Slater stars as Budleigh win first game of league season

PUBLISHED: 10:46 25 October 2018 | UPDATED: 10:46 25 October 2018

Budleigh at home to Honiton. Ref exsp 43 18TI 3413. Picture: Terry Ife

Budleigh at home to Honiton. Ref exsp 43 18TI 3413. Picture: Terry Ife

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Budleigh Salterton’s season saw highs and lows last week as they won a midweek game at Liverton United and then lost their East Devon derby at home to Honiton Town on Saturday, writes Alan Beer.

Budleigh at home to Honiton. Ref exsp 43 18TI 3363. Picture: Terry IfeBudleigh at home to Honiton. Ref exsp 43 18TI 3363. Picture: Terry Ife

The midweek win saw the Robins claim a league success at the 11th time of asking as they won 3-1 at Liverton.

It was Ethan Slater who impressed under the Liverton floodlights. Indeed, in a cagey opening it was young Slater who fashioned the first chance, seeing his shot fly just wide after some fine approach play by Johnny Hitchcock.

Slater again went close on the half hour before, with five minutes remaining in the half, James Sharkey – a first half substitute for the injured Cameron Brown – crossed for John Nott to put Budleigh ahead.

One minute into the second half Sharkey picked the ball up on the halfway line and went on a weaving run that ended with his drilling the ball home from 20 yards. Liverton hit back just before the hour mark with Robins’ glovesman Alan Doble, who had earlier made a stunning point-blank save, powerless to prevent a shot beating him that took a wicked deflection off teammate Luke Iddon before ending in the back of the net. However, Budleigh, who controlled much of the contest, were not to be denied and that coveted first win of the season was sealed in the 72nd minute when Slater and Hitchcock were both involved in the build-up prior to Harry Gibbings scoring.

On Saturday, the final score of 4-1 to visiting Honiton Town was a little harsh on the Robins who were only a goal behind with just five minutes remaining!

Alan Doble made a smart save early on and, with 10 minutes of the half remaining, Jake Chudley was felled and a splendid free-kick from Ethan Slater arrowed fractionally wide of the mark.

Typical of the misfortune that seems to be following the Robins this campaign, they fell behind to a 40th minute goal from Blake Freemantle that had a huge element of ‘handball’ in the build-up. The ‘offence’ was not spotted, the goal stood, and, to add insult to injury, Robins defender Karl Riddell found his name in the match official’s note book for his ‘vociferous appealing’!

There was still time for the home side to suffer more woe with Honiton netting again through Louis Grant, heading home a corner delivered to the near post!

Budleigh began the second half well and it was no more than they deserved when Adam Wilkinson crossed for John Nott to score in the 62nd minute.

The remainder of the game saw chances at both ends, but it was not until the final few minutes that Budleigh shipped goals three and four, scored by Conor Flanagan and second-half substitute Andy Isaac.

On Saturday (October 27), Budleigh are on the road with a game at high-flying Bovey Tracey (3pm).

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