Axminster Town’s unbeaten run ended with defeat by Torridgeside

PUBLISHED: 10:42 08 January 2019

Action from the Axminster Town versus Torridgeside game at Tiger Way that the North Devon side won 3-1. Picture STEVE WAKELEY

Action from the Axminster Town versus Torridgeside game at Tiger Way that the North Devon side won 3-1. Picture STEVE WAKELEY

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Axminster Town’s eight match unbeaten run in the South West Peninsula League Eastern Division came to an unceremonious end as they were beaten 3-1 by visiting Torridgeside.

Action from the Axminster Town versus Torridgeside game at Tiger Way that the North Devon side won 3-1. Picture STEVE WAKELEYAction from the Axminster Town versus Torridgeside game at Tiger Way that the North Devon side won 3-1. Picture STEVE WAKELEY

The game certainly lived up to all expectations as two in-form sides went head-to-head before a good turnout of support at Tiger Way.

In a frenetic start, Torridgeside had the ball in the net in the 12th minute only for the ‘goal’ to be chalked off by a flag for offside.

Three minutes later the Tigers had a glorious chance to go one up, but Aaron Daniels, who used his pace to get clear of the back line, was denied in a one-on-one with the visiting goalkeeper. It proved a costly ‘miss’ as, five minutes later, at the other end of the pitch, Torridgeside leading scorer Mark Bettis capitalised on some indecisiveness from The Tigers’ backline to make it 1-0,

Ten minutes before half-time Bettis again punished the Tigers’ back line when they failed to clear their lines as he drilled the ball beyond Town goalkeeper Ashley Smith and the visitors trooped off at the break with a 2-0 lead.

Action from the Axminster Town versus Torridgeside game at Tiger Way that the North Devon side won 3-1. Picture STEVE WAKELEYAction from the Axminster Town versus Torridgeside game at Tiger Way that the North Devon side won 3-1. Picture STEVE WAKELEY

The Tigers went for a second-half change of shape and the switch worked as they caused the visitors plenty of problems and, 10 minutes into the half, when a Nathan Antat shot came back off the crossbar, joint-manager Jon Hurford reacted quickest to head home.

Minutes later Town, who were now the dominant force in the game, were a whisker away from levelling when a Jacob Rowe strike cannoned back off the frame of the goal!

The Tigers continued to surge forward, but, as so often happens in such situations, the opposition were able to concentrate on breaking with pace on the counter and, with 10 minutes left, they executed the perfect counter attack, sealing the points thanks to a 16th goal of the season from Brian Levien. Jon Hurford was named the Tigers Man of the Match.

Town joint-boss Josh Stunell said: “It’s disappointing that the unbeaten run is over, but we will dust ourselves down, train hard this week and look to get three points on Saturday when we travel to an improving Newton Abbot Spurs.”

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