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Brilliant goals in Braunton win over Bradworthy

Only three matches survived the brutal weather in the North Devon Football League, but they still did enough to serve up some wonderful weekend highlights.

Braunton 2nds hosted Premier Division bottom club Bradworthy, the game moved to Camp Lobb from Bradworthy and home comfort worked for Braunton who moved within a point of third placed Shamwickshire Rovers with a 4-2 win.

Braunton started as favourites, unleashing a relentless attacking force on the Bradworthy defence. Incredibly, however, they failed to break down the defense and, even more incredibly, the ‘visitors’ took the lead in extraordinary fashion.

The ball was played back to Bradworthy keeper Tim Summers who fired it high into the gray North Devon sky. Everyone at Camp Lobb, including the home custodian, watched as the ball sailed in slow motion, skidded off the greasy surface and settled into the top corner. 1-0 to Bradworthy and the keeper was the hero.

Braunton recovered from the shock and quickly equalized. A cross from the left was recycled back into the box, Cameron Shaw fired low and Pete Stapley was in the right place to finish easily past Summers.

Two became one for Braunton. The indomitable Shaw raced to a long ball in the right channel and headed a wonderful pass for Timmy Pike to repeat Stapley’s trick of a simple tap-in at the far post.

The ‘home side’ maintained their slim advantage until the half-time break and extended the period in sensational style. A cross from the right was half cleared by Bradworthy’s defense for Lewis Lowe who cut inside with his right foot and unleashed a 20-yard screamer that skimmed the underside of the post on its way to the back of the net.

Bradworthy recovered to make it 3-2, but any hope of a podium finish was dashed by a decisive fourth from Braunton. Ross Drury picked up the ball 40 yards from goal and set off on a blistering run that ended with a low near-post finish behind Summers.

For fun check out the Braunton Facebook page on a Sunday and you’ll often find a completely different, very entertaining report from the weekend’s football festivities.

The two other survivors made it to the cup, resulting in comfortable home wins for Hartland Clovelly and Barum United.

Away Kilkhampton, Hartland Clovelly were too strong for their visitors and won 5-1. Jack Johns bagged a brace, Jed Kerby was on target and further goals came for substitutes Kieran Heard and Daniel Slee.

Barum United welcomed Sandymere Blues and ran out 4-0 winners, a result that will happily see them visit struggling Shebbear United on January 28 in the Senior Division.

North Devon trio Bideford, Barnstaple and Ilfracombe Town were inevitably affected by waterlogged pitches at the weekend, although a couple of games against Devon clubs in the Southern League did go ahead.

Exmouth Town continued their slump in form with a disappointing 3-0 defeat at home to lowly Larkhall Athletic, making it five games without a win for the East Devon club. Exmouth remain fifth in the table, a point above Tavistock, who have three games to play.

Willand Rovers lost 1-0 in the mid-table clash at Bishops Cleeve and the league will hopefully resume in full this weekend, with Bideford facing a tough trip to third-placed AFC Totton, who have lost just twice in the league from 17 games.

The Toolstation Western League was a total disaster but the midweek schedule in the Les Phillips Cup sees Ilfracombe travel to Bishop Sutton and Barnstaple host Falmouth hopefully.

Barum resume hostilities with Falmouth in the league on Saturday when the Cornishmen visit Mill Road. Ilfracombe Town is home to Shepton Mallet.

In the Devon Football League, Beer Albion cemented their place at the top of the North & East Division with a confident 4-1 win at home to second-placed Budleigh Salterton.

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