SWPL EAST Ivybridge Town 2 Axminster Town 1

Ivys 600x600Goals from leading scorer Connor Rush sparked a second half comeback by Ivybridge Town as they maintained their winning run, beating Axminster 2-1 in their final South West Peninsula League game of the season.

The double strike brought Rush’s tally to 15 league and cup goals while Ivybridge ended the season with eight successive victories.

The win came following a first half setback as Axminster took a 20th minute lead from a Josh Wadham penalty after Ivybridge goalkeeper Kane Gregory had been booked for a foul following a defensive mix-up.

Ivybridge were back on level terms five minutes after the interval following good work by Calum Merrin, who set up Rush to score with a spectacular volley after taking a slight deflection off a defender.

Rush struck again in the 82nd minute to make it 15 goals in 23 games since joining the club during the season.

Commenting on the penalty, Ivybridge manager Darren Stewart said: “The goal was an unlucky one to concede. Our philosophy is to play from the back and occasionally you get caught out, which we did.

“But in the second half, with the crowd behind us, attacking our favourite end (the clubhouse end) it was one of those games that I was always confident we were going to get back in it.”

Praising Rush’s equaliser, Stewart added: “He deserves the goal. It was a great switch of play. Calum Merrin did really well with a first-time volley across the box and Connor met it really well. Although the ball took a nick off a defender, which changed the angle, I think it was going to trouble the keeper and made it into the top corner.”

After rounding off the season by winning all their eight league matches in April, Ivybridge finished fourth in the Peninsula Premier East Division with 78 points from 38 matches.

Stewart said: “This gives us a points per game ratio of 2.05 which is pretty comparable to the last two years and that was the target we set at the start of the season so fair play to the lads.

“We had a decent crowd here today. Everyone was willing us to go on and win the game. It was a perfect end to a really good season.”

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