Match report

Banbury United 4 - 2 Tiverton Town

   Saturday 02/09/2017   FA Cup
Jay Richardson

If the football cliché "A Game of Two Halves" could be used in a match report this season then this game would be the ideal opportunity to use it. Tiverton Town, on the back of an unbeaten three game run and lying seventh in the Southern Premier, travelled to Oxfordshire to play Banbury United, who themselves were on an unbeaten five game run and were at the summit of the table.

The FA Cup would be the first match of a sequence of at least three further matches against the Puritans this season. Tivvy, with Ben Mammola away for a wedding, started with the versatile Mike Landricombe dropping back into defence to partner Tom Gardner and captain Jamie Price. The rest of the team was the same which started against Frome on Bank Holiday Monday.

The game plan of allowing Banbury the ball in their own half but tracking back and harrying when United were in possession worked a treat. Banbury were restricted to plenty of possession and they could only muster long range efforts in the first ten minutes. Tivvy however looked confident on the ball and were creating chances. The first came to Levi Landricombe who was played in by Owen Howe but the shot was smothered by Jack Harding in the Banbury goal. Banbury came back and the impressive Ravi Shamsi, who was once on the books of Fulham, ran across the Tivvy box before letting go a fierce shot that just went over the bar of Martin Rice. Another Banbury raid came and went when a corner from Tom Winters flashed across the box and after evading the majority of players Ricky Johnson narrowly failed to put the ball in the back of the net.

Tivvy responded with another chance for Levi who was a menace throughout the match when he latched onto a long ball but shot straight at the keeper Harding. Banbury then nearly opened the scoring when Winters sent another precise corner over and big centre half Luke Carnell’s header was cleared off the line. That was as good as it was to get for Banbury in the first half. On thirty minutes the Yellows broke the deadlock with a great flick header from Owen Howe to Levi Landricombe and the latter finished with a swerving 20-yard shot that flew into the bottom left corner of the goal, beating Harding all ends up. Tivvy nearly doubled their lead just before half time when Nick Hurst sent a gorgeous ball across the box but Levi and Howe got tangled together and the chance went begging. Tivvy deserved the half time lead and were more than a match for the Puritans.

The second half team talk in the Banbury dressing room must have been inspirational and they brought on Connor McDonagh to add some guile to their attacks. Tivvy, under increasing pressure at the back and the ball not sticking up front, were fighting a rear-guard action. It was no surprise that on sicty-four minutes the equaliser came and it was Charlie Hawton who burst forward on the right flank who delivered a delicious cross that was begging to be put away and the experienced Jefferson Louis didn’t need to be asked twice and he obliged with a header past Martin Rice into the corner of the net. Things got worse for Tivvy two minutes later when the tricky Winters set up Darren Pond to thunderbolt a strike from twelve yards through a gaggle of players giving Rice again no chance. The goal of the game came on seventy-eight minutes when that man Shamsi (remember that name as the lad is going places) received the ball on the half way line, jinked past numerous players then unleashed a stunning shot into the roof of the net. That goal was worth the admission price alone.

Tivvy this season have a never say die attitude and with Levi Landricombe in the side the game is never over. On eighty-one minutes Michael Landricombe played another quality ball through to his brother who lobbed Harding from outside of the box. This should have resulted in Tivvy throwing the kitchen sink at the Puritans defence but this was not to be the case. Banbury on eightty-six minutes had a corner that was missed at the near post and the ball looped up to McDonagh whose flick header was dispatched into the net to seal the game for the home side. Tivvy’s dismal FA Cup form continued for another season.

Tiverton Town: Martin Rice, Nick Hurst, Callum Hall, Jamie Price, Mike Landricombe, Tom Gardner, Jamie Short (Harry Horton 78), Ollie Knowles, Owen Howe (Jordan Rogers 78), Levi Landricombe, Scott Rogers (Tom Bath 72)
Attendance: 436

This report ©2017 Jay Richardson