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St Blazey 1 – 2 Tavistock AFC

The Lambs came out on top in this closely contested FA Cup match, and progressed to the first qualifying round, a home tie against fellow Peninsula League side Bodmin Town.

Tavistock were quick out of the blocks and John Wyatt had a goal-bound shot deflected off two defenders for a corner in the 2nd minute of the game. John James header from the corner kick sailed wide of the target.

The home team’s first real attack in the 10th minute saw a Martin Sleeman shot saved by Dean Smith. The visitors were quick to respond – a good move between Andy Sargent and John James saw the latter break clear, but his fierce shot from 20 yards out was well saved by  St Blazey ‘keeper Simon Day. This was followed by John Wyatt shooting wide of the target having being set up by Dave Hallett. Ben Davies then won a great tackle on the halfway line, and surged forward and unleashed  a great shot which went agonisingly wide of the far post with Day clearly beaten.

A bad ball out of the Lambs defence saw the home side take the lead against the run of play. Michael Landricombe’s poor clearance fell to Shane Kimbell with his fierce shot finding the corner of the net, giving Smith no chance. This was followed by another scare in the 27th minute when the same player got free after some poor marking in the penalty area, but he shot over when well-placed.

Tavistock replied with several attacks.  First Sargent had a shot well-saved by Day and the same player made a wonderful twist and turn in the penalty area to leave his markers, only to see his terrific effort go just over the bar. The Lambs got a deserved equaliser in the 43rd minute when a really penetrating cross from Martin Sullivan saw Paddy West’s clearing header fall to young Jarryd Kelly on the edge of the box who calmly lobbed the ball over the advancing Simon May into the goal.

John James had an early chance in the second half but his shot from 20 yards out whistled past the far post. Kembell then had a great chance to put the home side back in front in the 49th minute, when the ball fell kindly to him in the penalty area. He rounded the advancing Dean Smith, and saw his angled drive rebound off the upright to safety. It was Smith’s challenge that forced Kimbell so wide that the angle was very difficult for him to score.

The Lambs’ midfield now became the driving force in the game, with Martin Sullivan becoming more and more influential, but the home side worked their socks off to keep the scores level.

In the 70th minute the Lambs finally took the lead when a great cross-field ball from Jarryd Kelly found Andy Sargent racing into the penalty area, where he was brought down by the St Blazey ‘keeper. Sargent calmly rifled the resultant spot kick past Simon May to give Tavi a deserved lead.

The home kept going to the end and with Dean Smith in fine form, they never really threatened to level the score. Dominic Matcham was booked by the referee for diving in the penalty area in the dying minutes of the game. It was a game that could have gone either way, but over the full ninety minutes the Lambs looked the better side.

It was a good entertaining cup tie, between two competitive sides who produced good football.  Well done to both teams.

Match Report: Derek Pethick

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