Newton Poppleford get no fortune - again - and go down battling to Beacon Knights
- Credit: Archant
Newton Poppleford 0, Beacon Knights 3 The Popples produced a hard-working display before going down to the Exeter-based visitors, writes Ken Woodsford.
With Liam Hayman, Mark Gerry, Nick Baxter and Andrew Baxter all unavailable, Jimmy Chalmers and Tom Clay returned to the starting line-up, with Manager Cliff Cooper naming himself as the only substitute.
The ‘damage’ in terms of the final score owed much to the Popples ‘switching-off’ for five minutes midway through the second half, gifting two soft goals, and the three points, to Beacon Knights.
In a midfield dominated first half, Beacon Knights continually looked dangerous down their right flank. Popples centre backs Matt Tett and Tom Clay proved a good match for the visitors and with keeper Alex Bowring dealing confidently with any crosses and long range shots, the Popples looked relatively untroubled, until a Beacon Knights corner was headed home unchallenged at the far post.
The game remained very competitive until the sixty-eighth minute when Mark Tett ran from behind two defenders to volley home a superb shot from twenty yards, only to see the Beacon Knights replacement linesman raise his flag, for a hotly disputed offside!
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This setback seemed to unsettle the home team, and, within five minutes, they had conceded two further goals. The first, from another soft far post header, and then a sorry second when a forward was allowed to run through two limp tackles before squaring for a team mate to tap the ball home.
With Chris Harwood struggling from a clash of heads, 57-year-old Manager, Cliff Cooper, came on for the final fifteen minutes in the heart of the defence.
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Newton Poppleford are now looking a stronger and tougher outfit than earlier in the season. They will aim to continue their improvement against Wellington Town at home on Saturday (3pm).