Nathan Hawkins scores and impresses as Budleigh net point from visit to Chudleigh

PUBLISHED: 15:15 29 January 2020 | UPDATED: 15:15 29 January 2020

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Budleigh Salterton shared four goals and the Scott Richards Solicitors Devon League North and East points on their visit to Chudleigh, writes Alan Beer.

Having won eight and lost 12 of their first 20 matches in their league campaign, this is the first time this season that the Robins have had a league game end all square.

The opening 20 minutes in South Devon were even-steven with much of the play congested into the middle third of the pitch with precious little goalmouth action at either end.

That all changed in the 25th minute when stand-in glovesman Jack England collided with one of his defenders and the ball fell invitingly at the feet of home striker James Bowden, who tucked it into an empty net.

The Budleigh response was good and just 11 minutes later they were level with Nathan Hawkins drilling the ball home from the edge of the area.

Budleigh then went in search of a second and it duly arrived in the 42nd minute when a Liam O'Brien free-kick reached Si Withers and, from the edge of the area, he arrowed a powerful shot into the net to send the Robins into half-time with a 2-1 lead.

The second half was not as fluent as the first with both sides looking to play on the front foot, but what was lacking oi both penalty areas was that all-important final touch.

Fresh legs were introduced by Robins' manager Ric Withers, who summoned Ryan Daffin and Will White from the bench and the pair were soon in the thick of the action.

Indeed, it was White who was unceremoniously upended in the area, but, to the utter disbelief of the Budleigh players and supporters, the match official waved play on and, with five minutes remaining, Chudleigh levelled things up, but again the Robins were masters of their own downfall!

A corner was delivered to the near post where Budleigh's Sam Hollis sliced his clearance and the ball fell invitingly at the feet of Nick Garrett, who wasted little time in thumping it home.

Budleigh were left with just a point to show for their efforts, but, on reflection, honours ending even was a fitting conclusion to an entertaining fixture played out by two well-matched sides.

Nathan Hawkins was the stand-out individual for Budleigh who, this Saturday (February 1), entertain Exwick Villa at Greenway Lane (3pm) in a league encounter.

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