East Devon cracker to start the Peninsula season

The players shake hands before Axminster Town v Sidmouth Town. Picture: Sam Cooper

The players shake hands before Axminster Town v Sidmouth Town. Picture: Sam Cooper - Credit: Archant

The fixture schedule for the new football season in the South-West Peninsula League has thrown up a fascinating East Devon derby for the opening weekend of action on August 7. 
Newly-promoted Ottery St Mary will welcome Sidmouth Town for what is sure to be a pulsating clash and a brilliant way to start a new campaign. 
Axminster Town will open their season under new management with a visit from Newton Abbot Spurs and another interesting game from the first weekend will see the ever-dangerous Torpoint Athletic travel to Okehampton Argyle, another newcomer to the league.  
As is traditional with the Peninsula League, the early weeks of the season will be packed with fixtures, as clubs look to get ahead of any potential weather problems during the winter months. 
Axminster have a second successive home game on August 10, with Cullompton Rangers the visitors to Tiger Way. 
Ottery’s first away game will be a tough test at Brixham, while Honiton get their campaign underway with a trip to Elmore on August 11. 
Axminster are on the road on August 14, taking on Dartmouth, when Ottery will renew acquaintances with Okehampton after the two sides were both strong performers in the Devon Football League. 
Sidmouth host Crediton United on the second weekend and Honiton have a trip to the newly-formed merger club of Stoke Gabriel & Torbay Police. 
The all-important Christmas fixtures for club coffers will take Sidmouth Town to Honiton Town on Boxing Day, and Axminster will host Ottery. Those games are reversed on the Easter weekend. 
The Walter C Parson League Cup will begin in early September and the draw has produced another intriguing local derby, with Axminster travelling to Ottery St Mary. The remaining East Devon clubs have a bye through to the second round. 
The Peninsula League website is now posting a schedule of pre-season friendly fixtures arranged by clubs, although these are obviously subject to change. 
As it stands, Axminster will welcome Wincanton Town on July 3, Sidmouth play Exwick Villa on July 6 and Ottery also meet Villa on July 10.  

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