exmouth where a season’s league double over the Southern Road side looked on the cards with Budleigh two goals to the good courtesy of Mark Lever and Sam Schlaefli. The hosts pulled a goal back to create a tense finale and then found an equaliser at the end of a very long period of added-on time!
Next up was a 3-0 win over Totnes and Dartington with Jack Greenslade, Peter Grover and Danny Williams the scorers.
That left Budleigh needing to win their final game at Okehampton to secure third place.
This was achieved with a degree of comfort as a Pete Grover hat-trick; his first arriving just 23-seconds after the kick-off, and a 35-yard curler from Darren Carr, saw Budleigh to a 4-1 victory.
There remains silverware to be contested by the Robins for they have booked a final berth in the Morrison Bell Cup after a 2-1 success over East Budleigh with goals from George Pannell and Mike Hancock.
The Budleigh Salterton AFC end of season Presentation Evening is being held at the Greenway Lane clubhouse on Saturday, May 25.
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