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Match Report - Tiverton Town v Salisbury FC

Tiverton

Tiverton Town 3 Salisbury FC 3

BetVictor Southern Premier South

Saturday, 31 August 2019

By Alec Hayter

Four points lost!...... and before anyone thinks I've gone completely mad, I am of course referring to the consequences of a second successive away game when, on each occasion points, have been surrendered because of an inability to hold onto a lead. Those points would have catapulted us into top spot. Having said that, this high-scoring draw against high-flying Tivvy was worth much more as a confidence booster than a point at Swindon Supermarine, because today's opponents were technically superior to our Wiltshire rivals. For much of this game we were the better side, as Manager Martyn Rogers confirmed after the final whistle, and he appeared quite relieved to get a point. He was also surprised not to be facing from the start a Salisbury team without Toby Holmes and Warren Bentley, although Toby appeared just before the half-time interval.

The intention to limit the opponents’ opportunities and prevent going a goal behind went wrong after only 9 minutes as a result of a George Colson’s misjudgement of the spinning bounce of the ball, which went over his head and let in Jordan Bastin. He who calmly rounded exposed keeper Tom Smith (and that takes some doing!) to give his side the lead.

Although the Whites were having as much, and sometimes more of the play as Tiverton there were some sloppy moments and perhaps none more so when, on 15 minutes, after Josh Sommerton had got to the byeline and driven low cross into the box, debutant Luke Holmes appeared to miscue in front of goal, although the pace of the ball made it a very sharp chance.

On 24 minutes Tiverton's Jordan Dyer bundled the ball into the back of the Salisbury net but in order to do so had to commit a foul spotted by referee Timothy Burley, and 12 minutes later in another breakaway Nathanial Oseni had to be at his best to deny Jarrod Lewington with a last-ditch tackle.

On 42 minutes Lewington brought a good save from Smith, who was forced to touch the ball over from an accurate cross shot, but there was still time before the break for the Whites to get back on level terms. Good work from Aaron Dawson gave Dan Fitchett the ball on the edge of the box and one swing of the left foot later the ball was in the net to give his side a half-time boost and change the half-tome talk.

Salisbury started the second half the brighter, and Luke Holmes, who had already shown some good movement and touches, sent in a curling cross to Fitchett whose header was scrambled around the post by the keeper, but 12 minutes later an Ollie Knowles free kick reaped a better reward when Darren Mullings rose majestically to power in a header and give Salisbury the advantage.

It was only another 9 minutes before a two-goal lead was established. Toby Holmes turned provider, putting in Josh Sommerton who finished coolly with a deft chip over the advancing keeper. This was Josh's first senior goal of the season and we hope there will be many more - he seems to have picked up a tip or two on finishing from the prolific Toby’s recent hatrick, and his goal completed a good performance after he had subdued ex-Salisbury Chris Shephard well enough that Shep left the action shortly after the interval.

A two-goal lead with unjder twenty minutes left should have enabled Salisbury to see out the game, and just before they scored the third goal Tiverton might well have gone down to 10 men after a Tiverton player escaped punishment following a rash tackle. A yellow card would I think have been the Tivvy player’s second of the game and perhaps this was the only doubt in an otherwise accomplished performance by referee Burley, in what was a full blooded contest.

Rather like the Whites, his performance temporarily dipped, and three points for Salisbury

Slipped from their grasp, as on 78 minutes, and of course still with 11 men on the pitch, Tiverton started their final push and profited when a loose ball in the box allowed Bastin to get his second to make it 2-3. The vistors were pinned back, and it seemed inevitable that there would be an equaliser. On 85 minutes it arrived when River Allen's corner to the far post found Michael Landricombe, who powered in a header. The name Landricombe is not a popular one with Salisbury as of course last season another Landricombe grabbed a couple of goals in the second half to send the Whites home pointless. After that equaliser half chances from Tiverton's Olaf Koszela and Salisbury's Danny Young concluded the action.

For the second time on our travels I would have settled for a point before the game started, but this point, is more meaningful than that obtained at Supermarine. More travelling next Saturday sees us start our involvement in the FA Cup at Thatcham Town, for which the kick-off has been changed to 12:30 PM to accommodate the BBC’s live screaming on the BBC Sport app.

A brief look at the Thatcham squad reveals several familiar faces to anyone who has, like me, travelled to most if not all of Salisbury games in the past few seasons, and there is no doubt that Thatcham will provide stiff opposition to our progress to the next round. Today the Whites enjoyed a loud and substantial following for the long trip to Tiverton and next Saturday it is even more important that fans turn up and make it seem like a home game. Thatcham is nowhere near as far as Tiverton, so please do your best to get there.

Teams

Tiverton Town: Williams, Dyer, Smerdon, Nancekivell, Landricombe, Bentley (Elliott 81), Colewell, Allen, Lewington, Bastin , Shephard (Koszela 47).

Subs not used: S Rogers, Furness, G Rogers.

Salisbury FC: Smith, Colson (Rayfield 54), Sommerton, Mullings, Oseni, Amankwaah, Dawson, Knowles, Fitchett, Hippolyte-Patrick (T Holmes 42), L Holmes (Young 80).

Subs not used: Wellard, Bentley.

Att: 327                      Referee: T Burley