TIVERTON TOWN 3-1 HITCHIN TOWN
After the disappointment of another early FA Cup exit at the hands of Banbury United the previous Saturday, the Yellows quickly rediscovered the winning formula against last seasons beaten Premier Division play-off finalists thanks to two first half goals from Man of the Match Levi Landricombe and a first of the season for Owen Howe, Lewis Rolfe eventually credited with the visitors slightly fortunate consolation ten minutes from the end, for another 3 points to keep them on the coat tails of the early season pace setters at the top of the table.
They say that lightning never strikes twice, Hitchin I`m sure though will disagree. The last time the two sides locked horns at Ladysmead was some six and a bit years ago and on that day Tivvy raced into a 3-goal lead before Hitchin scored their consolation, surely not the same again? The early signs were not great though, Tivvy forced to defend from the word go as Hitchin played neat passing football but as has been the case for them recently, goals have been hard to come by. Tiverton, thankfully, do not have that problem though. Fresh from his brace at Banbury the previous week, Levi Landricombe added another brace with, in all honesty, the Yellows only 2 clear cut chances of the first half. His first on 19 minutes was proper route one stuff, a Martin Rice punt upfield that cleared everyone fell to Landricombe, and with a swing of his trusted left foot from 18 yards, 1-0.
Two quick corners in succession for the visitors almost brought about a quick reply. Owen Howe found himself in the right place to head over his own crossbar and then Rice was at full stretch to tip over a sweetly struck half volley from Connor Roberts. Further chances to draw level came and went as the half wore on, McNamara screwed a decent effort wide and when they did eventually find the back of the net, Jack Green heading home Connor Roberts delivery 4 minutes before the interval, an offside flag put a quick end to their celebrations.
The higher and harder the visitors pressed for their way back in to the match, the more space was left behind their defence, a perfect recipe for counter-attacking football and on the stroke of half time Hitchin were made to pay the ultimate price. Michael Landricombes ball forward would have cut open any defence, perfect placement and power for brother Levi to gallop on to and although Hitchin keeper Michael Johnson slipped in his attempt to close down, Levi won the race and chipped his effort over him into the far corner.
The continuous downpours were making playing conditions harder and harder as the afternoon progressed and a defensive slip presented Owen Howe with a glorious chance to extend the lead early in the second half, however Johnson blocked his close-range effort but Johnson was left stranded and helpless, the high defence line caught out again ten minutes later when another precise ball forward from Michael Landricombe allowed Howe the space and time to sprint clear and tap in his first of the season and give the Yellows some breathing space.
Young full back Callum Hall almost added a fourth as the match wore on, his left foot shot narrowly missed the far post before Hitchin finally registered, somewhat fortunately it has to be said and briefly threaten to make a comeback. Lewis Rolfe was eventually credited with the goal which appeared to take a sizeable deflection to wrong-foot and beat Rice with 10 minutes remaining and Player of the Month for August Jamie Price did well to block another McNamara shot in the final minutes, all too little too late and so the Yellows recorded their 3rd league win in a row.
Tiverton: Martin Rice, Nick Hurst, Callum Hall (Liam Gregory 78), Jamie Price, Ben Mammola, Tom Gardner, Jamie Short, Ollie Knowles, Owen Howe (Jordan Rogers 76), LEVI LANDRICOMBE (Tom Bath 76), Michael Landricombe.
Goals: Levi Landricombe 19, 45 Owen Howe 62.
Reprt by: Simon Ellis