Tiverton Town 2 – 1 Barnstaple Town
First half goals from Jamies Price and Short saw Tivvy register their first 3 points of 2017 against a Barnstaple Town side whose second half showing almost rescued a point, Liam Gregorys deflected effort halved the deficit and only some fine defending and wayward finishing prevented a share of the spoils. However the match will only be remembered by the FOUR red cards handed out in the final minutes, Aaron Harper Penman and Ryan Turner for Barum while Rob Norrish and Jamie Price increased the absentee list in the coming weeks for Tivvy.
With the ranks depleted by Owen Howe and Levi Landricombes suspension, Dean Stamp and Mike Smith were drafted in the fill the voids in the forward line and Ben Mammola returned in defence. Tivvy were quickly on top, Mike Landricombe narrowly headed over from a corner and Tom Baths effort from a tight angle went narrowly wide. Jamie Short went down soon after with no-one near him, many expecting his afternoon to be done before it had started however he recovered sufficiently to give the Yellows the lead.
Jamie Price outjumped Barnstaple keeper Steve Oliver, although his header ended going away from rather than towards goal, but Short hooked his left foot effort high over onlookers and with a bounce in to the roof of the net. One became two four minutes later, Prices bullet header from Nick Hursts corner and Tom Bath had a glorious chance to add a third on the stroke of half time, Stamp sending him through on goal, only to screw his shot horribly wide.
As good as the hosts were in the first period, the second belonged to the visitors. Tivvy were pegged back in their own half and forced to defend for long periods, Barnstaple keeper Oliver nothing more than a spectator. Liam Gregorys effort reduced the arrears on 67, his shot took a wicked deflection off Ben Mammola and past the wrong footed Joe Perry to set up a grandstand finale to the match.
However, the match descended into a farce in the final minutes. Mike Smith, signed on loan from Plymouth Parkway, scampered away only to be clattered by Barnstaple captain Aaron Harper Penman who was given a straight red card for the tackle and cue the unneccssary pushing and shoving. Rob Norrish was shown a second yellow for his involvement as was former Yellow Ryan Turner and deep into injury time Jamie Price was also shown a second yellow for a late tackle on Liam Gregory.
Tiverton: Perry, Price, Hurst, Mammola, Kingdon, M Landricombe, Short (Rosenquest 81), Norrish, Bath, Stamp (Smith 76), Carter
Subs not used: Walton, G Rogers. Goals: Short 19, Price 24
MoM: Jamie Short. Attendance: 341
Report by Simon Ellis