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Tiverton Town 3 - 2 Taunton Town

Wednesday 01/01/2020   Southern League Premier Division
Simon Ellis

Not since the magical and memorable night of the 26th of April 2017 and the semi-final league play-off had the Yellows managed to register a win over their nearest rivals Taunton Town and some two and half years later they finally, after three straight defeats, managed to right the previous wrongs. It all seemed so unlikely though as the Somerset visitors raced into a two goal lead with just six minutes on the clock thanks to goals from Ben Adelsbury and Andrew Neal. Back the Yellows came though and Chris Shephard reduced the arrears to one on twelve minutes and following a concerted period of pressure Jordan Bastin equalised seven minutes before the interval. The visitors kept the Yellows pegged back for large periods of the second half and only some excellent defending and goalkeeping kept the Peacocks at bay before Alex Fletcher sent the home crowd delirious with his injury time winner.

Chris Shephard returned to the starting XI for the only change to those that had drew three each at Truro on Boxing Day while the visitors had several former Yellows in their starting line-up, including former captain Jamie Price and forwards Andrew Neal and Matt Wright and it was Wright who was involved in the early action that led to the opening goal. Michael Landricombe was adjudged to have fouled him and from the resulting free kick, that was swung in by Brett, the Yellows only managed to partially clear their lines and Adelsbury fired through the crowd of defenders to open the scoring on just three minutes and the Peacocks great start got even better three minutes later when Neal took a forward pass on the edge of the area and he struck an unstoppable left foot shot past Williams into the top corner.

For the larger part of the rest of the first half the Yellows, with the confidence of their recent fine run of form that has seen them beaten just once in seven league matches, dominated. Chris Shephard, with the help of an awkward bounce over Irish, curled home the Yellows first of the afternoon from the edge of the box for his fifth league goal and after some chances had gone begging, one of which Irish did superbly well to get down to a River Allen shot, Bastin equalised. The eventual match winner Alex Fletcher wriggled free on the left hand side of the penalty area and his delicate cross was headed past Irish by Bastin for his tenth league goal seven minutes before the interval.

Quite how the visitors didn't make their second half superiority tell and score again, only they will know, but also the "thou shall not pass" attitude of defenders and goalkeeper Lewis Williams. Matt Wright had the goal at his mercy after substitute Dan Sullivan, who was sent off late on for two bookable offences, had whipped over a dangerous cross with a bit more than twenty minutes to play, only Wright's shot lacked the necessary power to cross the line, and sponsors Man of the Match Noah Smerdon was on hand to smack the ball to safety.

Five minutes of injury time were signalled at the end of the ninety and a draw seemed the most likely of outcomes, even after large spells of pressure and decent opportunities for the visitors in the second half, that until Bastin won a corner off of Price with three of the five minutes of injury time played. Allen delivered towards the near post from the right hand side and Fletcher headed home his fourth goal in as many matches since joining on loan from Plymouth Argyle to send the larger part of the eight-hundred and fifty plus crowd wild and secure a brilliant comeback win to cement their place at the top of the Division.


Tiverton Town: Lewis Williams, Pierce Mitchell, Noah Smerdon, George Nancekivell, Michael Landricombe, Jordan Dyer, Steve Colwell, River Allen, Alex Fletcher, Jordan Bastin (Michael Peck 90+8), Chris Shephard (Tyler Elliott 73)
Goals: Chris Shephard 12 Jordan Bastin 38 Alex Fletcher 90+3

Attendance: 853


This report ©2020 Simon Ellis