AXMINSTER travelled to Alphington and came away with a solid 2-0 win in the Southwest Peninsula League East Division.

Goals from Connor Swingler and Tony Pinder earned the win over a resilient Exeter-based side.

This was always going to be a tough game for the Tigers as the Chronicles had nothing to lose and would have relished the prospect of defeating the high flying visitors.

The away side started slightly better looking to get the ball forward at every opportunity, however this became a little too predictable for an experienced Alphington backline.

By the 20th minute the home side looked the better side and created a couple of decent opportunities but lacked the required quality to punish the anxious Tigers.

On the 30th minute a tussle in the visitors penalty area resulted in a huge penalty appeal by the Alphas as Tigers’ Connor Hannaford looked to have shoved the opposing striker in the back.

However a well-placed referee waived play on much to the disappointment of the home side that saw joint manager Jason Warren being sent from the dug out as his verbal bashing of the referee was not to be tolerated by the man in the middle.

This clearly rattled Alphington allowing Axminster to start to get some control back in the game and right on half-time Tigers’ Ashley Small played in a terrific left wing cross that caused havoc for the Alphas’ back line and this allowed the excellent Swingler to toe poke the ball past the helpless Fred Kingdom in the home goal.

The Tigers made two changes at the break introducing the experienced Darren Hutchings and the talented Nathan Antat, replacing youngsters Charley Skilton and Kieran Daniels.

The changes paid off as the Tigers now had a more solid look to them with Hutchings breaking up the Alphington attacking intent extremely well.

Alphington looked to get the ball forward as quickly as possible but found the visiting defence of Hannaford, Cameron Vere, Dan Beer and Antat in defiant mood, with goalkeeper Ashley Smith dominating his area.

By the 70th minute, Alphington were throwing everything they could at the Tigers who had now resorted to a 4-5-1 formation getting bodies behind the ball to deal with some heavy pressure.

On the 75th minute, Ben Allen picked up the ball in midfield, played a terrific through ball to Pinder who in turn made no mistake with his finishing, blasting past Kingdom and effectively ending the contest.

Moments later, the Tigers introduced 16-year-old Reece McCabe for his second appearance in a Tigers shirt, and he performed his defensive duties extremely well for someone so young.

After the game, Axminster joint manager Josh Stunell said: “Alphington gave us a really tough game, we had to show some real resilience, we weren’t at our normal free flowing best but we worked very hard for the clean sheet and ultimately we had that little bit of extra quality required to bag the points.”

Men of the Match: Cameron Vere and Connor Swingler