Heavitree United 5, Newton Poppleford 2

Newton Poppleford have reached the mid point of the season without gaining a single point after a performance that produced their best – and worst – play of the campaign to date, writes Ken Woodsford.

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For twenty-five minutes the Popples ran their fellow basement dwellers ragged. Chances were create that could, and should, have yielded four or five goals! Centre Half Sam Hammett picked up a thigh injury early in the game, reducing him to walking pace and, when the Exeter side scored in the 26th minute, the Popples defence fell completely apart, conceding a further four goals before half time!

An interval change saw Matt Tett switch back to defence with the industrious Ben Stone coming on in midfield.

Looking solid at the back, the Popples took the game to Heavitree scoring twice

early in the second half, through David Chalk and Mark Tett. Tett then a had a wonderful opportunity to set up a third goal when he ran right through the

defence and drew the keeper. With Stewart Pile alongside him waiting for a tap

in, Tett hit the ball straight at the glovesman!

Matt Tett, Harrison Jones and Leigh Adey all went close to adding further goals, but Heavitree clung on to see out the game, and claim the three points.

Despite losing every league game to date, the Popples players, most of whom played in Division seven last season, or did not play football at all, can all be proud of themselves. Their heads have never gone down, they have always worked hard from first whistle to last, and they are all making the most of the opportunity to play football at a good level. Their sportsmanship and sheer enjoyment of the game has also won them praise wherever they play.

Joe Clark, Alex Bowring, and Matt Tett were again outstanding. Praise also for the hardworking Chris Harwood, who gave his best despite taking a very painful blow in the face, early in the second half.

On Saturday the Popples travel to play Beacon Knights in another Division One league fixture.


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