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Couch's men can't afford to sit still in chase for championship

By Herald Express  |  Posted: February 28, 2013

DON'T CALL ME KEITH: Teign Village player Jamie Chegwin against Meadowbrook

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BRIXHAM AFC are going to have to make Saturday's home tie against defending champions Kingskerswell & Chelston count if they intend to beat back fellow treble-hunters Buckland Athletic Reserves.

"We're looking forward to it," said manager Jason Couch.

"It will be a good test for us, because in the last couple of games at home to Wattsies and Upton we haven't really given a good account of ourselves."

Those two key defeats are the only blemishes on Brixham's record this season, and a win against Paul Edwards' side, still unbeaten in the league, would be a significant achievement.

"We've still got injuries to one or two players," Couch added, "but we're not far off full strength."

One of the injuries came during last Saturday's Belli Cup tie with Galmpton Reserves, Nathan Way dislocating his shoulder.

On the plus side, Brixham will welcome the return of captain Scott Dodgson from injury, as well as young full-back Tom King and the cup-tied Dan Rankin.

As for Bucks, they were due to have played one of their games in hand at home to Teignmouth Reserves last night, and could be going into the weekend as league leaders.

They will face a challenging trip to Abbrook Park, with Watts, Blake and Bearne able to focus all their efforts on the league, following last week's disappointing Belli Cup exit at Loddiswell.

A disputed hand-ball decision saw them reduced to ten men early in the match, and the stretched Hoops wasted no time in taking advantage, going ahead through Myles Chalcroft's penalty, and ultimately sailing through 5-1 with additional strikes from Chalcroft, Chris Wilcox, Danny Tucker and Robert Tapper; Dave Hodgson hit the target for WBB.

Upton Athletic travel to Coombe Valley ready to capitalise on any slip-ups, but Teignmouth Reserves will be anxious to claim a big scalp having given themselves a fighting chance with a recent upturn in form.

Last Saturday they won 2-1 at Newton Spurs Reserves to move out of the relegation zone.

Spurs had taken the lead on 27 minutes through Jake Elms; O'Callaghan's long header to the edge of the box was flicked on by Neil Last and Elms volleyed home from 20 yards out.

Teigns came out for the second half fired up and took the game to the visitors, but couldn't find a breakthrough until 75 minutes.

A long through-ball found Liam McAuley, who lobbed the oncoming James Aggett.

Spurs were hit with the sucker punch a minute into injury time. Another long ball into the box found Chris Bennett unmarked and he expertly volleyed home from 10 yards out.

In the Belli Cup, Brixham took the lead against Galmpton after 25 minutes through Jay Morgan, and increased it early in the second half, through Darren Vicary.

The Greens retaliated through Karl Dooley, but Morgan struck again five minutes later and sealed the win and his hat-trick with his 25th goal of the season.

Bucks secured their third semi in as many weeks with a telling 3-1 win at Kingskerswell & Chelston in their first meeting with the champs since the Charity Shield. Mark Broome, Jordan Havlin and substitute Kain Bond struck for Buckland.

Completing the semi-final line-up will be Stoke Gabriel Reserves who sent Kingsteignton Athletic out.

In the Dartmouth Cup, Waldon exacted prompt revenge on Watcombe Wanderers, who beat them in the league last week, with a battling 3-1 victory at Windmill Hill. Duane Johnson struck twice for Athletic with Ty Hawken also scoring; Daniel Harvey netted for Wanderers.

On form East Allington swept past Totnes and Dartington Reserves, while Riviera Spurs join the mix with Danny Horsfall's hat-trick putting Dartmouth AFC Reserves out.

An epic game was played out in the Ivor Andrews cup. Preston South End came from two down against AFC Staverton to force extra-time.

The game went to penalties with Stavy's Martin Richards netting the winning kick.

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