Slimbridge 5 – 2 Tiverton Town
On a cold, wet, blustery evening in Gloucestershire in front of 62 fans Tiverton Town were blown away by a Slimbridge team who sat fourth from bottom of the league and who had only won six times all season. Slimbridge had been buoyed by an impressive win at Evesham Utd 2-1 on the previous Saturday and with Tiverton having also won 2-1 away at Mangotsfield it had all the hall markings of a keenly contested match. The weather conditions were awful with driving rain and high gusts however the home side were faster out of the blocks and adapted to the conditions much better than Tiverton. Storm Slimbridge was about to hit Tiverton Town.
In the fourth minute the impressive Freddy Ward sent a speculative cross cum shot into the box and with everyone including Tiverton’s goalkeeper Joe Perry thinking it would sale straight over the bar the ball somehow ended up dropping beneath the bar to give Slimbridge the lead. Six minutes later however the scores were level, Jamie Price with a trade mark gallop up the wing drew two defenders and Jamie Short exploited the space made to send a gorgeous shot beyond the home goalkeeper from 15 yards past nineteen-year-old Marcus Beauchamp who was on loan from Newport County. This should have spelled the start of Tiverton Town taking hold of the match by the scruff of the neck and on fifteen minutes a powerful shot from Owen Howe was dealt with by the new goalkeeper Beauchamp when the fans behind the goal thought the net was going to bulge.
That was as good as it was going to get all game for Tiverton as on twenty-four minutes a swift counter attack from Slimbridge saw their captain Lee Smith slide home from an exquisite cross to give them the lead. Things then took a turn for the worst when a bad kick from Joe Perry on twenty-six minutes went straight to his name sake Joe Stokes who slotted home with ease and had the home fans in La La Land and not a Bafta in sight. It then got even worse for Tiverton and their away following when another defensive mix up saw the most dependable of defenders Tom Gardner get in on the act and gift the ball to Marley Thomas who gratefully accepted the gift and blasted past Joe Perry to give Slimbridge a 4-1 lead going into half time.
To gain anything out of this game Tiverton would need to come out of the blocks fast in the second half and they did however although having the majority of the pressure there were no clear-cut opportunities to reduce the deficit. Martyn Rogers then brought on Tom Bath and Scott Rogers for Tom Gardner and Jordan Walton to add some further firepower upfront and some guile and experience in the middle of the park. This move nearly paid early dividends with Tom Bath expertly swivelling in the box and sending a low shot that looked like it was heading into the corner of the net. Marcus Beauchamp had other ideas however and pulled off a great save low down to his left to send the ball out for a corner.
Tiverton continued to pile on the pressure to get back into the game and on Seventy-Seven minutes Jamie Price scored with a sweet shot from outside of the box giving Beauchamp no chance this time. We all expected a further Tiverton fightback but Slimbridge defended well and broke in the eighty ninth minute and with Tivvy numbers piling up field to try and get Tiverton back into the game a cross was put on a plate for Lee Smith to grab his second of the night. This was no more than Slimbridge deserved, a night to forget for the Devon team and a night to remember for the Slimbridge fans.
Report Jay Richardson