TAVISTOCK manager Stuart Henderson could not hide his disappointment after seeing his side’s 20-match unbeaten run ended by Ashton & Backwell on Saturday.
The Lambs have not lost since a 3-2 home defeat to Helston Athletic on September 7, but a poor performance led to a surprise defeat at the team one place off the foot of the Western League Premier Division.
Kye Simpson opened the scoring for the Stags, only for Josh Parry to level things up early in the second half for the Lambs. But Alfie Cummings curled in a free kick to hand Ashton & Backwell an unlikely win.
“Obviously I am disappointed and I don’t want to take anything away from them because they worked their socks off, but they have had two shots on target and scored them both,” Henderson said. “It is disappointing from our point of view as it was defensive errors.
“The way they set up was like a 3-6-1 and the space was in the wide areas. We got back in the game at 1-1 and you just want a bit of composure with half an hour to go but, within a couple of minutes, the referee – who I thought had a really poor game, by the way – has given a free kick and I don’t know what for.
“It looked like the wall wasn’t lined up quite properly and matey has squeezed it in and after that, they just sat in and the goalkeeper was running down the clock – but we would do the same if we were in their position.
“They are far too good to be down where they are and hopefully they will stay up because they are a decent side at this level and made it very difficult for us.”
With Mousehole and Exmouth Town – who meet on Wednesday in Devon – both winning 3-0, Tavistock lead the table with 60 points from 28 games played, while Exmouth are second (56 from 27) and Mousehole third (54 from 25).
It was an afternoon where little went right for Tavistock with neither side creating much in the way of clear-cut chances. And Tavi’s misery was complete when the mild-mannered Teigan Rosenquest was sent off after collecting two very soft yellow cards.
“I said to the lads you have to find a way (to win) and I don’t think we created loads,” Henderson added. “We had a couple of half chances, but they have sat in and done a job on us to be honest.
“You have to give them credit and it is the first time we have been beaten since September. The lads are obviously disappointed but I don’t think we deserved to win the game. But I don’t think we deserved to lose it either.”
All eyes will now be on events at Exmouth on Wednesday night before the Lambs return to action next Saturday at home to Clevedon Town.