MATCH PREVIEW: All to play for as Tavistock welcome Frome Town Both teams are hoping for some good fortune elsewhere

WHETHER or not, Tavistock finish the season in the Southern League Division One South play-offs, it has been an excellent first season at Step Four level for Stuart Henderson’s men.

Playing at this level for the first time in our history, the Lambs have equipped themselves well with some outstanding victories this campaign. There have been some oddities as well, such as the recent 3-0 home defeat to Devon rivals Willand Rovers, and it is perhaps that inconsistency which could end up denying the team a top five finish this season.

The Lambs dropped out of the play-offs in midweek following Bashley’s goalless draw at home to Westbury United and then Evesham overtook both teams with a 1-0 win at Willand on Wednesday night. But with one game left to play, Tavi are one of four teams that could grab the final play-off place on offer.

The Lambs are reliant on results elsewhere – we need Evesham to lose at home to AFC Totton, and Bashley to either draw or lose at 14th-placed Paulton Rovers – and ensure that we beat the other team in the frame, Frome Town, who are the visitors to Langsford Park on Saturday in what is potentially a winner-takes-all showdown.

“Us and Bashley are on the same number of points, and Frome Town can get in the play-offs as well, if they were to beat us and Bashley and Evesham’s results go for them, but we just have to focus on the game,” Henderson said.

“Frome were tipped to do really well at the start of the season, I believe they were in the play-offs last season and just missed out and when you look at their gates, there are always between 300 and 400 every home game and they are a big outfit in this league.

“They have hit a real purple patch of form over the last two or three months and obviously got the point at Totton in the week, which allows them to take it to the last game, so it is going to be a Cup Final.”

The Lambs have never played at this level before and the season has seen the departure of some long-serving players, like captain Lewis Daw, left-back Josh Robins and midfielder Callum Watson. With money tight at Langsford Park, Henderson has recruited well with players from the Peninsula League and below coming in and establishing themselves in the Tavi first team.

“Whatever happens, I am delighted with our season,” Henderson added. ”Whether we finish fifth or whether we finish seventh, it has been a good first season for us in the Southern League in not only adjusting to the level on the pitch but the demands of travelling and a more intense fixture schedule and as a group, I think we have come through it well.

“I am delighted with the way the players have stood up to the challenge and adapted to Southern League when you look at players like Ed Harrison, who was playing South Western League football and Taylor Scarff  playing for Mount Gould. They have come in and really done well, but I think Iestyn (Harris) has probably been our stand-out player, he’s been excellent.

“Prynny is the league’s joint top scorer and it’s been good, but the points that we have dropped have probably been down to a bit of naivety and chasing games when we’d have been better to maybe settle for a point and I can recall four or five times where that has happened.

“We could potentially be four or five points better off and could have had a play-off place secured, but that’s not the way we are. When you are 1-1 with 20 minutes to go, it is not in our nature to sit back and take a draw, we like to try and force the game and get three points and sometimes it doesn’t always go your way.”


Frome Town FC