Match report

Didcot Town 3 - 3 Tiverton Town

   Saturday 07/01/2017   Southern League First Division
Simon Ellis

One point gained or two points dropped. There are certainly arguments for both, after controlling early proceedings Tivvy found themselves 2-0 down, but with only four minutes remaining, were leading 3-2. Rocked by the news earlier in the week Owen Howe would be absent for several weeks after surgery, Tom Bath superbly deputised again scoring twice and was a constant menace to the Didcot back line, and Tom Gardner returned to the starting 11 after being sidelined with a knee injury he picked up on his 500th appearance.

As has been the case on plenty of occasions already this season the Yellows flew out of the traps but were  made to rue not making the most of their early superiority, Didcot thankful keeper Leigh Bedwell was in the right place to keep out Man of the Match Jamie Short's left-foot volley from the edge of the area, and again to thwart Bath after Ben Carter had sent him through on goal. Didcot had hardly got anywhere near to threatening Joe Perry's goal but were gifted the opportunity to put that right on 25, Rob Norrish handled a Sam Elkins cross and top scorer Ben Whitehead sent Perry the wrong way from the spot and then repeated the dose 6 minutes later, referee Wayne Chalmers pointing to the spot for a second time after Taylor Janes had scampered through and certainly made the most of any contact from Perry.

Jamie Price then drew another smart save from Bedwell, cutting in from the left and Bath's header from the resultant corner crashed against the frame of the goal, but Bedwell was finally beaten on 38 as Bath tapped in from close range after the hosts had failed to deal with another ball into their area, and Price brought Tivvy level 3 minutes later, another trademark bullet header and a carbon copy of his goal last time out against Barnstaple on the end of Nick Hurst's pinpoint free kick.

As good as Tivvy were in the first half, the hosts were able to control the match for bigger parts of the second period but unable to break down the resolute Tivvy defence, the Yellows happy to play on the break and when Bath volleyed home from close range, getting on the end of Gardner's knock down with only 4 minutes of the 90 remaining, the points seemed certain to be heading back to Devon. Didcot though, to their credit, had other ideas and rescued a point for their third draw in their last four, right back Sam Elkins drilling into the corner through a crowd from the edge of the box with as near as makes no difference the last action of a thoroughly entertaining match.

Tiverton Town: Joe Perry, Jamie Price, Nick Hurst, Ben Mammola, Steve Kingdon, Tom Gardner, Jamie Short, Rob Norrish, Tom Bath, Michael Landricombe, Ben Carter.
Goals: Bath 38, 86. Price 41.

Attendance: 117

This report ©2017 Simon Ellis