Fluxton power to victory at Stoke Hill
- Credit: Archant
Every pitch being used at the Hamlin Lane, Exeter of home of Stoke Hill AFC seemed to be playing host last Saturday to a green-clad team, writes Antony Paget.
However, Fluxton were not one of them and they took to the pitch as monochrome 1930s Craven Cottage lookalikes; baggy, collared, but tieless!
One feel of the baked, pocked pitch and new bouncy ball showed that you couldn’t fanny about with neat possession football.
That said, the Fluxton defence did just that and the team were a goal down within the blink of an eye!
The returning Jim Godfrey and skipper Chris Sercombe spread their calm and the team slowly settled into a battle of brutality, bereft of finesse.
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It didn’t come naturally to many of them! Brute force paid off though, as Matt Clothier-Smith equalised in the eighth minute.
Then a long succession of Paget senior and Paget junior-threatening throw-ins and corners ended in the latter’s corner being stabbed home by Graham Hughes to see Fluxton into a 2-1 lead.
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On 28 minutes, play pin-balled around the Fluxton box and a handball resulted in a successfully slotted penalty for the home team to draw level at 2-2.
Just before the break the referee awarded Fluxton a penalty for another hand-ball and Si Durrant duly despatched the spot kick to see the visitors into the break with a 3-2 lead.
The second half was even less pretty! Goals looked likely, but there were more saves from the excellent Stoke goalie until, on 55 minutes, Clothier-Smith coolly slid home a cross from Figures to extend the lead.
Fluxton keeper Matty Sercombe was close to making it 5-2 when his clearance was flapped over the bar by his opposite number in the home goal!
Within the next 15 minutes Olly Paget deftly glanced in a corner from Durrant and then a Paget throw-in was headed past his own gloves man by a home defender to make it 6-2. Another javelin-like throw-in was netted by Man of the Match Clothier-Smith in the 90th minute and there was still time lift for Durrant to add a late eighth.
Machismo ruled, the teams were tied on fouls and bookings, but the bigger bruisers weren’t the losers.
Fluxton: M.Sercombe; Chapman, Ashley (Davies ‘68), C.Sercombe, Godfrey (Ashman ‘68); A.Paget, Durrant; Clothier-Smith, Hughes, O.Paget; Figures