BISHOPS STORTFORD 1-2 TIVERTON TOWN
6 points out of a possible 9 from the Yellows 3 latest long haul cross country runs has the Yellows sniffing at the coat tails of what will eventually become the play-off places come April. The win at St. Ives was followed by a 2-0 defeat at table topping Slough and another well-earned and deserved 3 points at the Pro Kit Stadium, underneath the back-drop of Stanstead Airport. Birthday boy and eventual Man of the Match Owen Howe did the damage and secured the victory as he drilled two efforts from the edge of the area at the start of the second period before the hosts scored what proved to be just their consolation, Joe Robinson with a close-range header to set up a potential grandstand finish two minutes before the end of the ninety, to complete their first league double of the season after the opening day fixture which ended the same way.
Captain Jamie Price and Nick Hurst made way from the starting XI from that that were beaten at Slough and Scott Rogers and Tom Bath were both given rare starts while the hosts made one change to the side that had continued their excellent recent run of form that had seen them beaten only once in their previous eight league matches. The players who are experiencing this level of football for the first time, it must be said, are coping admirably whilst the guidance of those that have is invaluable and in making themselves hard to break down and get through the Yellows are proving they will be no push-overs for anyone, whilst also having the fire-power and skill to create and score goals a-plenty. It is also worth remembering that two divisions separated these two sides last term and to come away from both matches with victories, huge amounts of credit must be given to all involved.
The opening forty-five whistled by without too many major talking points, Storm Brian and the almost hurricane-force wind making playing conditions tricky to say the least, although both sides did have one major chance to take the lead. Stortford keeper Tyler McCarthy redeemed himself and spared his own blushes as he tried to dribble his way out of trouble but then produced a fine flying save after Levi Landricombe had robbed him but was denied his eighth league goal of the season while the previously un-troubled and un-tested Martin Rice did well to save Afolabi Akinyemis` header from Darren Foxleys` free-kick just before the interval.
From a slightly biased point of view the majority of the second half was a much more one-sided affair though. Michael Landricombe, still searching for his first goal this season, headed narrowly over from Jamie Shorts` free kick as the Yellows turned the screw from the start and didn`t have to wait too much longer before they took the lead. Neat football from back to front ultimately ended at the edge of the area and at the right foot of Owen Howe and his precise twenty-yard drive found the bottom corner of the net past the despairing dive of McCarthy and eight minutes later the Landricombe-Howe partnership combined again, as it has done so many times before to double the lead. Landricombes` ball forward seemed to have forced Howe wide but with a touch to steady himself, and similar to the first, he arrowed home his and the Yellows second.
Chances came and went for Tivvy to extend their lead as the match wore on, notably when Howe, on a hat-trick, headed Shorts` cross inches wide and a very strange offside decision de-railed Levi Landricombes celebrations before the hosts scored their late consolation. Joe Robinson headed home from close range and was credited with the goal after a corner that had held up in the wind had created some defensive/attacking pin-ball and despite their best efforts, the hosts could not find the equaliser in the minutes that remained and as a result of their latest victory, the Yellows move back up to seventh in the standings.
Tiverton: Martin Rice, Michael Landricombe, Callum Hall, Scott Rogers (Liam Gregory 81), Ben Mammola, Tom Gardner, Jamie Short, Ollie Knowles, OWEN HOWE (Nick Hurst 88), Levi Landricombe, Tom Bath.
Goals: Owen Howe 55, 63.
Report by Simon Ellis