DESPITE dropping their first points of the current campaign, Winsham United maintained their unbeaten record in the league with a 1-1 home draw against leaders Lyme Regis in the days only Premier Division match.
Gary Warren gave Winsham the lead in the 25th minute as he hammered the ball into the net from close range. The home side held on to their slender advantage until 20 minutes from time when Matt Lang headed home the equalising goal. Lyme came more in to the game after scoring and spent the remainder of the half camped in their hosts half of the pitch, but Winsham showed why they have the best defensive record in the entire league as they kept the opposition at bay until the final whistle.
Winsham remain a point behind Lyme with two games in hand and could well be on course to claiming their first ever top flight championship win.
Two ties took place in the opening round of the Challenge Cup, with Perry Street and Shepton Beauchamp both making it through to the next stage of the competition.
A goal direct from a corner midway through the first half by Jay Bailey put Perry Street on the way to a 2-1 success at Beaminster. Alex Stephenson levelled the scores with a goal five minutes after the restart, but a freak own-goal 20 minutes from time saw the visitors claim victory.
The winning goal came from another corner. When everyone failed to make contact with the ball as it came across the area, it looked to be going out of play for a goal-kick, but as it reached the far side of the goal area, it hit a defender on the knee and rolled into the net.
Two months ago the sides had drawn in a league match, but on this occasion Streets chances of winning were helped when their opponents were forced to promote seven players from their reserve side to fill their ranks, as a number of first teamers had chosen last Saturday to go and watch Bristol City play.
Shepton Beauchamp reached the Second Round courtesy of a narrow 3-2 win against Combe St Nicholas Reserves.
A strike by Dan Smith and two goals from Sam Murley saw Shepton into a three-goal lead by the interval. Combe took their time to get back into the game, but a goal each from Mark Redwood and Dan O'Connor in the closing ten minutes brought them close to forcing extra-time.
A 3-1 win at Crewkerne Town Reserves elevated Forton Rangers back up to second spot in Division One. Steve Welsh was unfortunate in putting the ball into his own net to give Forton the lead, which they extended before the break through Andrew Stevenson.
In the second half, Lee Goodland made it 3-0 before Mike Traynor came off the bench to score a consolation for the home side.
Crewkerne gave a much-improved performance on their previous weeks showing and with a little luck may well have taken something from the game. But each time they were offered a goal scoring opportunity they were thwarted by Forton keeper Adam Smith, who made a number of telling stops, including one from a Barry Hayne penalty.
Ryan Fifer put Lyme Regis Reserves ahead against visitors Barrington, though by half time the Somerset side had taken a two-goal lead with strikes by Thomas Perry (two) and Duncan May. Three minutes after the break Lyme were awarded a penalty which Fifer duly despatched, but Barrington held on to post their fifth league triumph of the season.
In Division Two, an early goal by Scott Marshall gave Chard Rangers the lead against Uplyme, but Rangers had little else to cheer about as they were beaten 6-2 by the Devonians.
Gavin Fowler netted twice for the winners, whose total was completed with singles from Steve Gillam, Tom Chapple, Mark Taylor and Greg Matthews. Max Patch was the losers other marksman.
The defeat now sees the Chard side four points adrift of fellow strugglers Ilminster Town Colts, who won by the odd goal in five against Charmouth.
Colts went ahead through Dan Horgan and a 30-yard effort by Tom Bond saw them double their tally before half time. Charmouth netted twice after the interval to level the scores and it stayed that way until eight minutes from time, when Dan Whaites found the net with an overhead kick to earn Town their second win of the season.
Following a goal-less first 45 minutes, Adam Male scored within 5 minutes of the restart to put Dowlish & Donyatt on the way to a narrow 2-1 win against Thorncombe in their Tommy Tabberer Cup clash.
Lee Fisher scored the "Thorns" consolation goal from the penalty spot when Dowlish sub Dave Lowe brought Harry Hussein down in the final minute.
The losers lost Marc Parsley after ten minutes play when he was taken to hospital after being injured in a challenge. It was later confirmed that he had broken his collar bone.
Division Three pacesetters Luso-Chard maintained their seven point lead at the top of the table by defeating Hinton St George 4-1. Luis Mesquita was first to get his name on the winners scoresheet, however, his goal was cancelled out by a strike from Mark Lazenby.
Hinton faded badly after the turn around and conceded further goals from Igor Costa, Bruno Ferreira and Pedro Texeira before the end.
A 5-3 win at Drimpton kept Winsham United Reserves in second place. But it looked at one stage as if they had thrown away the points when they conceded three quick goals after leading at the half way stage with strikes from Charlie Adams and Brian Garrett.
Drimpton stormed back after the break to level through Chris Rowswell and Ben Dickinson and then they went in front thanks to Rowswell's second goal of the afternoon. Winsham responded by regaining the advantage as Garrett netted twice to complete his hat-trick and victory was assured when Tom Stead rounded off a fine move by smashing the ball into the net from 25-yards out.
Combe A kept the pressure on the leading pair by moving up to third following a 2-1 success at Lyme Bantams. The visitors took the lead in the 10th minute when a shot from Fenton Day ricocheted of a defender and into the net. And Combe doubled their advantage early in the second half as Warren Gabbidon beat the keeper to the ball on the edge of the box and rifled it into the net.
Patryk Skibinski pulled a goal back for Lyme with 15 minutes left on the clock.
A goal by Shane Featherstone gave Millwey Rise Reserves the lead at Chard United Reserves, but the home side hit back after the break with two goals from Ricky Anderson. Marc Jenkins salvaged a point for the visitors by hitting an 84th minute equaliser.
Dan Scriven had a good game in his central defensive roll for the Chard side.
Another match to end all-square at two goals each was at Misterton Reserves where Ilminster Town A were the guests. Ilminster twice took the lead with goals from Andy Whitefield and Carl Lazenby, while the hosts claimed their point with a goal each by Jerry Hill and Connor Fletcher.
Sixteen-year-old Josh Parsons had a good debut for Misterton who had to thank keeper Ash Obern for making a number of excellent saves to help them claim a share of the spoils.
Combe B extended their unbeaten run to four as they beat Farway United Reserves 1-0 to reclaim top spot in Division Four. The winning goal was a first half penalty scored by Steve Rodber.
Shepton Beauchamp Reserves remain a point adrift of the leaders with two games in hand after they hit four goals without reply against Uplyme Reserves. Two goals in the opening ten minutes by Tom Brister put Shepton on the way to their seventh victory of the season. Aaron Hodges and James Burkhardt completed the winners scoring with a goal apeice.
The match between Barrington Reserves and visitors Thorncombe Reserves was a very evenly contested affair, with the first half ending without score. Thorncombe went ahead when Gary Parsley headed home a Luka De Pasquale corner, but the home side were soon back on level terms from a free-kick scored by Ben Deverell. Barrington then took the lead with a strike by Rudi Martin, before Paul Male netted Thorncombe's equaliser as he slotted the ball into the net following a cross from his son Liam. Bret Venn completed the comeback when he found the net with a free-kick that travelled half the length of the pitch.
Two goals late in the game, earned Forton Rangers Reserves a point from a 2-2 draw at home to Kingsbury.
Luke Monk put Kingsbury ahead and they could have had more than a single goal lead at the break had it not been for Forton keeper Kristian Rockett, who made at least six important saves in the opening period.
Phil Bennett added a second goal for the visitors, who looked as if they were about to pick up their first maximum points in four outings. That was until Liam Whitworth scored to set up a great escape for Forton with three minutes remaining. Dean Salter brought the scores level with a goal in the last minute.
Perry Street and District League Results - Devon Intermediate Cup - East Area - Millwey Rise 6, Topsham Town 2; Priory postponed Farway United. Dorset Junior Cup - Normalair RSL Reserves 0, Netherbury 7; Waytown Hounds 2, Bournemouth University Staff F.C 4. Challenge Cup - Beaminster 1, Perry Street 2; Shepton Beauchamp 3, Combe Reserves 2. Tommy Tabberer Cup - Dowlish & Donyatt 2, Thorncombe 1. Premier - Ilminster Reserves Postponed Crewkerne Town; Winsham 1, Lyme Regis 1. Division One - Crewkerne Reserves 1, Forton Rangers 3; Lyme Regis Reserves 2, Barrington 3; Perry Street Reserves Postponed West and Middle Chinnock; South Petherton Reserves Cancelled Beaminster Reserves. Division Two - Chard Rangers 2, Uplyme 6; Ilminster Colts 3, Charmouth 2; Pymore Postponed Crewkerne Rangers. Division Three - Chard Utd. Reserves 2, Millwey Rise Reserves 2; Drimpton 3, Winsham Reserves 5; Hinton St George 1, Luso-Chard 4; Lyme Bantams 1, Combe A 2; Misterton Reserves 2, Ilminster Town A 2. Division Four - Barrington Reserves 2, Thorncombe Reserves 3; Combe B 1, Farway Reserves 0; Forton Rangers Reserves 2, Kingsbury 2; Uplyme Reserves 0, Shepton Reserves 4.
Fixtures, Saturday, December 1. Devon Intermediate Cup - East Area, Priory v Farway United. Dorset Intermediate Cup - Ferndown Sports v Lyme Regis. Dorset Minor Cup - Lower Parkstone CFC v Drimpton. Division One Cup - Semi Final - Beaminster Reserves v Netherbury. John Fowler Cup - Semi Final - Hawkchurch v Ilminster Town A; Millwey Rise Reserves v Lyme Bantams. Premier - Combe Reserves v Crewkerne Town; Ilminster Reserves v Perry Street; Shepton Beauchamp v Millwey Rise; South Petherton v Beaminster. Division One - Crewkerne Reserves v Misterton; Lyme Regis Reserves v Forton Rangers; Perry Street Reserves v South Petherton Reserves; West & Middle Chinnock v Barrington. Division Two - Chard Rangers v Dowlish & Donyatt; Chard Utd v Charmouth; Ilminster Colts v Pymore; Waytown Hounds v Thorncombe. Division Three - Combe A v Hinton St George; Misterton Reserves v Chard Utd. Reserves; Winsham Reserves v Luso-Chard. Division Four - Barrington Reserves v Combe B; Crewkerne Rangers Reserves v Kingsbury Thorncombe Reserves v Farway Reserves; Uplyme Reserves v Chard Rangers Reserves.