Pannell and Ansell net as Robins are beaten by visiting Tigers

PUBLISHED: 12:11 13 December 2018

Budleigh 2nds at home to Tedburn St Mary. Ref exsp 47 18TI 5139. Picture: Terry Ife

Budleigh 2nds at home to Tedburn St Mary. Ref exsp 47 18TI 5139. Picture: Terry Ife

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Budleigh Salterton went down 4-2 in their latest South West Peninsula League Eastern Division game, a Greenway Lane, East Devon derby with high-flying Axminster Town, writes Alan Beer.

However, had the Robins started the game the way they finished it, then the outcome may well have been rather different!

Axminster, looking for a win that would see them sit second behind table-topping Stoke Gabriel, have a 30-goal strike force in Ash Small and Tony Pinder, but the opening 20 minutes of this clash were very even and neither goalkeeper was called into any sort of serious action until the 27th minute when, after a right-wing raid and cross, Budleigh glovesman Alan Doble was beaten by a powerful header by Johnny Hurford.

That proved to be the only clear threat to either goal in a well-contested first half. After the break there was more of the same until the 58th minute when Small toe-poked the ball up and over Doble to double the visitors’ lead.

Three minutes later, master marksman Small was again the scorer, but this time it was almost in ‘slow motion’ as he again got to the ball first in a crowded area and the ball trickled over the line!

Three became four for Axminster Town 15 minutes from time with Ben Allen pouncing on a loose ball that had been cleared from a corner out to the edge of the penalty area from where he drilled it home.

With many a struggling side, that might have begun a late ‘caving in’, but not this Budleigh side, for they dug deep and suddenly seemed to find fresh legs and renewed vigour and they quite literally launched themselves at the visitors.

In the 83rd minute George Pannell reacted quickest to get to a right-wing cross first and turn the ball home and six minutes later, after some neat approach-play, Matt Ansell cut in from the right and rifled the ball home. Time then ran out on the Robins, but they showed enough in those final 15 minutes to suggest that there’s plenty of life left in this team.

On Saturday (December 15), the Robins host Crediton United at Greenway Lane (3pm).

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