Lynch nets winner as Bucks hang on to title
BUCKLAND Athletic retained their Carlsberg South West Peninsula League Premier title after winning 2-1 at relegation-threatened Elburton Villa.
A huge travelling support descended on Haye Road swelling the crowd to a healthy 160 but it was home fans who were enjoying the second half most as their favourites looked likely to gain a vital point in their battle against the drop.
It had taken a superb goaline clearance by Buck's skipper Ben Williams, three minutes from time, to keep the scores level before player-manager Antony Lynch took substitute Shane Gill's pass to lift the ball over the onrushing Chris Wearing and inside the far post.
The goal had come a minute from time and the massed Buckland support will have forgotten their team's poor performance as they can now look forward to Lynch lifting the trophy at their final game of the season at home to Torpoint Athletic.
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Buckland looked comfortable enough in the first half, missing a few chances before Simon Revell let fly, from 20 yards out on the left-hand angle of the area, to see the ball fly into the opposite top corner of the goal.
The visitors could be accused of taking the match too easy and were rocked on 64 minutes when substitute Jed Smale's speculative shot, from the edge of the area, flew over Neil Montandon and under the cross bar.
The visitors replied with Danny Gaze blazing a glorious chance over the bar from 10 yards before Williamson's heroics maintained the status quo and set the scene for Lynch to fittingly score the goal that won his side the title.
BOVEY Tracey fans will quite rightly be asking the question why manager Kevin Moyle rested several key players for their vital home game against St Blazey who couldn't believe their luck as they left Mill Marsh Park with a 3-1 victory.
Surely, when fighting against relegation, you must field your strongest side in each game, especially as Blazey travelled to South Devon without a recognised goalkeeper and with managers Glynn Hooper and Phil Lafferty completing the substitutes bench.
Three points in this game would have almost ensured Bovey's continued membership of the Premier Division, but now they face a vital game against Dartmouth tomorrow and could find themselves sucked back in to trouble.
Blazey had striker Glen Squires in goal and he should have been beaten as veteran striker Roger Bonapart missed two good chances before Dave Trott was left unmarked to head home at the far post.
Danny Zalick headed Blazey's second, from Josh Higman's cross, on 50 minutes before Bovey finally made changes, bringing on Mike Turner and Aaron Cowell and reverting to a 4-4-2 formation.
The deficit was reduced on the hour when Cowell and Dan Taylor combined to put in Bonaparte who cut the ball back for Mark Sneap to send in a shot that took a wicked deflection to wrong-foot Squires.
But within a minute Higman had hit the woodwork and it was seven minutes from time when the wingers corner found Trott, who hit a great half-volley past Tom Buckler from 15 yards to seal victory for the visitors.
STOKE GABRIEL kept their promotion hopes alive in Division One East with a comfortable 2-0 victory over Totnes & Dartington in front of a healthy crowd of 103 at the GJ Churchward Memorial Ground.
Russell Musker's side need to beat Exmouth, at home on Saturday, then hope Budleigh Salterton fail to win at the University of Exeter, to ensure they finish above the Robins.
The one fly in the ointment could be Teignmouth, who can also reach 69 points, providing they win their last four games. The Coombe Valley outfit also have to score goals as they are presently seven goals adrift of Stoke.
Both sides are to be congratulated in playing the game at a good pace in piping-hot conditions and it was not until six minutes before the interval that Stoke made the initial breakthrough.
Tom Armstrong squared the ball to Liam Collings, on the edge of the Tots' area, and he drove sweetly into the bottom right-hand corner of Ross Williams' goal.
Stoke had a great chance to double their lead, 11 minutes after the break, when Dan Hurrell brought down Kevin Wills to earn himself a straight red for being the last man but. Williams made a fine save, low to his right, from Wills' spot-kick.
Stoke took another three minutes to double their lead when Tom Armstrong fed Dave Worthington, who took one touch to control the ball before slotting it past Williams from eight yards.
Stoke comfortably maintained their two-goal lead as their man advantage made it very hard for the Tots to make any headway in the game.