The longest trip of the season for the Reserves saw them visit an always difficult Halwill Junction, where a very sticky, wet pitch awaited. Cullompton were without 4 of their regular starters, had a couple of players carrying injuries, and had 2 of the management team and the ‘retired – not retired – retired again – not retired again’ Paul Dugard on the bench.
Cullompton started the game slowly, but still managed to create a wave of chances, mainly via the throw ins of Dan Horler. 3 of these throw ins ended up being flicked on and rolling past the far post. Easy tap ins had anyone gambled.
Cullompton were growing a little frustrated, but kept plugging away and Billy Greene turned his man with a lovely piece of skill and fired the ball across the keeper to make it 1-0 at half time.
Cullompton started the second half well, but Halwill were not giving this one up easily. They had a couple of chances to equalise, with one particular chance leaving their striker with a one on one which Aaron saved excellently. This seemed to give Cullompton the kick they needed and some decent football began to be played despite the tricky conditions. One such good move ended with Dan Horler whipping in a great cross, which was dispatched by Billy Greene arriving late with a bullet header for 2-0.
One of the next attacks saw Ryan Clarke breathed on in the area, and awarded a penalty which was taken and missed by Tom Broome. Not a bad penalty and a good save in all fairness which denied Tom a goal his performance deserved. It was left for the impressive Ryan Clarke to sweep in a Paul Dugard flick on and make it 3-0 to wrap things up.
This was the last game before Christmas and the referee got right in the festive spirit by dishing out cards to almost half the Rangers team. A lovely gesture.
A special mention goes to the defence for the clean sheet. Something that very rarely happens for any team at Halwill.
The win keeps Cullompton top by 4 points going into the New Year. Well done lads, a great season so far.
FINAL SCORE: Halwill 0 – 3 Cullompton Rangers