TOTNES AND DARTINGTON 1 - CREDITON 1
CREDITON travelled to Totnes and Dartington on a wet Saturday afternoon (January 28). After heavy rainfall overnight the pitch was like a ploughed field inside the first 10 minutes and it was always going to be a tough afternoon.
Crediton reverted back to a 4-3-3 and there were wholesale changes from last week’s 5-5 thriller against Alphington.
Groom and Lee formed a new centre-half partnership, with McCann and Khoo as full-backs. Bilcock, Carpenter and Woodward made up a midfield three, with Ord returning up front alongside Blake and Morish.
Crediton started the game slowly and struggled to get to grips with the boggy surface which really limited their passing style and the football was limited.
Tots were sitting deep and trying to catch the visitors on the break, which seemed to be working as Crediton’s disjointed back four were caught out trying to play offside far too often.
Tots were first to everything, winning the majority of first and second balls and Crediton struggled to cope with their intensity and superb work rate.
It was almost inevitable that Tots would get the first goal, Tonkin tried to play a pass out from the back but Lee slipped and the ball found Chalcroft 30 yards from goal. He controlled and fired an unstoppable shot into the top corner to give the home side a deserved lead.
Chances were at a premium for both sides and Tots defended well, with centre-half Beattie particularly impressive.
Ord did go close just before the break as he cut inside from the left and fired agonisingly wide from a tight angle.
The second half saw a change in momentum as Crediton looked more organised and began to dominate proceedings.
Just 10 minutes into the second half Crediton were level, McCann found Morish in the box and he was bundled over from behind, this gave the referee an easy decision and he pointed straight to the spot.
Bilcock stepped up and gave the ‘keeper no chance, firing high into the roof of the net. Five minutes later Crediton felt they should have had another pen, Blake cut in from the left and his goal-bound effort was clearly blocked by an outstretched arm, but the referee waved away the protests, much to the dismay of the away side.
Both sides exchanged chances as the half went on, with Chalcroft going closest for the home side, blazing over when in a dangerous position.
Crediton made changes, Stone replaced the weary Morish and Skinner replaced Carpenter, with Lee moving forward into his more accustomed midfield role.
Woodward then pulled up with a serious case of cramp and was replaced for the final 15 by assistant gaffer Harris.
The visitors did create one final chance to nick it, some neat interplay down the right ended with Stone cutting the ball back to Blake in a glorious position 10 yards out, but he could not keep his first time effort down and the ball shaved the crossbar on its way over.
In truth a draw was probably a fair result, with neither side doing enough to win it. The pitch was a major factor and didn’t really help either side to gain any momentum.
Crediton will be disappointed to drop two points for the second week in a row against lower opposition but hopefully with a few bodies returning in the coming weeks, results will start to improve.
Next up for Kirton is a home fixture tomorrow, Saturday, February 4, against Budleigh.