Peninsula League: Stoppage time goals thwart Saltash United
PREMIER DIVISION Saltash Utd...3 Cullompton Rgrs...3
ASHES fans could be forgiven for thinking victory was theirs as their favourites were leading 3-1 with the game entering stoppage time at Kimberley Stadium.
But they did not count on the resilience of a Cullompton outfit who promptly scored twice to earn themselves an unlikely share of the spoils.
This was a case of after the Lord Mayor's show for Ashes following last weekend's impressive 2-0 victory over Launceston.
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Saltash required 32 minutes to make the initial breakthrough. Oscar Bennett's right wing corner was cleared by visiting goalkeeper John Wannell, but only as far as Matt Cusack who fired it back into the top corner of the net.
It took Cully just seven minutes to reply. A poor clearance from Lewis Russell saw Rangers quickly return the ball into the area and Josh Luxon sent in a header that Nathan Murphy did well to push on to the crossbar.
Murphy then recovered to save Luxon's follow up but the Ashes keeper could do nothing to prevent the Cully forward from forcing home his third attempt.
The second half was four minutes old when Sam Hughes' ball over the top found Danny Zalick winning his race with Wannell and lifting the ball over him from 15 yards.
All looked to be going to plan as Ashes made it 3-1 on 67 minutes. Excellent work involving Matt Cusack and Zalick saw the latter flick the ball on to the onrushing Aaron Cusack. He hit a first time drive across Wannell and inside the far post.
Saltash looked likely to add to their tally but were rocked when, in stoppage time, a Steve Orchard right-wing cross found Andy Hawkins heading home from 10 yards.
Worse was to come as two minutes later Marcus Pethick did well on the left flank before picking out the unmarked Joel Letoi who steered his shot down the middle of the goal.
Elburton Villa...2 St Austell...7
THIS astonishing scoreline at Haye Road saw Villa go down to their first league defeat since November and their first at home since the autumn.
After a slow start to this season Villa had become one of the surprise packages in the division as a brilliant run of form had taken them up to third in the table.
Coming up against a Lilywhites side who went in to the game in 12th position, few would have expected anything other than a routine Villa victory.
Even when Mike Body broke away to give the visitors the lead, just before half-time, Villa would still have expected to run out winners in the second half.
Instead, the final 45 minutes ended up being one the Haye Road faithful will want to forget as quickly as possible.
They conceded three further goals inside the first 20 minutes of the second half. Lee Whetter's 57th minute header was soon followed by a long range strike from Danny Carne and a second of the match from Body.
In the 70th minute Whetter was sent off for a foul that also resulted in a Villa penalty that substitute Aaron Spear, the former Newcastle United reserve player, converted.
Ten minutes later, Michael Landricombe headed home a second for Villa and, against a side with 10 men, a remarkable comeback seemed possible.
However, before play had restarted Villa's Ray Spear got involved in a confrontation with some visiting players as he attempted to retrieve the ball, resulting in a straight red card for the Elburton player.
With the game now 10 aside, the visitors ran in three goals in the final five minutes through Carne, Ben Flatley and Will Tinsley to make for a dreadful final scoreline for Villa.
Plymouth Parkway...5 Witheridge...0
PARKWAY moved to within three points of leaders Bodmin after this routine victory at Bolitho Park.
Despite having played a game more than the league leaders, Parkway host Bodmin next weekend knowing a victory will put their visitors' title defence in the balance.
Although the reigning champions from Cornwall have a superior goal difference, if Parkway can defeat them home and away in the run-in, they will have a great chance of lifting their first Peninsula League title.
Parkway went into this latest victory on the back of a 5-2 triumph at Liskeard in which their goals were scored by five different players.
The Manadon-based club repeated this feat against Withy, with Ryan Richards becoming the first name on the scoresheet following a fine turn and shot in the 10th minute.
Lance Bailey's 20-yard, first time strike doubled Parkway's advantage in the 21st minute. And when Paul Heveran added a third, with a brilliant 25-yard free kick, five minutes into the second half, the game was effectively over as a contest.
In the closing stages Wayne Hillson's side added two more goals. In the 88th minute, Lewis Coombes intercepted a poor back pass from Withy defender Steve Avery to slot home before, in stoppage time, Sam Cooper capped a hard-working display by heading home Sam Hillson's right-wing corner.
DIVISION ONE WEST Vospers Oak Villa...0 Porthleven...1
THIS was Oak Villa's fifth consecutive defeat and probably the most disappointing as Porthleven were not one of the better sides to travel to Weston Mill.
It left Vospers manager Adam Chidzoy less than impressed.
He said: "We didn't really get out of second gear and the players did not cope very well with the heavy state of the pitch.
"This was disappointing as although the results have not been there of late, the performances have not been bad.
"This was the first real bad performance for a long time."
The winning goal came on 31 minutes when the tricky Freddie Williams crossed to the far edge of the box and Jed McCreadie was given the time to control the ball before steering it past Bradley Agar.
Porth's Brian Scoffin saved a Harry Eaton volley on half-time and Johan Shainberg headed a Jamie Honeywill header off the line on 64 minutes to preserve their lead.
As the game wore on the away team were good value for their maximum points and could have extended their advantage when Matt Dawson saw his shot go inches past Agar's upright with just six minutes remaining.
DIVISION ONE EAST Plymstock Utd...0 Newton Spurs...4
PLYMSTOCK'S miserable start to 2013 continued as Spurs put their hosts to the sword, leaving the Dean Cross side with a record of played four, lost four since the turn of the year.
The home side started brightly enough, but a fragile back four were soon under pressure with Tom Sercombe sending a header just over and the same player confidently turned Lee Withey before firing over the bar.
The game was 15 minutes old when the visitors took a deserved lead. A long ball out of defence found Matt Micklewright and he took the ball in his stride before sending an angled chip over Paul Pethick.
Seven minutes later things got decidedly worse for the hosts when Sercombe set up Matt Barkwell to round Withey and drive past Pethick from six yards.
If Adam Dyson had brought his shooting boots with him then Spurs could have been out of sight by the interval. The centre forward spurned three glorious opportunities before the break with the overworked Pethick coming to United's rescue twice before a last ditch tackle by Lewis Young thwarted the striker.
Despite their first-half mauling, it was the home side that started the second period in the ascendancy, with Bobby Hopkinson bringing the best out of visiting keeper Ross Bellotti before Aaron Hulme and James Yates spurned reasonable chances for United.
With the game entering its final quarter, and rather against the run of play, the visitors increased their lead when Micklewright cut the ball back into the path of Sercombe who drove powerfully into the roof of the net.
Any lingering chance the home side may have had went out the window three minutes later when Sercombe clashed with Ryan O'Hea, the latter being shown a straight red card after appearing to kick out at the visiting striker.
With 10 minutes remaining Spurs set the seal on their victory when Will Warner lost possession on the edge of the six-yard box and Barkwell was on hand to tap the ball past Pethick and complete the scoring.