After weeks of struggling to have anything to write about, the Reserve team impressed with a comfortable away win and a glut of goals at Millwey Rise. When the two sides met earlier in the season Cullompton had dominated but somehow managed to lose 1-0 to a late goal, but the result wasn’t in doubt this time after an unusually strong opening.
On a bobbly pitch Cullompton went slightly more direct, looking to make the most of a front three which looked threatening from start to finish. With Callum Wood dominating the midfield ahead of a solid if makeshift defence, there was a solid base for the front three to work from and they were stretching the Millwey defence from the first whistle. With Callum slightly deeper in midfield it looked like playing near to Dave Hawes was rubbing off as he launched some long balls forward – fortunately the quality of his long passing was somewhat beyond his elder colleagues long range hacks. Two of the first three goals came from his excellent forward passes between fullback and centre back. The second goal sandwiched between was a good header from a Will Tobin cross following Luke Coombes getting wrestled to the ground, while the fourth was from another good ball forward straight from winning the first ball from a Millwey goal kick. So at half time it was 4-0 with an Aiden hattrick and Oliver Simkin also hitting the net – at least I think it was, but it is much harder to remember who scores the goals when we actually score!
The second half started more sedately with Millwey’s keeper hitting some spiralling kicks deep into the Cullompton half, which were repelled by a wide array of body parts including necks, bellies and very occasionally the odd header. Less quality into the final third meant less scoring opportunities, until Rui came on with half an hour to go and immediately hit the first of his two goals. The second was probably the pick, ‘deliberately’ lobbing the keeper where others may have crossed, before sprinting to celebrate wildly with what was a largely imagined crowd.
For those that did make the trip they were well rewarded with a strong display and an overdue win to give much needed momentum going into the final four matches of the season.