Hope brings glory

PUBLISHED: 15:55 16 October 2008 | UPDATED: 09:48 10 June 2010

LAST WEEK finally saw the promise that the Royal Marines AFC undoubtedly carry come to the fore as they followed up a midweek win at Greenway Lane over the reigning Eastern Division Champions Budleigh Salterton by banking three more points.

LAST WEEK finally saw the promise that the Royal Marines AFC undoubtedly carry come to the fore as they followed up a midweek win at Greenway Lane over the reigning Eastern Division Champions Budleigh Salterton by banking three more points with a 2-1 Endurance Park win over Teignmouth. Richie Hope was the goal scoring hero in the win at Budleigh in what turned out to be a thrilling contest. Maik Biggs was influential in the early exchanges but the first real threat on either goal saw Marines' keeper James Ashford-Brown mark his debut with a fine save at the feet of the dangerous Danny Hall. Midway through the first half the Marines took the lead. Scott Howarth found space to deliver a telling cross that Steve Blurton headed against the crossbar and, when the ball dropped, Hope tucked it home. Hall quickly levelled things up when he took advantage of a mistake by the new glovesman and the sides went into the break locked at 1-1. In the second half the impressive Adam Fowler and Blurton combined before Blurton fired just wide and then Dan Boere had a shot blocked and Howarth blazed over from close range as the Marines continued to press. Their industry was finally rewarded when Biggs was felled and, when Boere delivered the free kick, Biggs side footed to Hope who finished in style to give his side the lead again. Ali Sawyer and Simon Bochenski were then introduced from the bench for Howarth and Hope as the Marines saw the game out to claim a deserved three points.It was that man Hope again on target in Saturday's 2-1 win over Teignmouth Town. Ben Shepherd got the opening goal after Hope had intercepted a back pass, leaving Shepherd to show his pace as he beat the visitors' keeper to the ball and there were further chances to add to the score in a dominant first half display that saw some fine over lapping runs from Fowler. Boere and Blurton were closest to adding further goals but the sides went in with the hosts holding the one goal advantage.After the break Teignmouth came back into the game and levelled things up but 15 minutes from time that man Hope was on hand to tuck the ball away after a neat interchange between Howarth and Shepherd. The back to back wins have moved the side up the table and they can now begin to launch a serious bid to haul themselves up into the top half and indeed further still. Budleigh joint boss Julian Phillips certainly thinks they will feature at the business end: "They are far too good to float around the lower reaches and I have no doubt they will feature in the 1,2,3 at the end of the campaign.

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