Withers impresses as Robins' are edged out in floodlit meeting with Heavitree United

PUBLISHED: 12:24 12 November 2019

Braunton v Budleigh Salterton in the Devon Football League North and East Division. Picture: Matt Smart

Braunton v Budleigh Salterton in the Devon Football League North and East Division. Picture: Matt Smart

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Budleigh Salterton were beaten 3-1 in a Friday night home meeting with Heavitree United, writes Alan Beer.

However, the score line certainly does not reflect a very good Robins all-round performance and, at full-time, the home side were left feeling hard done by, for their collective effort certainly deserved to take something from the game.

The Robins made a good start and took a fifth minute lead with Darren Everest stroking home a penalty awarded when Jake Chudleigh was brought down in the area.

The first third of the match saw Budleigh create the better chances, though much of the general action was played out in the middle third of the pitch and half-time arrived with the one goal still separating the teams. Ten minutes into the second half Heavies striker Jake Ranger seized on an opportunity that fell to him after an unfortunate slip by a Budleigh defender, but his shot was wide of the mark.

It was not until the 65th minute that the Heavies were able to restore parity, something they did with a clinical finish from Ranger.

The Budleigh reaction to being pegged back was excellent and twice in quick succession they were denied by fine saves from the visiting glovesman to deny first substitute Tom Christian and then Ryan Daffin.

Those two 'near things' for the home side became crucial with just seven minutes remaining as Heavitree edged ahead with a left wing move that ended with Harry Slack firing past Jamie Crossman in the Budleigh goal. The Robins were quickly back onto the front foot and were pressing for a second of their own when, in added time, they were caught on the counter and Heavitree sub Jay Boyle completed the scoring.

Beaten they may well have been, but Budleigh, and in particular Simon Withers, played very well and deserved to take something from the game.

On Saturday (November 16) Budleigh will entertain Liverton with the game having a 3pm start time.

This Saturday's game is the last one at home before the Boxing Day meeting with Exmouth Town Reserves. After Saturday, the Robins are tasked with playing five successive away games.

They visit Topsham Town in a League Cup tie on November 23 and follow that with Saturday visits to Liverton, Newtown, Bovey Tracey and Alphington.

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