Abbots bid to put a dent in Bucks' title challenge
ABBOTSKERSWELL'S vital 3-0 win over Galmpton United Reserves last weekend will have lifted Paul Corderoy's side as they attempt to put a spanner in the works of Buckland Athletic Reserves' title charge.
With league leaders Brixham AFC facing a tough test at home to Watts, Blake and Bearne, the opportunity of a home tie against one of the Premier's struggling sides would seem to be a welcome sight for second placed Bucks.
But Abbots have been anything but predictable this season, and the side which can capitulate 6-1 at home to Teignmouth are also capable of competing with the top teams.
In fact, Brixham might be sitting more comfortably at the top had it not been for the 2-2 draw that Abbots' somehow pulled out of the bag at Wall Park in December.
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"It's frustrating," admitted Corderoy. "They go to our place and beat us 8-0 and then we go to theirs and should have won. But we're starting to get a team together now and when we've got a full-strength side we're as good as anybody.
"Scott (Corderoy, Paul's son) is back in goal which is a massive plus and we've got three or four back.
"If we had that at the beginning of the season we would be more in the top half than bottom half."
Still, the smart money would be on a home win for Adam Castle's side who have claimed maximum points at Homers Heath this season, scored seventeen goals in their last two outings, and haven't dropped a point anywhere since September.
Corderoy admitted that he had yet to plan how to handle the threat, particularly with question marks over the fitness of key players like Ollie Corderoy (hamstring injury), Neil Boldick and Calvin Bergin (both knee injuries).
"They played on Saturday, on a really heavy pitch, but suffered afterwards so I'm waiting on them and a couple of others. But how do you play Buckland? They're one of the best footballing sides I've seen. A couple of years ago we drew one all and could have nicked it, but we defended for ninety minutes. If they're honest, most teams will approach Buckland like that, but it all depends on what players I have available. I just hope we get them on an off day."
Loddiswell Athletic, the only team to beat Bucks this season, look to draw level on points with Kingskerswell and Chelston by beating the champions on their home turf. They have already held them to a draw in the reverse fixture and knocked them out of the County cup at Coach Road. Last week, the Hoops added to Teignmouth's misery with a 6-3 win, with the Premier new boys facing a daunting trip to Upton Athletic on Saturday. Staverton and Landscove were disappointed to secure only a point last week, an Andy Eden penalty rescuing Watts, Blake and Bearne at the Erme Valley Playing Fields, but a win at Galmpton could finally lift them off the bottom of the table for the first time since September. Newton Abbot Spurs Reserves must be getting sick of tight 3-2 home defeats against the top clubs, with goals from Ryan Sanders and Kain Finnegan not enough to deny Brixham all three points last Saturday. Spurs go to Broadley Lane where Stoke Gabriel are looking to recover from last week's narrow 1-0 loss at Upton.
Kingsteignton Athletic go to Ipplepen Athletic, with both sides having endured heavy home defeats last week. The Rams' current winning streak ended in a 7-2 reverse against Buckland, while Ipplepen went down 6-1 to Kingskerswell and Chelston.
In Division One, Watcombe Wanderers and Waldon Athletic both won to carry their perfect starts into 2013.
This weekend will also see some County cup action: Buckland and Milber will finally play their Intermediate Cup semi-final tie against Ilsington Villa following last week's 3-2 win against Bishopsteignton, while Babbacombe Corinthians take on Ipplepen Reserves for a place in the area final.