Newton Poppleford 0, East Budleigh 4

Newton Poppleford suffered a 17th defeat of the Fresha League Division One season, writes Jordan Cooper.

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The Popples, who lost the reverse fixture 2-0 at the beginning of the season, went into the game in a confident mood despite their poor results so far this season.

Without a point through 16 tough Division 1 league matches, the hosts started confidently and kept their opponents at bay for half an hour before a midfield error gifted East Budleigh the opener.

An unfortunate own goal minutes later handed the visitors a two-goal cushion and, despite good chances for both Cooper and Mark Tett either side of the interval, they extended their advantage with two more goals in the second half.

There were a few positive performances, namely from the back five unit of goalkeeper Alex Bowring, Chris Harwood, Matt Tett, Mark Gerry and Ben Stone but the Popples were comfortably beaten on the day.

They were once again not aided by a lack of players, with manager Cliff Cooper forced into action just 30 minutes into the game. The 56-year-old rolled back the years to play out the final hour as a striker for the Popples but admits that new, committed players are required to give the side a boost.

He said: “Every single week I seem to have a bare 11 players after players drop out the day before or on the morning of the game and sometimes they don’t even turn up at all. I enjoy playing but I wasn’t very quick when I was young and I’m even slower now!”

Tomorrow’s opponents are Heavitree United 2nds at home with the game kicking off at 2.15pm.

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