Tavistock AFC 4 Frome Town FC 3
This last game of the season saw both teams in with a chance to qualify for the final position. They both had to win and then hope that the other two teams, Bashley away to Paulton, and Evesham at home to champions AFC Totton, slip up and drop points writes Eric Pinch.
The Lambs were at near full strength with Taylor Scarff returning to the centre of defence and Josh Grant back from injury sitting on the subs bench alongside Josh Parry and Sean Thomson.
Despite the overnight and morning rain, Langsford Park was in a heavy but good condition.
It was the Lambs with a very early chance as Ed Harrison got behind the Frome defence, but his shot lacked power and direction, before the Robins went ahead on ten minutes. Jono Davies and Owen Humphries combined for the latter to cross into the area bypassing Zac Drew and evading defender Brandon Pursall to allow Sam Meakes a clear shot on goal which he gratefully took.
Harrison then made up for his early chance as he gathered the ball from a stray pass inside the Frome half to stride forward to let fly from 25 yards that flew into the top corner. Scorer became provider just three minutes later as he got to the by-line to send in a low cross for the on-rushing Tallan Burns to smash home right-footed from close range.
The Lambs went further ahead just seven minutes later, when a quick free-kick caught out the defence as Alex Battle fed the ball through to Liam Prynn to nutmeg a defender and fire home with the outside of his boot to put the
home side well in control. It was raining from above, but it was also raining goals as the Robins replied almost immediately as Davies’ turn and curling shot sailed into the top corner.
Prynn would then see his effort ruled out for offside and Drew shot over on the stroke of half time.
So the Lambs went in 3-2 ahead at half time as news came through that Bashley were 1 nil up and Evesham 2 nil down and down to 10 men.
So, all to play for in the second half, and around the hour mark, Battle was in on goal, but Kyle Phillips saved before the Robins levelled the match when from a corner Meakes headed home from close range.
Moments later the Lambs had a great chance to go back ahead as Prynn’s cross took a deflection to fall to the feet of Joe O’Connor in front of goal, but he somehow shot over from close range.
However, the Lambs were not going to be denied this chance to qualify, as Battle picked the ball up to send in a shot that deflected into the corner of the net.
Late on in the game Josh Oak saved from Sub Ben Starr and Meakes had a shot across goal that went agonisingly close. Then right on the stroke of full time, Frome thought they had equalised again but it was ruled as offside. There were excruciatingly many minutes of added time, but the Lambs held out to gain the double over their visitors.
At full time however, the result sadly became irrelevant, as news filtered through that although Bashley had lost to Paulton, Evesham had come from 2 nil down to record a 3-2 victory to put them in the play offs.
Despite this final conclusion there was very little despondency around Langsford Park. Looking back over the season it had been a remarkable one. General thoughts was one of ‘Let’s consolidate and remain in the league for another season.’ The Lambs had gone beyond all expectations as they had remained in the top half and in the play-off positions for the majority of the campaign.
It was a tough run in having to play the 1st and 2nd placed teams, two local derbies against our Devon rivals plus teams from around the bottom of the table. 60 points had been the target and they fell only two short of that target.
A great all round performance from the team, management, officers, committee and supporters.