South West Peninsula League East
TWO excellent first half hat-tricks from Leyton Cooper and Kenny Ord decided this encounter with the league’s bottom club Stoke Gabriel.
Stoke used to be one of the big guns at this level but are not having the best of times this season having only won one of their games so far, Crediton winning by five goals to four in the fixture away in South Devon.
Crediton fielded a very strong side against the visitors and soon got into their stride in this Peninsula league fixture.
This was the first time I had witnessed the duo of Leyton Cooper and Kenny Ord playing together and they seemed to create an understanding almost straight away.
After only eight minutes Crediton took the lead when Sam Stapleton’s accurate cross was headed home neatly by Cooper and only five minutes later Kenny Ord slid in at the far post to convert another chance for 2-0.
Soon afterwards the same player shot over but only a minute later a good turn and shot by Leyton flew into the bag which made it 3-0 to Crediton.
An uncharacteristic mistake by Dave Lee after 25 minutes nearly let Saul Vanes in but new keeper Sam Borthwick, deputising for Mike Searle, who had left for Cornish adventures with Helston Athletic, saved the day with a fine save.
On 33 minutes Leyton Cooper completed his hat-trick after being put clean through on goal by Kenny.
The partnership was beginning to take shape. Still there was no let up from the home side and on 34 minutes Kenny Ord scored his second after being put through by Guy Allum as the visitors just stood and stared, 5-0.
Stoke rallied and in the 39th minute Sam Borthwick showed his agility by pushing over a fine shot from just outside the box.
Then on 44 minutes Kenny completed his hat-trick as a long ball from keeper Borthwick was beautifully controlled by the striker who beat two men before shooting the ball firmly home into the corner of the net.
With the score at 6-0 at half-time one feared for Stoke Gabriel who were in serious danger of a particularly hefty reverse scoreline.
However it was not to be and as the second half got underway it was Stoke who started the more brightly and three minutes into the second half a clinical finish after another uncharacteristic Dave Lee error made the score 6-1, and on 57 minutes the away side scored again as keeper Borthwick suddenly imagined himself to be Ederson and tried to dribble the ball out of goal only to find Saul Vanes who had anticipated the goalkeepers folly and stole the ball off him and gleefully floated the ball home.
Crediton rallied and both Kenny Ord and Dave Lee sent headers just wide.
Substitutions were made as Edgington, Montgomery and Haywood came on, and it was the latter who was fouled for a penalty to Crediton which was duly converted by Guy Allum, who had a splendid game in midfield, as as did Joe Chester who worked tirelessly throughout.
Stoke still continued to play some good football and Crediton could not maintain the authority that they had during the first half.
When the 90 minute whistle went it felt like a relief for both sides. Crediton had achieved a fine win to complete the double over the league’s basement side and at least Stoke had shown some great character after what for them was a dismal first-half.
But credit to the two hat-trick boys and also to Sam Stapleton who yet again worked tirelessly upfront for the cause.
Crediton: Borthwick, Hoskins, Snow, Chester, Goss Lee(c), Cottrell, Allum, Ord, Cooper and Stapleton. Subs: Montgomery, Eginton and Heywood.
Man of the Match: Kenny Ord.
On Saturday, February 19, the Reserves team are at home looking to get back to winning form against East Budleigh and, weather permitting, on Sunday, the Ladies Team have a home "crunch" match against Axminster k.o. 2pm.
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