Gibbings at the double as Budleigh begin with fine win

PUBLISHED: 09:14 21 August 2019 | UPDATED: 09:14 21 August 2019

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Budleigh Salterton are made a superb start to their life as a Scott Richards Solicitors Devon Football League side as they defeated Witheridge 3-0 in a Friday night meeting under the Greenway Lane floodlights, writes Alan Beer.

New-look Budleigh were quickly into their stride in a contest watched by a healthy turnout.

Indeed, so positive was the start made by the Robins that it was no surprise when they took the lead in the seventh minute.

It was Harry Gibbings who had the honour of scoring the first goal in the new league as he received the ball on the edge of the area before creating a bit of space and unleashing a fierce drive that saw the ball arrow its way into the back of the net.

The lead was doubled on 24 minutes when one of a number of the new signings in the Robins' ranks, Sam Hollis, received the ball in the Witheridge area and 'hooked' it over a defender before drilling it home.

Things got even better for the Greenway Lane faithful 11 minutes later with Gibbings netting a second and this time his strike was even sweeter than his first!

Such was the Budleigh dominance in the first half that goalkeeper Jamie Crossman was called into action just once - a task he fulfilled with great confidence.

There were no further goals after the break, but Budleigh were the dominant force throughout and came close to scoring again in the 70th minute when Simon Withers saw a superb strike whistle just wide. At the other end of the pitch the back four of Liam O'Brien, Ross James, Luke Iddon and Darren Everest put up a most effective defensive line in front of glovesman Crossman.

It was young O'Brien who impressed on the left side of the back four and was the star player in an excellent all-round team performance.

This was an impressive opening from a new-look Budleigh and augers well for the future.

Budleigh boss Rick Withers said: "We played very well, particualry in the first half. We dropped off a bit late on as tiredness crept in, but it was a pleasing start."

Budleigh were in action at Topsham on Tuesday night (see a report now at www.exmouthjournal.co.uk) and they are back in home action on Saturday (August 24) when the visitors are Alphington (3pm).

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