Tiverton Town 2 Salisbury FC 0
Evo-stik South Premier South
Saturday, 16 March 2019
By Alec Hayter
I'm very sorry to disappoint those of you who like to read the detail of games, but on this occasion, I'm going to have to let you down as all that there is to relate is a tale of woe based around the all-important result, an outcome not unusual following visits to Tiverton Town. Someone said to me following our success at Wimborne Town that that fixture was the most difficult one left in the season. How very wrong, with our dismal record in Devon, as that was also to deny manager Martyn Rogers' well versed technique of beating Salisbury sides.
We lost a valuable chance to make a real point with Taunton Town surprisingly being beaten at Frome and Weymouth dropping two points at the Cuthbury, We lost the game because of being unable to convert total first half dominance into goals, and then being caught by two superb finishes on the break from Levi Landricombe, a real out and out striker in the true sense of the word - something which we lack. In the first half the only threats on our goal came in the space of two minutes from Tom Bath with a wild right foot effort and a cross shot from Landricombe which went past the post.
Yes, Jack Sparkes' freekick on 29 minutes was kept out only by the woodwork, and Lewis Bensons’ corner scrambled off the line, but better, easier opportunities were wasted.
The Whites had bombarded the home goal from the off, with the assistance of a strong wind in their backs, and it appeared after 45 minutes that there was bound to be a points return from the long trip. However, the second half was characterised by two fatal mistakes which presented Landricombe with the kind of chance he laps up.
Five minutes into the second period Kane O'Keefe thrashed at and sliced a clearance which fell into Landricombe's path, the striker calmly slotting the ball past Jake Hallett, and on 75 minutes, from another quick clearance in extremely similar fashion to goals conceded in previous visits to Ladysmead, Landricombe got clear on the left and hit a well aimed finish, taken early, past the keeper.
In the meantime, Salisbury were perplexed when a penalty appeal on Aaron Dawson was turned down on 64 minutes and three minutes later when Tom Whelan delivered a ball across the face of goal which Luke Hopper failed to connect with, whilst Tiverton had two one-on-one chances denied by Hallett before Landricombe completed the scoring.
Late substitutions of new boy Chris Flood and the returning Danny Young made no difference to the outcome, and as far as Flood is concerned, it would be unfair to make any judgement after a short period in action.
Once more, in spite of some great build-up play, the Whites were unable to capitalise in the first half, and paid a heavy price in the second.
With seven games remaining, the Whites can afford no slip ups if they are to make it into the optimum play-off position, and it is now, and has been for some time, down to them to make sure that it is as difficult as possible for other competing teams to prevent that. Hope springs eternal, however, in that the odd results of yesterday will be repeated, and if that is the case then a consistent run from Salisbury can ensure they get their reward, and still, would you believe, there remains a remote possibility of actually winning the league, with other competing teams having to meet each other.
Next up is the first of the four remaining home games against Chesham United on Saturday. Since we played Chesham back in October, they have shown improved form apart from a home reverse yesterday to Farnborough, and will present a stern challenge. A large following at Tiverton was not rewarded for the effort they made, but hopefully, they will be next Saturday when making the much shorter journey to the Ray Mac.
Tiverton Town: Armstrong, Key, Hall (Furness 90+4), Price, Mammola, Dyer, M. Landricombe, Colwell, Bath, L. Landricombe, Davis (Phillips 89).
Subs not used: Rogers, Gardner, Yetton.
Salisbury FC: Hallett, Wheeler, Sparkes, Whelan, Partridge, O'Keefe, Benson, Dawson, Hopper (Flood 76), Fitchett, Mullings (Young 76).
Subs not used: Shephard, Downing, Sommerton.
Attendance: 335 Referee: D Flynn.