FINAL ROUND UP FOR 2022
MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY NEW YEAR XMAS EVERYONE
Due to technical difficulties our article for the local papers has not been printed so we have reproduced it here.
The Devon & Exeter Football League closed down for the festive season last saturday with only seven matches played due to frost and snow, 39 postponed for the weather and one game off as a team were unable to raise a side.
The only Premier game to beat the weather was at Dawlish United where they were a little unfortunate to slip to a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Lyme Regis who will now go into 2023 joint second. The Fort Davey side share that spot with Exeter University Res but they are both some eight points behind Alphington who having dropped just three points from their first half of the season look favourites for the title. Surprisingly the Alphas are chasing a title they have only ever won twice before, in 1978 and 1979, so they have a big incentive to bridge the gap.
Only one match was played in Division One and saw Teignmouth held to a 2-2 draw by Wellington, so it did not affect the leaders Upottery who go into the new year unbeaten, and with matches in hand on their nearest challengers Winkleigh and Bow AAC and will take some catching.
Division Two pacemakers St Martins needed a last minute winner to beat third place Exmouth Spartans 4-3 and preserve their 100% record, but they have a real contest with Exeter University for the title. The students have only lost one game so could be a tense second half to the season.
Seaton Town moved up to second place in Division Three after their 3-1 win at Lyme Regis, but still sit five points adrift of Hemyock. However this division is wide open and any of the top six will feel they are in the running.
St Thomas Social Club had their 100% record ended at Alphington where the pair drew 2-2. which will give their Division Four title rivals East Budleigh and Exeter University 6ths a lift.
No matches were played in Division Five so leaders Bickleigh head out five points clear although they cannot afford to ease up with a number of teams hot on their trail.
Division Six was hit not only by the withdrawal of leaders Ottery St Mary 3rds, but no action due to the weather. So AFC Morchard Bishop take over at the top but although the division is now down to just ten teams, Morchard have at least half the division on their heels.
Whipton & Pinhoe won the only match in Division Seven to climb into second place behind Exmouth Rovers, and the second half of the season in this division looks as if it will be a cracker.
Division Eight table toppers Ex Dons suffered a 3-2 defeat at home to a strengthened Hemyock Res, but they stay eleven points clear of Tedburn St Mary although the teds have five matches in hand.
The next programme is saturday January 7th so the League wishes everyone involved in local football a very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. A lot has happened throughout 2022 not all good so can we hope that 2023 will see local football regenerated again.
Thursday 22nd December 2022