Popples net six in St Martins Cup win


- Credit: Archant

Newton Poppleford marched into the third round of the Bill Slee Cup after an emphatic 6-2 success at St Martins Reserves.

What made the victory all the sweeter was that the Exminster-based side are, like the Popples, a Fresha League Division Three side and it came after back-to-back away defeats in their first two league games.

The Popples made a nervous start, but gradually settled into the contest and the lead was taken in the 20th minute thanks to a delightful lobbed shot using the outside of his boot by Scott Atkins with the assist from a slick pass from Matt Brown.

The lead was doubled after a terrific passage of play that involved a number of players prior to Atkins scoring again.

St Martins hit back to halve the deficit by half-time. However, any fears the Popples faithful might have had of a comeback were quickly dispelled in the second half as their team added four more goals with the pick of them being an early second half sweetly struck shot from Russell Brooker.

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Brooker added a second to make it 3-1, but the Saints got their second, but only after a brave diving header to clear the ball from the goal line had fallen kindly to a home striker who lashed it home to make it 3-2!

Atkins completed his hat-trick just after the hour mark from a Matt Rasmussen flick-on header.

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Popples stand-in manager Brendan Shepherd then made a couple of changes sending on Andrew Maker and Liam Liddell for Brown and Hadley. Rasmussen made it 4-2 with a neat finish and goals from the two subs, Maker and Liddell, completed the scoring.

Popples boss Neil Wood said: “That was very pleasing indeed. Getting that all-important first win under our belts was key. The thing was we deserved to win and scored some excellent goals. It was also very encouraging that we had debut making players amongst the goals. There’s clearly a good spirit developing amongst the players.”

Next up for the Popples is Saturday’s East Devon derby meeting with Fluxton in another cup competition. At stake on Saturday is a place in the next round of the Firewatch Devon Senior Cup.

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