The Reserve team returned to winning ways with a hard fought 3-2 victory away on Newtown’s second pitch, a ground which has historically proved challenging. Combined with the University and Lapford’s defeats (Ben Broome – footballing legend), this has put Cullompton in a great position going into the (hopefully just one week) winter break.
In many ways the game was similar to the prior weeks’s defeat at Lapford – Cullompton started on top and creating chances with some regularity. However, Newtown were finding space in the Cullompton half and weren’t without a threat of their own.
About half an hour in Tom Broome found himself through on goal and finished calmly, putting to bed memories of his midweek training shooting display, which had been visible all over Cullompton (Could any found balls please be returned to Marcus). As with the prior week Cullompton were unable to get on top, and allowed Newtown back into the game with a heavily deflected shot which looped into the goal.
As with the prior week Cullompton then took the lead just before half time… well almost. With a Cullompton player down some of the Newtown team hesitated as Dan Horler broke through to the line and cut back for Tom who arrived late in the box, finishing well again. But the linesman quite incredibly flagged for offside. Although I wouldn’t like to accuse him of cheating, it was a decision impossible to get wrong through any human levels of competence. Regardless of if the decision was through impossible incompetence or in being corrupt, the linesman was clearly an embarrassment to his club.
Cullompton were shaken, and were then lucky to go into half time level, with Aaron making a great save at his left post from a solid header.
The second half was as competitive as the first, and with a similar pattern. Ryan Clarke hit his weekly stunning header which this time didn’t find its way into the net, but instead dropped to James Bedford who proved he can score on the pitch as well as off it.
Again Newtown came back – a sliced cross left nestling in the top corner. While clearly a fluke Cullompton had benefited from an identical goal the week before, so couldn’t complain.
There was still plenty of time for Clarkey (another assist – get him in your fantasy team now) to hit a great free kick which came back off the crossbar and was knocked in by Jamie Cottrell with the referee well placed to keep the linesman from temptation (and left to focus with his continuous coaching of the defence).
This was shortly after Aaron had made a great save from a one on one, which was to be Newtown’s final chance of the day. As with Cullompton’s win 2 weeks ago, once Newtown were behind they resorted to cheap shots, including one horrific and deliberate elbow, fortunately on Cullompton’s one player who has little to lose from a bang to he head. Once again Cullompton remained focused and disciplined to see the game through. While in many ways the game was a repeat of the prior week, the result was crucially different and well deserved.
FINAL SCORE: Newtown 2nds 2 – 3 Cullompton Rangers
Match Report by Dave Hawes