What a difference a month makes. The Reserve team avenged their early season 3-0 defeat against the University with a comprehensive 5-0 win in their first home game of the year, with a performance worthy of the immaculate playing surface.
Clearly learning their lessons from the previous game, Cullompton set out with a disciplined and organised shape which the University struggled to break down throughout. Combined with competitive challenges, good discipline and tremendous work rate, Cullompton soon took a hold in midfield. With the pressure starting to build, a ball through the middle caught the University defence flat as Jamie Cottrell beat the keeper to the ball and lifted it over him, for a well taken goal.
At this point the University were well in the game, with their pace occasionally threatening, but a couple of half chances were comfortably dealt with by Aaron Marks and when Billy Greene created his own space and tested the keeper, Cotts was again there to make it 2-0 just before half time.
Again learning from early season mistakes, Cullompton put in a strong finish to the half not invite the University back into the game, to go into the break two goals ahead.
As with any 2-0, the next goal was vital but the University couldn’t find a foothold and when Billy put in an excellent cross, Tom Beddows was there with a well-timed run and comprehensive header to make it three.
Billy wasn’t finished there – finding time to score an excellent fourth goal, before the fifth summed up the second half… The University looked mentally and physically drained, continuing to drop deeper and deeper by the relentless pressure and hard work of Cullompton. As soon as a pass was made to their left back Billy spotted an opportunity, quickly took the ball off him and finished smartly past the keeper before any of the defenders could respond.
Keeping focussed up until the final whistle the University couldn’t find a way to threaten the Cullompton goal and the first clean sheet of the season was deservedly claimed.
It will be a long trip today for the University team who have a tough game at Bath in their University league, but the Reserves can look forward to playing on this excellent pitch again Saturday. It will be essential that this strong performance and result is backed up by more of the same, to protect the new found position at the top of the league.
FINAL SCORE: Cullompton Rangers 5 – 0 University
Match report by D.Hawes