Honiton Town moved confidently into the last 16 of the Walter C Parson Funeral Directors League Cup after a 5-2 home win over Plymouth Marjon.
With regular goalkeeper Luke Ashford unavailable for the cup tie, Matty Long was given a warm welcome back by a good turnout of supporters at a sun-kissed Mountbatten Park.
Ben Ede, continuing to take charge of team affairs, tweaked the Hippos’ formation, combining the talents of Harry Leisk and Ash Mitchel in midfield while playing himself in a back four that also included Joe Dixon, Lewis Couch and captain Elliot Dyer. Danny Bailey led the line-up top while the rest of the starting XI comprised of Aaron Doble, Tom Perryman and Chris Long completing the line-up and the bench was occupied by Blake Freemantle, Andy Isaac, Nial Jefford and Leroy Venn.
He Hippos, playing towards the clubhouse in the first half with the sun shining into their faces, made a super-fast start and so nearly took an instant lead! An early raid resulted in the ball being driven across the six-yard box where Danny Bailey was inches away from meeting it. That proved to be only a temporary reprieve for the visitors with Town taking an early lead only for the students to immediately restore parity before – and all inside a frenetic first five minutes of action – a cross was bundled home by a combination of a Marjon defender and skipper Elliot Dyer. A fourth goal arrived in the 20th minute with Bailey netting with a fine finish.
That completed a busy first half from the two teams, but, those in attendance at Mountbatten Park were certainly left to contemplate, over their half-time ‘cuppa’ that this contest had plenty more still to give!
Early in the second half the game saw a fifth goal with the students making it 3-2. That caused some angst amongst the Hippos’ faithful, but any lingering concerns were soon ended as the two goal lead was restored and done so with the sweetest of strikes from Lewis Couch who received a wonderful lofted pass from Joe Dixon before arrowing the ball into the Marjon net.
The students continued to contribute to a superb contest and they scored a second before second half substitute, Andy Issac, turned the ball home from close range after a well-worked free-kick, to complete the scoring.
Honiton Town are back in action on Wednesday night when they travel to Tiger Way Axminster looking to complete an early season double on the Tigers who they beat 2-0 at Mountbatten Park back in August.
The kick-off at Tiger Way on Wednesday night is at 7.30pm.
We thank ANDREW SYMONDS both for the match report and the pictures.