Crediton rediscovered early season form to make it a win over Honiton

By Crediton Courier Newspaper   |   Editorial   |
Friday 18th August 2017 6:00 am
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CREDITON United welcomed Honiton Town to Lords Meadow on a glorious Tuesday evening (August 15), in front of a healthy mid-week crowd.

This was the Hippos first game in the Peninsula League after promotion from the Devon and Exeter Premier League last season. They came into the game full of confidence after a positive pre-season, which included some impressive victories, in particular, their triumph over last season’s champions Stoke Gabriel.

Trenaman named a similar line up to the side that beat Liverton on Saturday, although Khoo and Waring were unavailable, so McCann moved across to left-back and Durrant returned after a heavy few days in Ibiza.

Waring’s absence was more of a problem as Crediton’s other two ‘keepers were also unavailable, Tonkin through injury and Law through suspension.

However, this turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as Crediton were grateful to welcome back former youth ‘keeper Mike Searle, who currently plys his trade at Willand Rovers.

Kirton knew they had to start sharply to try and nullify any form of momentum from the newly promoted Hippos and start sharply they did.

From the first whistle Crediton were on top of their opponents, quicker to the second ball, faster one and two touch passing and dominant in all areas of the pitch.

Ord was causing all sorts of problems for the Hippos back line, particularly away skipper Ashford, who simply could not handle his former Tivvy teammate.

It was Crediton who continued to do all the early pressing and Symonds was called upon to deny Ord and Durrant in the opening 20 minutes.

Morish was getting some joy down the left but could not find any team-mates with his final ball; Blake and Carpenter were also being given far too much time and space down the right and several crosses just evaded the head of Ord.

Durrant did finally manage to get on the end of a Blake cross, but unfortunately his effort didn’t quite have enough power, forcing a good save from the visiting ‘keeper.

Crediton finally took the lead on 35 minutes. Durrant burst through the middle and was chopped down 20 yards from goal, up stepped Bilcock, who whipped the ball over the wall and beat the ‘keeper on his side of the goal - some will question that he should have saved it.

Lee was bustling around in midfield, paying close attention to the Hippos playmaker Couch, who couldn’t get into the game. The Crediton skipper committed several fouls to disrupt any rhythm from the away side and was eventually booked on the stroke of half-time for what must have been an accumulation of offences.

Half-time arrived and Crediton were unfortunate not to be more than one goal ahead, with Searle a mere spectator in the Crediton sticks for the first 45 minutes.

The second half began at a frantic pace and it was Crediton who were on top once again. This time they did make their dominance pay, scoring two quick-fire goals to ultimately seal the game.

Lee won an aerial dual from a goal kick, heading forward to Ord, who slid Morish through one-on-one, he took the ball around Symonds but was poleaxed in the process, giving the referee no option but to point to the spot.

Up stepped dead ball specialist Bilcock, who coolly slotted the ball into the corner, sending the goalie the wrong way.

Two soon became three as Crediton were running riot. Morish picked up the ball on the left, cutting inside and returned the favour to Ord, he got to the ball before Symonds and toe-poked between his legs to extend the home side’s advantage.

The game looked sealed as Crediton were content with their lead, ultimately allowing the away side more of the ball and dropping slightly deeper.

It was no surprise that the away side started to have a more positive spell as Searle was finally called into action. He had to be alert to deny Isaac at the far post and then he produced a moment of real class after some poor handling.

A long-range effort skipped up in front of him and he fumbled into a dangerous position, Couch followed in with the goal at his mercy for what looked like a tap in, but somehow Searle reacted like a cat and sprang across to tip the ball wide.

Honiton were committing more men forward and went close to opening their account on the hour, Ede picked up the ball 30 yards from goal and unleashed a fine strike, which cannoned off the crossbar and away to safety. Crediton were still defending resolutely with Goss and Groom formidable at the back.

However, Ede did finally get the Hippos on the score sheet with 20 minutes to go, Durrant turned into trouble in midfield and Doble found Ede in space between the two centre halves, he broke through the middle and sent Searle for a hot dog, rounding him comfortably and slotting the ball home into an empty net.

Lee was lucky to stay on the pitch moments later. After already being booked he was slightly late on Hippos midfielder Long, but the referee was lenient and gave him his final warning, despite the protests from the away side.

Honiton did have a couple of late chances as substitute Townsend cleared off the line from a Hancock header and Searle saved well from Pike.

In the end Crediton saw the game through and ran out comfortable 3-1 winners.

A superb performance from the home side, especially for the first hour, rediscovering their early season form of last year, which saw them flirt with the top of the table right up until Christmas.

The Hippos simply could not live with the tempo of the game and the home side deserve a lot of credit for their attitude and work rate.

Next up for Kirton is a long away trip to another new side in the division, Ilfracombe Town, tomorrow, Saturday August 19, 3pm kick off.

Dave Lee

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