SOUTH Devon bragging rights in the Peninsula Premier East are staying at Longcross thanks to Dartmouth’s 2-0 win over Newton Abbot Spurs on Saturday.
A goal in each half from Ryan O’Callaghan and Bradley Frost did the trick for the hard-working home side – while Spurs never really got going.
Darts keeper Paul Thompson began a quiet afternoon by watching Harry Ford’s speculative free-kick loop over his crossbar with nine minutes played.
The home side then spurned three great chances to get themselves in front. First, Frost pounced on a loose Alfie Tucker pass to race through and fire straight at Joel Hawker-Patchett.
Then Frost sent a low cross to unmarked full-back Rhys Morrallee, who couldn’t sort his feet out in time to get a shot away.
But arguably the best chance came just after the half-hour mark, with Frost involved once again when he fed Cameron Webb – who bent his shot agonisingly wide.
It was only a matter of time before a breakthrough came, and so it did seven minutes before the interval.
Centre-half O’Callaghan had time to control Dan Griffiths’ free-kick into the area, turn on a sixpence and fire low past Hawker-Patchett into the bottom corner.
Chances were hard to come by after the break as the game entered its scrappiest phase – O’Callaghan involved again as his header from a corner was cleared off the line on the hour.
With 10 minutes to play, Marc Revell’s visitors had a couple of stabs at striking back. Top scorer James Moxon’s tame finish was gathered by Thompson and substitute Callum Noyce fired over when well placed.
And it was Dartmouth who would make the game safe in the 87th minute when Frost capitalised on some slack defending to slot home the goal his earlier endeavour deserved.
Following on from their 2-0 win over Torpoint Athletic on Tuesday night, there was no disguising the delight of Dartmouth joint-manager Gary Lobb after a fantastic week’s work.
‘I’m over the moon,’ he said. ‘We talked about the Torpoint game and the next result was as important as the last one. If you lose the next one, then the last one doesn’t mean as much.
‘If we had dropped points to Spurs today it would’ve felt like a bit of a blow, but over the 90 minutes I think we deserved the win.
‘I don’t really think our goalkeeper had a save to make all game, and you’re never going to win a game if you don’t make your opposition’s keeper work.
‘I thought we played as well as can be expected in the conditions. It was never going to be pretty football with the wind and the softness of the pitch playing their part.
‘Over the 90 minutes we deserved to win, because quite simply on the day we were better than them.
‘With them bringing down a bumper crowd as well it was nice to have the game on and not spoil everybody’s day – although we might have spoiled Newton Spurs’ day!’
As for Spurs, manager Revell was left rueing another inconsistent week from his young side – who won 2-1 against Ivybridge on Tuesday night.
‘We didn’t want it enough,’ Revell admitted. ‘They simply wanted it more. We just didn’t turn up, which was frustrating.
‘In the first half we knew it was going to be windy and we didn’t take advantage of it. In the second half we just played into their hands again.
‘Although at 1-0 we got a little bit heated and stressed out, against a side like Dartmouth you have to stay in the game, stay confident, stay level-headed and wait for a chance to happen.
‘But at the end of the day we didn’t want it at all. We didn’t want the game, the ball, tackles, or anything.
‘I’ve told my lads to treat every game the same. No disrespect, but you should be motivated for Honiton away, Dartmouth away and every game.
‘We turn up one week and we don’t turn up the next. We undo everything we did against Ivybridge by losing this game today, which is frustrating.’
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