Towler treble gets Railwaymen back on track
BEN TOWLER scored a hat-trick as Stoke Gabriel got their Division One East challenge back on track with a 5-1 win at Okehampton Argyle on Saturday, writes Tom Besford.
The Railwaymen had dropped valuable points when they drew with Appledore at home the previous weekend, but Towler's treble ensured they fought back for three points last weekend.
Stoke were unlucky in the first half with several great chances just missing including Olly Critchlow's long range volley which hit the post and Towler's curling shot leading to a fantastic save by Craig Mulholland.
Unlike last seasonm when they drew a blank, Stoke managed to get a goal at Simmons Park when Critchlow shot straight at Craig Mulholland and Dave Worthington scored the rebound for 1-0.
Okehampton went into the break on level terms as ten minutes before the break Brad Ausden crossed the ball into the danger zone where John Wiseman turned past Adam Simpson.
Stoke went goal mad in the second half. After just four minutes Stoke took the lead when Towler scored in the bottom corner from a tight angle.
Four minutes after Stoke's second goal and eight minutes after the restart when Critchlow's low ball into the box from the right wing fell to Towler's feet who claimed his second goal of the afternoon from close range.
Twelve minutes into the half and this time Towler turned from scorer to provider with an assist when his great through ball found Tim Porter who after passing a few defenders scored past the keeper to give Stoke a three goal cushion.
Stoke rounded of the scoring with Towler claiming his hat-trick when he pulled off a shot from the edge of the box.
With about 15 minutes remaining Stoke gave a debut to Stuart Hanney who had rushed to Okehampton to arrive at half time after the thirds game was postponed late on due to a thunder storm.
Okehampton Argyle almost scored a consolation goal with two minutes to go when John Wiseman hit just wide from the edge of the box.
MATCH FACTS: Okehampton Argyle: 1.Craig Mulholland, 2.Dave Smith, 3.Chris Wills, 4.Rob Clarke, 5.Dave Chadwick, 6. Steve Madge, 7. Ed Bradshaw, 8.Ed Squire, 9.Brad Ausden, 10. John Wiseman, 11.Luke Alden, 12.Chris Hollands, 14.Steve Kinsey, 15.Harry Geering
Stoke Gabriel: 1 Adam Simpson,2 Kris Davis,3 Jamie Mills,4 Gary Fisher,5 Nick Milton,6 Matt Carter, 7. Ben Towler,8 Ian Down,9 Dave Worthington,10 Olly Critchlow,11 Tim Porter, 12 Stuart Hanney