Another week, another excellent away win in Dawlish for the Cullompton touring (aka reserve) team, coming back from a goal down to win 4-1 at the aptly named Cage.
From the off it was clear that it would be a different change to the prior week, with the small pitch making it difficult to play football against a physical side with a good home record and fresh from beating a strong University team.
Neither team could get on top although Dan Horler was proving a handful for their defence and chances were being created, while a solid defensive performance limiting Dawlish at the other end. However, a smartly taken lob put Dawlish ahead and early season memories of poor results in similar circumstances were threatening to dictate the game.
However, it’s always good to see a young team learn so quickly, and strong game management by the senior players was well followed by the youngsters, as Horler scored one and set up one for Jamie Cottrell to give a 2-1 halftime lead. Another week, another debut, and Billy was the major threat in the first half with his strong running and quality on the ball.
The defence remained resolute throughout the first half, with Lewie Farrant keeping to his preferred nickname of ‘Best Player’ rather then his other (‘Pooie’), James Bedford discovering another new position (a natural right back), Mark Webber strong both in the tackle and going forward while Ryan Clarke continued his strong run of form, even finding time for a lengthy discussion with Bedsy while keeping Dawlish at bay.
Dawlish clearly came out for the second half aiming to intimidate the young Cullompton side, but finding their aggression matched and their discipline comfortably exceeded. Dawlish signalled their intention at the start of the half with an aggressive ‘old fashioned’ challenge on Aaron Marks in goal, the likes of which haven’t been accepted in football since the days when Marcus was a promising youngster in the under 7’s. When Aaron simply kept hold of the ball and got up as if nothing had happened, the tone was set for the half. Cullompton started to dictate in the limited space available in midfield, and the two first half scorers were soon repeating the trick and taking a 4-1 lead, ably assisted by Sam Rawlings who came off the bench for a highly effective half hour on the left.
Three wins from a tough four away games have given the reserve side good momentum to go into another away game next week, before getting the chance to play home for the first time this season a week on Tuesday.
FINAL SCORE: Dawlish 1 – 4 Cullompton Rangers
Match report by D.Hawes