Devon and Exeter premier
NEWTOWN came to Okehampton on Thursday evening knowing five wins from their five remaining games and the Devon and Exeter Premier League title would be there’s for the first time in their history, 90 minutes later the title was a distant memory as they were completely torn apart by the young Argyle team 6-1.
The first ten minutes was a relatively even affair with Okehampton (pictured in yellow and blue stripes) unusually nervous at the back and allowing Newtown plenty of possession in the Argyle half, which fortunately for the home side they did not capitalise on.
The first Argyle goal came after a Tallan Burns corner was met full on by a header from Dale Chadwick which the Newtown keeper could only parry and Luke Mortimer was on hand to smash the ball past the stranded Newtown keeper.
The second Argyle goal was similar to the first with again a Tallan Burns delivery but this time Dale Chadwick left the Newtown keeper with no chance glancing his header into the bottom right hand corner to give Argyle a 2-0 lead.
For the next ten minutes and perhaps for the only time in the entire 90 minutes Newtown put Argyle under some pressure and they were rewarded when the otherwise excellent Chris Ford, unfortunately, in trying to clear away the danger smashed the ball into his own net to bring Newtown back into game.
Any chance that Newtown thought that this would be the start of a comeback with an hour still to play were dispatched 90 seconds later when Tallan Burns received the ball wide out on the right hand side and he went on one of his mazy runs leaving three Newtown defenders in his wake before calmly slotting the ball though the Newtown keeper’s legs to restore Argyle’s two goal advantage.
Argyle nearly added a fourth moments later when Brad Ausden hit a beautiful left volley from 25 yards that crashed off the bar leaving the Newtown keeper routed to the spot. However, the young centre forward did not have to wait much longer to open his account when five minutes later he found himself one on one with the Newtown centre half, who he beat and stroked the ball past the stranded Newtown keeper to make it 4-1 to end another excellent Argyle 45 minutes. The only downside being a hamstring injury to the outstanding Chris Wills just before half time.
With a full 45 minutes left to try and salvage any slim hopes of winning the title Newtown started very strongly at the start of the second half but try as much as they did they did not cause the Okehampton back four any real trouble.
It was no real great surprise when Argyle scored their fifth which virtually ended the contest when Luke Mortimer dribbled past the Newtown full back, squared the ball back to Brad Ausden whose first touch wrong footed the Newtown defenders, before he buried the ball into the bottom right hand corner to get his second and Argyle’s fifth.
Argyle nearly scored again moments later when their keeper, Aaron Dearing. rolled the ball to Tallan Burns just outside his own box who then ran almost the whole length of the pitch with half the Newtown team chasing him, before he squared the ball to Brad Ausden, who hit a beautiful shot from 25 yards which again came off the crossbar and temporarily denying him his hat-trick
With five minutes remaining and the game in the bag and the Newtown team almost off their feet, Dearing in the Oke goal hit it long between two Newtown defenders for Brad Ausden to run onto; he outpaced the defenders before lifting the ball over the advancing Newtown keeper to complete his second hat trick in successive home games and put the topping on another excellent Argyle team performance.
This was yet another all round superb team performance from this ever improving team, to totally take apart a side that had only dropped 12 points all season. It emphasises how far Argyle have come in the last half of the season and as long as the keep together, they could have a successful season next year. Although the front three will get all the applause for their attacking prowess, the relentless work and ability of the midfield and defence is the backbone of which the recent run of results has been built on along with Aaron Dearing keeping goal superbly, while the outstanding Harry Gearing is away.
Okehampton Argyle footballing future is looking rosy indeed.