The unofficial archives of Tiverton Town Football Club

Hanwell Town 1 - 2 Tiverton Town

Saturday 25/11/2023   Southern League Premier Division
Darren Holmes

A word of caution before I eulogise about the Yellows’ current form: the only time this season that Tiverton have taken seven points from the nine available, we went on a nine-game winless run!

Okay – that is the negatives over. Now...

...what a brilliant set of league results so far for Leigh Robinson, Ben Gerring and the team since the new management team took over!

Between now and the end of the season, it will be a long and winding path out of the woods yet, from Saturday and the previous weekend, fans can see some hope that was getting buried in September and October.

There was little to separate the two sides in the first 15 minutes of this game and not much to get the scoreboard moving. Possession was fairly even and it was a bit of a stalemate. However, on 19 minutes, Jerry Lawrence, who has had his stay extended with the club, got  himself on the end of a corner in to the near post and turned the ball past Hanwell goalkeeper Sam Beasant.

A thumping shot from Niall Thompson narrowly cleared the crossbar as we looked to press home our advantage. Then, for a sustained five-minute period, the Geordies found some rhythm and enjoyed good possession but, apart from Dan Carr’s rising shot that went just over Zak Bakers’s crossbar, our hosts did not create anything meaningful.

Carr then made an important block at the other end as a shot threatened to call Beasant into action, although this was momentary relief for the home side as the ball rebounded to Jack Rice who calmly finished from inside the box on 33 minutes. Two up and Tiverton went into the interval fairly comfortable after employing good game management.

The introduction of evergreen striker Elliot Benyon at the beginning of the second half had an immediate impact for Hanwell and, within two minutes of the restart, a pinpoint crossfield pass from central defender Bernie Tanner found the former Torquay United man in the area and he slotted the ball into the net.

For the next ten minutes, the London side pushed hard for an equaliser. A Matt Mackenzie free-kick marginally missed the target and 13-goal striker Sam Evans shot fractionally over after a well-worked corner routine.

The Yellows weathered that brief, but testing, storm and, after forcing a corner, Dylan Jones headed over. Javan Wright replaced Jack Rice just beyond the hour mark to make his Tiverton bow. Then, in the 66th minute, Baker was equal to Mackenzie’s shot, although his parry found the dangerous Evans and a last-ditch tackle from a member of Tivvy’s backline denied him an opportunity to level the match.

Exeter loanee Joe O’Connor then came on for his debut as Jerry Lawrence made way. A few minutes later, it opened up for the fleet of foot Yellows’ substitute Wright, but his effort went wide.

Matt Britton then tried to catch Beasant off guard with a long-range shot, but the former EFL man dealt with it although he was severely tested in making a double save from close-range Tivvy efforts with the Yellows piling on the pressure in trying to make the game safe.

By the 84th minute, all of our new signings were on the pitch, with Mitch Beardmore entering the game and Niall Thompson being withdrawn. River Allen then let fly and, once again, the busy Beasant got down well to prevent a Tiverton third.

Five minutes were added at the end of the 90 and things seemed to be playing out without any concern for the players. However, there was to be one last chance for Hanwell at the death but Mackenzie was unable to direct his header goalwards when well placed to score.

We emerged 2-1 winners and the team’s journey home, I am sure, was a happy one and our home fans will be looking forward to next weekend’s home game, when Hungerford will be the visitors.

This report ©2023 Darren Holmes