Shepherd treble as Marines march on

THE number seven is ringing loud and clear at the Royal Marines AFC after Saturday s 7-0 despatching of near neighbours Exmouth Town.

THE number seven is ringing loud and clear at the Royal Marines AFC after Saturday's 7-0 despatching of near neighbours Exmouth Town.

The victory leaves the military men in 7th place in the South West Peninsula league Eastern Division and also now just some seven points off the side who currently occupy the 2nd promotion berth, Exeter Civil Service, who have played two more games than the side from Endurance Park.

Richie Hope and Ben Shepherd both hit braces and the other goals came from Karl Rickard, Kunle Atiba and there was a very popular scorer when player boss Shaun Foster found the back of the visitor's net.

The game had to be switched to a pitch away from the main surface at Endurance Park as the previous week matches had been played on it on successive days leaving the surface in need of a lot more than just tender loving care, but ,even on a secondary surface at Endurance Park, the Marines once again put Exmouth Town to the sword and they have now put sixteen goals past Town with none conceded at their end over the two meetings in the league this term.

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Sam Woodin made his debut for the Marines after returning to the fold following a tour of duty in Afghanistan and Craig Mulholland was once again between the posts after missing recent games whilst undergoing Royal Navy training and a very welcome individual on the touchline was Marines AFC Secretary Ian Mulholland, who is another to have completed a tour of duty in Afghanistan.

The Shepherd brace took him to 14 for the season, just three behind the current Eastern Division leading scorer from Stoke Gabriel, but it was Karl Rickard who caught the eye in this game with a masterly performance.

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Exmouth Town boss Chris Dowling said after the game: "Thank goodness we don't have to meet them again this season. They were very sharp and, as I told the team after the game, there's many a side who will get turned over by that very efficient team over the remainder of the campaign."

There is no action for the Marines this coming Saturday and so they are not now in action until next year when they launch 2009 with a trip to Buckfastleigh on January 3 and victory where the number seven will again be on the agenda for a win at the home of the Bucks will be a seventh straight league success.

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