A match for any team

THE MATCH at Bickleigh was the story of Colaton Raleigh s season as they let a winning position slip with some sloppy defending.

THE MATCH at Bickleigh was the story of Colaton Raleigh's season as they let a winning position slip with some sloppy defending. Raleigh are the seventh highest scoring team in the whole of the Devon and Exeter League, and with just a bit of fine tuning defensively could be a match for any team in this division.They are a great young attacking team, but perhaps need an experienced old head in their back four to talk and organise them.In a stirring first 15 minutes Raleigh forced four excellent saves from the Bickleigh keeper. Bickleigh took the lead, however, when Raleigh failed to attack a half-cleared corner kick. This setback only served to spur Raleigh on and a great ball inside the full back by Graham Hughes found Connor Macallum running on to fire under the diving keeper to level.Hughes found Paul Dowling on the right wing and he cut inside the fullback, rounded the keeper and slotted home to give Raleigh a 2-1 lead.Continuing to force the pace Raleigh went 3-1 ahead in the 42nd minute when Nick Baxter blasted in a shot from 12 yards. Right on half time Bickleigh reduced the arrears from another corner kick to 3-2.Adrian Parr ran beyond two Bickleigh defenders to slot in a terrific shot, only to find the home linesman denying what Raleigh supporters felt was a good goal.Bickleigh equalised in the 57th minute when a striker was left unmarked at another corner kick and his half-hit effort trickled into the corner of the net.Riki Pitter, Chris Harwood and Adrian Parr all had chances go awry and Bickleigh got the winner after 75 minutes when another corner kick was headed in to the net by an unmarked forward.Match verdict: an entertaining game for the neutrals and Raleigh played some terrific football in open play. They need to put in more work on the training ground re defensive situations. If they can sort that out a sharp upturn in their fortunes will soon happen.Graham Hughes and Nick Baxter were outstanding along with Man of the Match Riki Pitter.On Saturday, Colaton Raleigh are at home against in form Broadclyst, who overturned league leaders Countess Wear last weekend, KO 3pm.

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