Tiverton Town 0-3 Wimborne Town
By Simon Ellis
Yellows ship three without reply to in form Magpies
Worrying times. After successive three-nil defeats, on the back of a run of form that has seen them win just three matches since the start of November, the Yellows are now only above the relegation zone on goal difference and all the hard work of the 2016/17 promotion winning season is in serious danger of being flushed away. The latest defeat, after going down by the same scoreline at high-flying Poole Town in the previous week, saw the Yellows fall away badly in the second period after going in goalless at the interval, thanks mainly to excellent saves from both goalkeepers, Magpies top scorer Toby Holmes bagged himself a brace before his replacement Curtis Young wrapped up the victory with his first involvement in the final minute.
Ethan Phillips made a rare appearance in midfield to cover the absence of Michael Landricombe, Steve Colwell and Harrison Davis, the recently acquired Jordan Dyer made his first start while Liam Head again had to make do with a place amongst the substitutes as the injured duo of Ben Mammola and Tom Gardner are still some weeks short of being fit enough to make their returns while the Magpies entrusted the same personnel from their three-all draw with Hendon last time out.
Player of the Month for January and eventual Man of the Match Callum Hall was a constant threat going forwards in the first half, one run and cross found Yetton, whose effort on goal was closer to clearing the net behind it rather than finding its proposed target and from the other flank Josh Key delivered some excellent crosses, from one of which Tom Bath could only direct a volley straight at Benfield in the Wimborne goal when it seemed easier to score while at the other end a fine Armstrong save denied Luke Burbidge and Toby Holmes could have opened his account on a couple of occasions before he eventually did, dragging one shot wide with only Armstrong to beat the stand out chance and the level scoreline at the interval about right on the balance of what had gone before.
As closely matched as the sides were in the first, the second half was a polar opposite. Benfield acrobatically kept out a Levi Landricombe header at the start of the half, a rare moment for optimism amongst home fans in the second half before the visitors took control of proceedings. They had already struck the frame of the goal from a free kick on the edge of the area before Burbidge and Holmes combined again and after several previous unsuccessful attempts, Holmes rounded Armstrong and found the back of the net with an hour played. One became two with quarter of an hour left to play as the same two combined after Jamie Price, who headed a late chance wide, had been caught in possession and Holmes replacement Curtis Young rubbed salt in to gaping wounds when he rammed home the third in the final minute.
Tiverton: Liam Armstrong, Josh Key, Callum Hall, Jamie Price, Jordan Dyer, Dan Ball, Tom Bath, Max Smallcombe, Stewart Yetton (Liam Head 75), Levi Landricombe, Ethan Phillips.
Subs not used: Scott Rogers, Isaac Furness.