Small treble in Tipton derby draw

Tipton St John at home to Otterton. Ref shsp 09 18TI 8218. Picture: Terry Ife

Tipton St John at home to Otterton. Ref shsp 09 18TI 8218. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Ashley Small scored a hat-trick as Tipton St John shared six goals with close rivals Otterton in a Macron League Division Three derby.

Otterton were in action for the fourth time since Christmas and the third Saturday in succession. In stark contrast, Tipton were seeing action for only the second time since early December and the first time in six weeks!

Luke Iddon (2) and Si Tuley netted the Otterton goals.

Tipton player-coach Dale Strawbridge said: “We don’t like to hide behind excuses, but there’s no escaping the fact that we went into the game having had precious little action for such a long time.”

He continued: “We were poor in general and particularly bad in terms of our match fitness – for obvious reasons!

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“We didn’t get going from the off and invited a lot of ‘unneeded’ pressure.

“It’s fair to say that nobody stood out for us on the day and even hat-trick scorer Ash [Small] would be the first to admit that the treble probably flattered his shift!

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“That said, it was great to actually get back to playing again, but what was clear was that we have lots of work to do with regard to the second half of our campaign and our on-going target of a top three finish and promotion.”

The weather suggests it will be another blank match day for Tipton this Saturday (March 3) when they are scheduled to travel to Crediton United for a Bill Slee Cup quarter-final tie.

The game against Otterton saw Tipton reach the halfway stage of their Division Three campaign.

It all means that, after this coming first Saturday of March, there will only be another nine Saturdays up to, and including, the first Saturday of May when the football season is set to come to an end.

That would mean, without any further weather issues, Tipton facing 12 league games in those nine weeks.

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