Hartley Wintney 1-1 Tiverton Town
By Simon Ellis
Stalemate in first ever meeting
Four Saturday matches in October 2018 and all four times the sides could not be separated. Not the sort of form that sets the footballing world alight but in the same breath, no need for doom and gloom. Begin with the three-all FA Cup tie against the Met. Police, follow that with league ties against Farnborough and Chesham and finally, in a first ever meeting between the sides, a one-all FA Trophy stalemate with Hartley Wintney. After a less than enthralling opening forty-five in which neither side really played their best football, Michael Campbell fired, somewhat against the run of play, the hosts into the lead just after the hour mark before Nick Hurst drew the sides level a few minutes later and only some outstanding goalkeeping at both ends of the pitch ensured the sides must meet again to decide who will make it through to the next round.
For the hosts, there was one change from those who had seen off Fleet Spurs in the previous week by four to one, Louie Paget replaced Liam Eagle while for Tivvy Tom Gardner missed out through injury, Tom Bath returned from illness and Max Smallcombe made his debut in midfield after signing from Exeter City in the changes to personnel from those who had lost at Salisbury in the previous week while Michael Landricombe had recovered sufficiently after being forced off at Salisbury with a heavy concussion. Both sides were clearly struggling to cope with the howling wind and near arctic temperatures early doors and as a result early chances and a reasonable standard of football were sparse to say the least, a Tom Bath effort from the edge of the area was comfortably dealt with by England U19 goalkeeper Adam Desbois and what would have been a Jack Ball own goal was chalked off as Jordan Rogers was adjudged to have fouled Desbois in the build-up before, on the half hour mark, the hosts came closest to opening the scoring as Jack French smacked a left foot shot from fully twenty-five yards that rattled the frame of Liam Armstrong`s goal before Man of the Match Jamie Price headed a Levi Landricombe delivery straight at Desbois.
Desbois was soon having to further extend himself after the interval to deny Jordan Rogers on two separate occasions after Hartley`s scorer Michael Campbell had shot well wide before the pacy front man got in behind the Tivvy backline, on the end of a Paget through ball and finished emphatically past Armstrong on sixty-three minutes for his sixth goal of the season. Their lead lasted just four minutes though. Jamie Price won a free-kick on halfway, Harrison Davis flighted his delivery to Michael Landricombe, whose flick on found Hurst in behind static Hartley defenders and Hurst nodded home from close range. Chances for both sides continued to be created, Smallcombe tried his luck from range and Paget was only marginally too strong with his intended through ball towards Campbell before both goalkeepers kept their respective sides in the tie. Desbois did superbly well to get down to Bath`s effort after the Whites had burst forwards in a move involving Rice-Lethaby and Landricombe and in stoppage time another Jack French block-buster was well fielded by Armstrong
Tiverton: Liam Armstrong, Josh Key, Nick Hurst, Jamie Price, Ben Mammola, Michael Landricombe, Harrison Davis, Max Smallcombe, Tom Bath, Levi Landricombe (Scott Rogers 90), Jordan Rogers (Jack Rice-Lethaby 78).
Goal: Nick Hurst 67