Christian comes off the bench to spark Robins recovery
PUBLISHED: 12:11 01 October 2019
Budleigh Salterton dished up a performance of two very contrasting halves when they travelled into Exeter to meet Heavitree United in a Scott Richards Solicitors' Devon League North and East game, writes Alan Beer.
The Robins, who trailed 3-0 after less than a quarter of the contest, hit back superbly in the second half and were most unfortunate not to return home with, at the very least, a share of the spoils.
It took the home side just four minutes to punish Budleigh's defensive frailties as a through-ball was latched onto by last season's Budleigh top scorer Johnny Hitchcock to run on and net for his new side.
Four minutes later and the back line were slow to close down opposition players and Jake Rangers took advantage, netting in off the post with Budleigh glovesman Jamie Crossman beaten.
On 18 minutes, Budleigh shipped a third when the back line failed to clear and Heavies right wing back Dillon King drilled the ball home.
Whatever Budleigh boss Rick Withers said at the break it clearly hit the spot! The Robins looked a very different proposition from the re-start.
They bossed territory and possession and only a superb save by the home goalkeeper denied Nathan Hawkins before, with 10 minutes remaining, second half substitute Tom Christian got his head to a cross and nodded the ball down for Jake Chudley to fire home.
Six minutes later Simon Withers was hauled down 25 yards from goal and Christian stepped up to arrow the ball into the top corner to make it 3-2.
The final few minutes saw Budleigh in the ascendency, but time ran out on them and they were left to reflect, on the journey home, that had they played the first 45 minutes as they did in the second half, then the final score would surely have been very different.
On Saturday, Budleigh are back in Greenway Lane action when they host bottom of the table Clyst Valley (3pm).