The Cullompton second team picked up a very important 3 points against a good Newtown side at Edenvale Park.
The game was played in close to ideal conditions, although the goalkeepers may have disagreed with the glaring Autumnal sun causing a bit of an issue for them. Cullompton started the game well enough, but soon found themselves 1-0 down. A Newtown cross was only cleared to the edge of the area and a total lack of closing down gave their striker a cosy 10 yards of free space, which allowed him to set himself for a half-volley that swerved and dipped over Aaron Marks in the Rangers goal.
This sparked Cullompton into action as the defence tightened up and each attack was looking very dangerous. Numerous chances fell Cullompton’s way with the woodwork being hit 3 times, the best effort of which was by Billy Greene with a strike off the outside of his foot just clipping the post and going wide following a lovely build up. Not to be perturbed, Cullompton kept playing good football, utilising Billy and Luke Abrahams out wide. With about 10 minutes of the half remaining, Owen Buxton played an excellent pass out of defence into the feet of Jamie Cottrell on the edge of the box who turned his man, took advantage of a big space left by the defence and slotted into the bottom corner. Half time and 1-1.
Cullompton started the second half as they ended the first, with some really good football being played. Newtown were counter attacking well, but the Cullompton defence was first to everything. Ryan Clarke and Jamie Stone were closing down excellently and James Bedford and Owen were playing some great balls down the flanks. It was one of these balls from James Bedford which released Tom Broome down the left wing. As the Newtown full back came to close Tom down, a clever (yes, I did use the words ‘Tom’ and ‘clever’ in the same sentence) drop of the shoulder and dummy completely fooled the defender and Tom was away. Showing great composure Tom played a good ball across the box, picking out Dan Horler arriving late at the far post. There was still some hard work to do as the angle was extremely tight, but Dan’s finish was impressively accurate as he struck it across the keeper and defenders and in off the foot of the far post to complete the turnaround.
From the restart Newtown made it clear that they were still very much up for it and weren’t going down without a fight. Cullompton’s performance level dropped a little, but were never overly troubled at the back. As Newtown started to commit more men forward, Cullompton were breaking well at the other end, and the Newtown woodwork was rattled another couple of times. Good defending in the last 10 minutes closed the game out to give Rangers a valuable 3 points.
This result consolidated Cullompton’s position 6 points clear at the top of the table. Although the teams directly around have games in hand, it’s great to have the points on the board. Next week sees another massive game, away to 3rd placed Lapford.
FINAL SCORE: Cullompton Rangers 2 – 1 Newtown 2nds