Fluxton in seventh heaven in opener against Otterton
Otterton 1 – 7 Fluxton Fluxton arrived at the Stantaway base of title favourites Otterton with an unprecedented squad of 16 Fluckites, writes Alex Paget.
The starting line-up featured four debutants alongside a backbone of green-blooded veterans. Three of the four new boys were on the score sheet whilst the fourth, Lee Chapman, received an overwhelming Man of the Match vote for his committed shift as entre back alongside skipper Chris Sercombe.
Rob Hart opened the scoring with a 25-yard free kick in a refreshing drizzle that kept the away side cool, the pitch zippy and the home goalkeeper’s vision impaired!
Hart fought off Olly Paget and Hayden Figures for shooting rights before electing to play a gentle pass-back instead. Perhaps in two minds whether to pick up or punt, the Otters goal keeper shimmied the ball over the line for an opener against the run of play. Matty Sercombe demonstrated some more traditional goalkeeping at the other end, superbly tipping a fierce volley onto the bar and paddling a couple of top corner shots over. The game was fiercely contested and yet Fluxton scored at regular intervals. The second saw Alex Paget square to brother Olly who released another first-timer, Matt Clothier-Smith, down the inside-left channel. The man with many garments burnt off his marker and finished into the side-netting from a tight angle.
Figures then got his inevitable first, latching onto a flick and smashing into the bottom-right before Hart added an altogether more decisive effort for his second of the night. With a four goal lead Olly Paget tried to take himself off, but was refused by the quintet of subs who were enjoying life on the sidelines too much to get their knees muddy.
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Tom Rapps had his sleeves up and didn’t want to stop, leaving last season’s top scoring brother Rich pristine on the bench.
Otterton came out as thought it were still 0-0 and the game was as furious as ever for 10 minutes before Rapps nodded a long throw onto Olly Paget who netted via his thigh.
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Hart completed his hat-trick with a low drive and volunteered himself off, replaced by the raring Graham Hughes. Clothier-Smith and Rapps gave way to Will Bidder and James Santer, who were far too fiery to allow either full-back a let up.
All that was left was for Otterton to score a penalty and for Figures to complete the rout via route-one, bringing down a Sercombe high-ball and embarrassing an already red-faced Otterton ‘keeper.
Otterton team: M Sercombe; Ashley, Long, C Sercombe, Long; T Rapps (Santer 69), Clothier-Smith (Bidder 65), O Paget, A Paget, R Hart (Hughes 61); Figures.
Goals: Hart ‘8,’41,’58, Figures ’32,’83, Clothier-Smith ’20, O Paget ‘55