DUNSTABLE TOWN 1-2 TIVERTON TOWN
Two-one to the Tiverton has a recurring theme about it. On no fewer than six previous occasions this season had the Yellows ran out winners by the odd goal in three and after another two-hundred plus mile cross-country trip on a bitterly cold afternoon the Yellows added occasion number seven and another three points on the road at second from bottom of the table Dunstable Town, after league goals eleven and twelve in either half from Man of the Match Levi Landricombe were sandwiched around the hosts consolation, given to them via their leading scorer Arel Amu from the penalty spot after Nick Hurst was penalised.
Rocked by the departure of Owen Howe during the previous week, the Yellows were also without the suspended Ollie Knowles but Jamie`s Price and Short returned from injury as well as Ben Mammola`s return from suspension softened the blow while the hosts gave home debuts to three recent additions to their squad. Pre-match talk made reference of the potential `banana-skin` that the fixture could throw up for the Yellows and to put it politely, this riled the hosts management team, although with no disrespect to the hosts the league table doesn`t lie and when Levi Landricombe raced clear and finished with aplomb on four minutes after Jamie Short had split the defence, the travelling fans would have been forgiven for expecting the floodgates to open and home fans must have been fearing the worse.
To their credit though, Dunstable steadied the ship and only a combination of Rice, the Yellows backline and some wayward shooting stopped the hosts from equalising before they eventually did although a couple of more than questionable offside decisions and one stand out save from Blues keeper Nick Hayes, on loan from Ipswich Town, prevented Levi Landricombe from adding to his afternoons and seasons tally. Eventually though, the hosts were level. Nick Hursts` over-exuberance to win the ball saw him barge Andrew Osli-Bonsu to the floor and Amu stepped up and sent Rice the wrong way from the resulting spot kick on thirty-six minutes for his fifth of the season and only a very smart near post Rice save stopped Osli-Bonsu giving the Blues the lead shortly before the interval.
The Yellows though, after a half time `correctional speech` re-asserted their authority and the majority of second half clear cut opportunities fell Tivvys way and a slightly greater margin of victory would have been no unfair reflection on the second forty-five or so minutes. Landricombe drew a fine save from Hayes at his near post after Scott Rogers had sent him scampering towards goal and only a slightly fortunate combination of Hayes and centre half Scott Betts again cleared the danger before the lead was restored. Landricombe won a free kick 20 or so yards from goal just past the hour mark and despite Hayes spending time assembling his wall, in typical fashion, Landricombe curled his effort through said wall for league goal number twelve of the season, much to Hayes disgust.
Landricombe had a chance to seal his first hat-trick of the season after Ben Mammola had waltzed out of defence but blazed wide with only Hayes to beat and Bath un-marked and an injury time free kick, after Rogers was tripped, landed on the roof of the net were as close as Tivvy came to extending their lead further while the closest the hosts came to getting back in to the match were when Osli Bonsu curled wide after cutting in off the left wing and the same player blazed high and wide from 25 yards after Mammola was cautioned for catching Amu with a miss-timed challenge as time ran down and injury time passed without any further tests for the Yellows defence. The latest Tivvy victory saw them assert a strangle hold on sixth position, some six points ahead of the nearest side Redditch United and only goal difference keeps them out of the play off places, while the hosts defeat keeps them rooted to twenty-third.
Tiverton: Martin Rice, Nick Hurst, Callum Hall, Jamie Price, Ben Mammola, Tom Gardner, Jamie Short, Michael Landricombe, Tom Bath, LEVI LANDRICOMBE, Scott Rogers.
Goals: Levi Landricombe 4, 61.
Report by: Simon Ellis