TT BLOG – Back To Footie by Clive Hayward

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Clive Hayward reports back from another afternoon at Newton Spurs


Clive Hayward – @Byehorse

Newton Abbot Spurs V Crediton – FA Vase, 10/10/20

Another visit to Newton Abbot Rec this afternoon for @mattyhayward96 and I. For the third time this season the mighty Spurs delivered the goods, with an entertaining FA Vase win over Crediton United.

The team we are learning to love always carry a threat going forward, and they opened the scoring after only 3 minutes. They cut through Crediton to present Nathan Hebbes with an easy chance give the visitors the Heebie Geebies. 1-0.

Although Crediton were foiled soon afterwards by a point-blank save by Dom Aplin, Spurs looked the stronger side. One of the reasons I enjoy grassroots football is that you can see and hear everything. Martin Tyler would have been apologising for Industrial Language (as well as being a Woking fan) after the Crediton centre forward’s bellowed advice as he watched his mates defend a corner from the half way line. The faultless instruction from the number nine was: “Get a f***ing head on it”.

There was some gloriously random stuff going on this afternoon. Spurs’ physio appears to have gone missing in action at one stage, because when a player went down injured the initial treatment was supplied by a fellow player, who ran to give succour armed only with a water bottle. Fortunately, it was a beverage rather than an enema that he delivered: it was to no avail, as the luckless Spur came off injured, just about the same time as the physio appeared from the dressing rooms, ran straight past him and started looking in vain for a casualty!


Spurs are winning more than they lose at present, but they allowed Crediton to get back into the tie. After a goalkeeping error narrowly avoided punishment- a long range chip only just going over the unguarded net- Crediton made no mistake with their next opportunity. The ball was given away on the halfway line, and they converted the one-on one. A poor touch might have allowed the Spurs keeper a chance to get off his line and smother, but he couldn’t react quickly enough and the equaliser was slipped home.

This setback spurred the home team into action. An off-balance volley screamed just wide before perhaps the most important passage of play of the afternoon. Some nice one-touch football, a very tight call for offside, but Spurs were round the back again and the ball was unselfishly centred to give Liam Mosley an open goal which he took with aplomb. 2-1.    

Half time, and a chance to catch up with lapsed Torquay fan @nickhancock741. Nick was a home and away sufferer for several years, and we shared many brandy-enhanced Chocolate Milk sessions coming home down dark motorways. Nick decided he’d seen enough of Mike Bateson at around the time Leroy’s luck ran out in 2006. Since then Nick has become a big part of the Buckland Athletic success story and regaled me with tales of their recent Vase exploits.

The second half continued in entertaining vain. Spurs were now well on top with some incisive attacking play. It was no surprise when they got a third: Josh Webber with a terrific first time finish low into the right-hand corner from the edge of the box.

It was time for a bit of “game management”. Standing close to the home dugout we heard lots of pragmatic advice dished out. Sensible stuff for the most part. Always mindful of not over-committing at set pieces: the highest praise always being reserved for the unselfish recovery run to make up the numbers at the back. A definite preference to “keep the ball”, something which the players at this level aren’t always able to do.


Perhaps today’s biggest character, however, was the linesman. A young fella, tall, ginger and with something of Garry Monk about him both in build and attitude, he took no lip off anyone and definitely no prisoners. He left the Newton bench in no doubt that getting too close to the touchline would be perilous (“stand back Gentlemen, I’ll wipe you out if you get in my way”). The referee this afternoon (good game, cool authority) was a chap by the name of Daniel Muirden. The Partridge fans amongst us (Matty & me) were highly amused when Garry Monk announced every planned substitution with loud shouts of: “DAN! DAN!! DAN!!! DAN!!!!

Crediton did get a goal back towards the end thanks to a hefty deflection, but in truth Spurs saw it out well. As we sauntered away from the ground there was a loud cheer of celebration from the bar. What on earth? Penalty to Torquay-  get in there! Bromley had taken one hell of a last-minute 2-1 beating!   

COYY – Clive

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