THREE became two in the race for the Western League Premier Division on Monday with leaders Tavistock matching the achievements of Exmouth Town and Mousehole slipping up at home to struggling Ashton & Backwell.
An eventful day kicked off at midday where Exmouth made light work of Millbrook, thrashing them 9-0, which not only put them on top of the table, but significantly increased their goal difference over Stuart Henderson’s Lambs.
It took 18 minutes before Exmouth went in front through Jordan Harris’ free kick, but then the floodgates opened with further goals from Ace High (2), Nathan Cooper and Levi Landricombe before half-time.
Ben Steer added a sixth shortly past the hour mark and Exmouth went on to add three more through Steer and two more for Cooper, who walked off with the match ball.
Perhaps fuelled by that scoreline, Tavistock then struck nine of their own in a 9-0 thrashing of rock bottom Bridport in a match that could easily have been double figures, such was Tavi’s dominance.
Josh Grant and Warren Daw led the way, both notching hat-tricks, with the Lambs’ other goals coming from Edd Harrison, Teigan Rosenquest and a first for the outstanding right-back Iestyn Harris.
“I was delighted to match what Exmouth had done,” Henderson said. “Exmouth kicked off early and when we saw what they’d done, we thought: ‘Wow!’ So to match what they’ve done is great.”
Those results mean it is pretty much a case of ‘as you were’ for the top two, who both have two games left to play this season. However, the first of those is tonight when Exmouth play host to Tavistock at Southern Road.
Goal difference may yet play a part with Tavistock holding the advantage with a three-goal swing, but victory for the Lambs tonight would see them crowned champions.
“It’s a big game for both teams obviously,” Henderson added. “We are three points in front, so they have to win and we have to not lose, but we have always struggled up there, so we know it’s going to be difficult.
“But it’s obviously a massive game with a lot riding on it and we go there looking forward to it and playing in front of what we expect to be a big crowd.”
Mousehole need a miracle if they are to finish top of the pile after they slipped up at home to Ashton & Backwell.
The Cornish side trailed 2-0 for much of the game, but rescued a point with two goals in the last five minutes from Jack Calver and Jack Symons. They have one game remaining and that is at Keynsham on Saturday, but are three points behind Tavistock with a far inferior goal difference.