Writes Mark Auton
In an eventful opening to the new season at Vicarage Road, East Budleigh eventually ran out winners by the odd goal in five against Honiton.
Had Budleigh taken some of their chances and not conceded a couple of soft goals the scoreline may well have read differently.
In a brisk start to the game Wilks had the first opportunity, but just six minutes in the away side had a goal disallowed; A free-kick form the edge of the box cannoned off the upright before being fired into the net, but the scorer was adjudged offside.
Five minutes later that man Wilks went close again when set up by debutant Brad Branton and Ryan Britton, whilst at the other end keeper Mark Bown tipped a goalbound effort over his bar.
The visitors were getting a toe into the game by now and at the back for Budleigh Jack Morgan made a timely clearance alongside Steve Hitchcock who was winning the aerial battle with the Honiton number nine.
When attacking Budleigh looked dangerous, but were having trouble testing the visiting stopper; Captain Dan Reynolds struck a shot just wide and when Hugo Demetre fed player Manager Matt Jones he curled his shot just over the angle of post and bar.
After a scoreless first half, Budleigh began the second period in determined fashion; A long throw from Adam Jones eventually landed at the feet of Branton who was agonisingly close to breaking the deadlock.
Minutes later Ross Bright headed over a Branton corner before Budleigh did take the lead on 57 minutes; Following another Adam Jones throw and touches from Matt Jones and Demetre the ball ended up in the net thanks to a visiting defender.
Owen Corrick, George Harris and Joe Day all joined the action for Budleigh in the half, but with twenty minutes to go the away side were level from a set play; Thankfully it was for just two minutes as Branton swung in a corner from which Hitchcock rose to restore Budleigh’s lead.
Demetre and Harris went close again for Budleigh, before the former opened his account for the season on 82 minutes when stooping to head in another well taken corner from that man Branton, who also picked up the Man of the Match award.
On the 90 minute mark Budleigh conceded a soft second, but will be happy to have registered the three points.
Having a bye in the Bill Slee Cup this Saturday, Budleigh will play thier home league fixture against Culm Utd at Vicarage Road. (kick-off 3pm)