Robins round off the football year with frustrating defeat

Budleigh Team Pic

Budleigh Team Pic - Credit: BSAFC

Budleigh Salterton ended the year in the Devon Football League with a narrow defeat to Topsham Town. 

The Robins started the game on the front-foot and deservedly took the lead on just ten minutes, when a long clearance found the run of Jacob Tinsley, who laid a lovely pass wide to Kayden Vittles.  

He disguised for a cross before cutting inside and lashing a super finish into the far corner for a perfect Budleigh opening. 

Sam Hollis preserved the home advantage with a fabulous goal-line clearance but Topsham, who are battling with Budleigh in mid-table of the North & East Division, did find an equaliser on the half-hour. 

A fizzing cross from the left was forced over the line by Nathan Cooper and five minutes later, Topsham were in front, with a 30-yard free-kick headed in by Marcus Howe. 

The second half was just five minutes old when a cross from Jake Chudley picked out Jack Hocking for Budleigh, but his shooting radar was just out of sync, firing narrowly over from 18 yards. 

Topsham took advantage of the reprieve to extend their lead to 3-1 just before the hour, Cooper adding his second of the afternoon with a well-directed header from a corner. 

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The Robins came back in typically resilient fashion, reducing the arrears with a quick break from another Topsham corner, Hocking adding to his growing tally this season. 

The Budleigh fightback was hit by a big moment of controversy ten minutes from time, with the hosts reduced to ten men when Hollis was stretchered off with a nasty ankle injury. 

Having already used all three substitutes, Budleigh were forced to play the closing stages with a man down and felt particularly aggrieved that the tackle which forced Hollis out of the game was not given more than a yellow card sanction. 

While it was a frustrating end to 2021 for the Robins, it has been a thoroughly decent start to life under a new management team at Greenway Lane. Budleigh return to action on January 8 with a visit from league leaders Exwick Villa.  

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