Tiverton Town 0 Tavistock AFC 0
Tiverton go through on penalties 3-2
This Devon County F A Competition involved teams from Football League Div. 1, National league, Southern League Premier, Southern League Div. 1 South, Western League and Peninsula East writes Eric Pinch.
Tiverton were the highest placed club remaining from the Southern League Premier, alongside Southern League Div. 1 South’s, Tavistock and Willand Rovers, with Teignmouth from Peninsula East.
The Lambs had done extremely well to reach this stage of the competition with many higher placed clubs falling in previous rounds.
It was a competition in which Manager Stuart Henderson had involved several of the Development Squad players and for this match, in came Sam Rutter to start at full back. With Brandon Pursall and Joe O’Connor both ineligible, and Dan Evans unavailable, the whole squad was rotated as Taylor Scarff returned from suspension and Ben Fowles, Sean Thomson, Oscar Massey and Adam
McPherson all started, with Tallan Burns, Josh Grant and Iestyn Harris all occupying the subs bench. Tiverton were at full strength.
The defences dominated the first half with chances for both sides few and far between. Ed Harrison’s free kick for the Lambs sailed just over the crossbar early on, followed by another on 10 minutes; Louis Morison’s free kick for the home side deflected for a corner; and half way through the half Niall Thompson would see Josh Oak deny him twice, with the second effort being cleared off the line.
The Home side just edged the half with domination and possession, but the Lambs were equal to them in the defensive areas so it was goalless at half time.
The second half livened up somewhat as both sides looked for an opener. There was an early forced substitution for the Lambs as Warren Daw had to be replaced by Iestyn Harris in defence and then the Lambs went very close on 50 minutes, when good work from Prynn and Fowles allowed Massey a chance
on goal with his effort going across goal and just wide of the far post.
The Lambs came more into the game with McPherson seeing his effort blocked on the hour and then minutes later, Jo Belsten’s low cross was scrambled away. A penalty appeal for the home side was denied with Oak again saving from Thomson.
There was another scare for the Lambs when a Tiverton corner would see Ben Cross’s attempted clearance narrowly slice over the crossbar.
It was the Lambs who finished the stronger when on full time Harrison’s free kick came off the crossbar, followed in added time by Massey’s low goal bound shot being tipped around the post by Ollie Saunders.
And so it was on to penalties and Tiverton ran out victorious after Saunders saved three Tavistock penalty kicks and Josh Oak saved two – it will remain a ‘what would/could have happened’ in extra time, if this competition didn’t go straight to penalties.