TIVERTON TOWN 1-0 REDDITCH UNITED
Not since the days of mercurial forward and one-time club leading scorer Kevin Smith has there been so many top-drawer strikes to eulogise over from one player. Step forward Levi Landricombe who is fast becoming Smiths` modern-day equivalent, that said, some seasons will need to pass for Landricombe to get anywhere near his 303 goals tally. His latest was another picture-book beauty, lob-volleying Tom Baths` forward pass high over stranded Reds keeper Ethan Ross for the games` only goal with twenty-five minutes gone. Redditch, though, will have made the journey back to the Midlands wondering how they failed to get anything from the game as for periods of the game they had the Yellows back-line camped deep inside their own half but ultimately paid the price for not making the most of their superiority, due in part to some quality and on the odd occasion last-ditch defending and several outstanding saves from Yellows custodian Martin Rice.
After an impeccably observed minutes silence in honour of fallen heroes, a good old smash and grab would be one way to describe the ninety-odd minutes of football seen on a damp, miserable November afternoon with, as already stated, the visitors having a more than healthy share of possession and chances. Rice saved smartly down to his left from Reds full-back Nathan Fox as early as the third minute, Player of the Month for October Ben Mammola was cautioned after the leagues leading scorer Dior Angus had stripped him for pace and Tom Gardner headed a Fox delivery clear from under his own cross-bar. Forages into opposition territory for the Yellows had nowhere near the same effect thus far although Nick Hurst earned himself another Man of the Match award with his mazy dribbling and deliveries, one such that was cleared for a corner, but Ladysmead debutant Owen Irish could only head wide Callum Halls` delivery and the Yellows next attack brought about the opening and only goal. Landricombes` expertly executed lob-volley over Ross bounced high in to the net from Baths` cute forward pass for his thirteenth goal of the season in all competitions and the first goal displayed by the Yellows new state-of-the-art electronic scoreboard.
The Reds dug-out were off their seats minutes later when Mammola, already on a caution, again failed to cope with Angus` pace and trickery, manager Darren Byfield and the rest of his staff clearly unhappy when referee Lee Roberts decided there would be no second caution and the resultant dismissal issued, which was the subject of heated discussion between visiting management and officials as the sides left the field at half-time. The second half followed in similar vein, high levels of pressure from the Reds but as has been the case several times already this season, the `thou shall not pass` attitude of all in yellow ensured a first league shut-out at Ladysmead since the 2-0 win over Gosport Borough back on the 26th August. Angus was too quick even for his own team mates and his cross found no-one in red, Rice saved smartly from centre half Mailancol and then produced an even better save to deny Angus his fourteenth of the season, while Landricombe curled only inches wide on two occasions at the other end.
More chances came and went for the visitors to get back in to the match, Michael Landricombe headed an Andi Thanoj free kick off his line, captain Danny Jackman volleyed wide with the goal at his mercy after another great run and cross from Fox with time almost up and after a strangely large period of injury time the Yellows celebrated league win number ten for the season and opened up a four point gap between the two sides in the standings.
Tiverton: Martin Rice, NICK HURST (Jamie Short 86), Callum Hall, Owen Irish (James Richards 71), Ben Mammola, Tom Gardner, Michael Landricombe, Ollie Knowles, Owen Howe, Levi Landricombe, Tom Bath (Scott Rogers 69).
Goal: Levi Landricombe 25.
Report by: Simon Ellis