SATURDAY, August 19 saw the start of the 2023/24 Devon and ExeterPremier League football season at King George playing field, Sandford with the visit of newly promoted, near neighbours, Winkleigh.

On a bright sunny afternoon the whistle sounded at 3pm with both touchlines brimming with supporters.

Sandford were slow to start and Winkleigh settled quicker.

After three minutes the visitors had their first chance.

More chances came Winkleigh’s way, the home side gradually coming into the game.

On 29 minutes Danny Carroll shot on the turn, then one minute later the visitors scored with a shot outside the box.

The home side not having time to settle went two goals down a minute later when a chip ball through the heart of the home defence left Sandford’s keeper stranded.

Sam Reeves hit the post with the keeper beaten, just before half-time Sandford had a free kick outside the Winkleigh box, but unfortunately it was blasted over.

The half-time score was Sandford 0 Winkleigh 2.

The second half saw the home side come alive having to bring on a sub for left-winger Dymond, who took a nasty blow to his head.

On 46 minutes Sandford got a penalty which Sam Reeves dispatched into the corner of the net making the score 1-2 to Winkleigh.

The home side were now really up for it and on 58 minutes Owen Gregory scored to level the scores 2-2.

The game flowed end-to-end with chances at either end until Sam Reeves fired a volley which flew into the top corner of the net with the keeper beaten making the score 3-2 to the home side.

With full-time rapidly approaching both sides were going hammer and tongs. Sandford held on until about six minutes into extra time when they were undone by a shot across the area.

The final whistle came about 30 seconds after. The home crowd, were wondering where the seven minutes came from.

Sandford 3 - Winkleigh 3 final score.

Sandford First team will play at home to Kenntisbere on Saturday, August 26 with kick-off at 3pm.

The Second team will start their league campaign on August 26 when they travel to Bampton with kick-off at 3pm.

Good luck to both teams.