Tiverton Town 0-0 Banbury United
By Simon Ellis
Yellows snatch sixth place on final day
For the fifth and final time of the 2017/18 season the Yellows and Banbury locked horns and with eighteen goals between them in the previous four encounters, two meetings in the FA Trophy, one FA Cup and the reverse league fixture, the odds on a goalless draw before kick-off would surely have been pretty high. Both defences though were superbly marshalled, by the giants in Banbury red of Luke Carnell and Charlie Wise while the ever dependable trio in Yellow of Price, Mammola and Supporters Player of the Season Tom Gardner proved again a tough nut to crack and on the odd occasion the `nut was cracked`, the superb young Liam Armstrong was again in fine form, justifying his awards as Player of the Month for April and his second Man of the Match.
After one of, if not the best performance on the road this season, winning by the odd goal in five at promotion hopefuls Kettering Town on the previous Tuesday, eyes and ears, throughout the match, were also focused on events at Slough Town. If the Yellows could better Royston Town`s result, they would finish sixth for what would mark a marvellous achievement in their first season back in the upper echelons of the Southern League, although come the interval the one-all score from Arbour Park wasn’t exactly what was needed and as Banbury were looking more likely to open the scoring, with their forwards enjoying greater spells in possession and the Yellows were restricted to only half chances. Tom Winters drilled narrowly wide early on and Leam Howards, who had an effort ruled out for offside later in the half, on the opposite flank, was also off target with a header before Bath screwed a shot wide after Carnell, who had seen a towering header superbly saved by Armstrong moments earlier, had lost possession in his own area.
Mike Landricombe headed a Jamie Short, who made his 100th appearance for the Yellows, free kick straight at Banbury keeper Jack Harding and full back Jordy Ngathe sent a rasping drive narrowly wide as both sides created good chances at the start of the second half just as good news was filtering through from Arbour Park, Slough had taken the lead and if scores stayed as they were, Tivvy would finish sixth. Chances for Levi Landricombe to grab his 30th of the season came and went soon after, his touch letting him down on one occasion before blazing wide after a Tom Bath pass, who had started in Yellow for the 50th time, had sent him through on goal before the best chance of the second half though fell to the visitors when second half substitute Stephane Ngamvoulou beat Armstrong to a through ball and squared to Awadh, who could only blaze over from close range with the open goal at his mercy and an injury time free kick for the visitors on the edge of the area had Yellow hearts fluttering but Winters effort was comfortably dealt with by Armstrong before the full time whistle was greeted with great cheer after news that Slough had beaten Royston and the well earned final day point was enough to secure sixth place in a memorable and, at times, enjoyable first season back in the Premier Division.
Tiverton Town: LIAM ARMSTRONG, Jamie Short, Callum Hall, Jamie Price, Ben Mammola, Tom Gardner, Tom Bath (Scott Rogers 85), Jared Lewington, Jordan Rogers (Rob Norrish 85), Levi Landricombe, Michael Landricombe
This report ©2018 Simon Ellis