TIVERTON TOWN 1-2 ST NEOTS TOWN
A third straight league defeat on the bounce for the Yellows is the sum result of seven days of football, from sitting pretty atop of the pile to a place just outside of what will eventually become the play-off places, reasons for emotions at both ends of the spectrum. Disappointed at the manner of the latest reverse but still mixing it at the upper end of the standings in their first season back amongst the elite is reason enough to be not too downhearted. The match would become a tale of the number tens, Saints number 10, Ryan Horne struck twice in the first half before Tivvys` number 10, Levi Landricombe reduced the arrears in the second for what turned out to be nothing more than scant consolation.
Tivvy were quickly out of the traps, clearly keen on making amends for the two previous defeats and continuing the excellent home form. Soon on though, the first of a few `questionable` decisions for the afternoon followed. The ever-alert Levi Landricombe pounced on a short back pass, prodded the ball past the out-rushing Saints keeper Mike Emery and was tripped for as clear a penalty as you`re likely to see, decision – goal kick. Without waffling on about rules, either the penalty is awarded or the forward is cautioned for simulation and the defending team are awarded a free-kick. Emery then produced one of the smartest close range saves of the season, somehow diverting a Jamie Price volley wide and then the same player had his effort chalked off from the resulting corner, for a foul on the goalkeeper who, for the record, had collided with one of his own players.
The Saints forages forward thus far had been comfortably dealt with by the Yellows back line until a corner on 25 caught the afore mentioned defence napping, Luke Knights delivery to the edge of the box found Horne and with time afforded him, he curled a beauty in to the top corner and the visitors doubled their advantage shortly before half time, again Horne the scorer on 41 minutes after a speedy breakaway involving the pacy forwards Sembie-Ferris and Dylan Williams not long after another `controversial` moment. Levi Landricombe had again used his speed to get in behind and get in on goal from Ollie Knowles through ball, only to have his progress halted by what can be best described as an agricultural challenge, Taylor Parr seemed to have little intention of winning the ball, free kick, only a caution, the Tivvy dug-out and crowd less than impressed and manager Martyn Rogers made no secret of his fury and displeasure towards the officials as the two sides left the pitch at half time.
The better early second half chances continued to come the way of the visitors, notably when Sembie Ferris narrowly missed Kieran Wiltshires` delivery and when Horne, on a hat-trick, unselfishly squared to Williams who could only blaze high and wide with the goal at his mercy. Rogers gambled on the hour and made a triple change, replacing Jordan Rogers, Short and Gardner with Bath, Howe and Scott Rogers and soon after it paid dividends. Bath dummied a Howe pass on to Levi Landricombe on 68 and from the edge of the area he arrowed a precise drive in to the corner for League goal number seven to set up a cliff-hanging final 20 plus minutes and what should have been the cue to throw the proverbial `kitchen sink` at the visitors to claw something out of the match.
Disappointingly though, from a Tivvy point of view, it never materialised. Forward passes where either miss-placed or comfortably dealt with by the visitors back-line and the longer the match wore on the more panic set in, in fact the only real chance worth mentioning was when Bath headed over from close range from the impressive Nick Hursts` centre. The latest defeat saw the Yellows slip to seventh and their victory propelled the Saints up to tenth and will have definitely made the long trip back to Cambridgeshire a happy one
Tiverton: Martin Rice, Nick Hurst, LIAM GREGORY, Jamie Price, Ben Mammola, Tom Gardner (Scott Rogers 60), Jamie Short (Tom Bath 60), Ollie Knowles, Jordan Rogers (Owen Howe 60), Levi Landricombe, Michael Landricombe.
Goal: Levi Landricombe 68
Report by: Simon Ellis