TIVERTON TOWN 1-2 ROYSTON TOWN
A first defeat in eight matches for the Yellows, after they had strung together their best run of form of the season (5 wins & 2 draws), to the also promoted Royston Town saw Tivvy falter slightly in the battle to finish in sixth place although two matches in hand and only a four point deficit means missing out on the play-offs (which is now confirmed) by only one place is still achievable and will mark a very successful first season back in the Premier Division. The afternoon got off to a perfect start when eventual Man of the Match Nick Hurst fired home his second goal of the season after only 23 seconds, before the visitors drew level on twenty minutes, a long range free kick from Sam Corcoran and the decisive winning goal came from Royston captain Scott Bridges eleven minutes from time.
Captain Jamie Price returned to the starting XI at the expense of Jamie Short, who had to make do with a place on the bench, in the only change to personnel from those who had won 3-2 at Farnborough on the previous Saturday and Rob Norrish returned as an unused substitute while the visitors made three changes to those who had drawn with Banbury last time out. So quick was the first meaningful event of the afternoon that I actually missed it, but nonetheless, the Yellows led inside the first minute with Nick Hursts second and the Yellows fastest goal of the season. Disappointingly though, that was about as good as it got for Tivvy as the visitors, blessed with several ex-Football League players, took control of proceedings and limited the Yellows to not much more than half chances for the rest of the opening period, Levi Landricombe snatched a shot wide and Jordan Rogers lacked composure when he was played through and eventually Royston drew level on twenty minutes. Sam Corcoran`s initial free kick was handled by Scott Rogers and with the second free kick being closer to goal, Corcoran took aim and beat Armstrong at his near post from fully 25 yards, Armstrong though saved excellently from full back Lee Chappell as the visitors upped the ante just before the interval.
Roystons young keeper Josh Tibbetts, on loan from Peterborough, only real involvement thus far was to pick Hursts effort out of the back of his net but showed his potential with a brilliant point blank save from Jordan Rogers, after a good move down the right involving Hurst and Landricombe on seventy minutes after a reasonably uneventful spell from the start of the second period before the visitors scored their second of the afternoon, captain Scott Bridges given the simple task of firing home from close range after the Yellows had failed to clear their lines. Rogers headed a Hurst corner wide before Jared Lewington, who had replaced Jamie Price, blazed high and wide after he was played through as the Yellows battled for an equaliser and Tibbetts again did brilliantly to deny Levi Landricombe in stoppage time with another point blank save to ensure the visitors would make the cross country trek home after their first ever visit to Ladysmead with all three points and complete a league double over the Yellows.
Tiverton: Liam Armstrong, NICK HURST, Callum Hall, Jamie Price (Jared Lewington 79), Ben Mammola, Tom Gardner, Tom Bath, Michael Landricombe, Jordan Rogers, Levi Landricombe, Scott Rogers (Jamie Short 65).
Goal: Nick Hurst 1
Reeport by: Simon Ellis