Hartley Wintney 1-0 Tiverton Town
By Simon Ellis
Yellows slip to narrow defeat
After an impressive while predictable win over bottom of the table Staines last time out, the Yellows fell to a narrow defeat by a goal to nil, centre half Matt Drage heading home from a corner with a quarter of an hour to play, on the road to another side battling to beat the drop in Hartley Wintney, who were indebted to their goalkeeper Adam Desbois who made several top drawer saves to keep the Yellows at bay, most memorably in the final ten minutes when he acrobatically kept out Man of the Match Ethan Phillips powerful shot and to compound a miserable afternoon another name was added to the lengthening list of absentees. Stewart Yetton, fresh from notching his 450th career goal in the four-two win at Staines, only lasted forty five minutes after an accidental clash of heads just before half time left him with a broken nose and a spell out of the side.
Dan Ball made the last appearance of his short loan spell from Bath City while Tom Bath returned to the starting XI in place of Jordan Dyer, who has extended his loan from Exeter City until the end of the season, in the only change from the midweek win at Staines. In glorious Hampshire sunshine more akin to a summers day than that of the end of February the first half whistled by while not being the greatest footballing spectacle, both sides clearly wary of their precarious positions prior to kick off, but chances were being created or afforded to both sides. Events of note were when Jamie Price headed an early cross away from beneath his own crossbar while at the other end Levi Landricombe, after defenders had backed away from him, was denied league goal one hundred and one by a fine Desbois save.
The clearer chances at the start of the second half pointed towards a second successive Yellows victory, for what would have been back to back wins for the first time since beating Hartley and Staines in late October/early November but again Desbois was in fine form, denying Levi Landricombe again as well as relying on wayward shooting while Josh Webb rattled the frame of the goal from a tight angle and Ball did superbly well to deny the speedy Michael Campbell after his shot had got past Armstrong before the hosts scored what turned out to be the games only goal. With a little less than fifteen to play Josh Webb swung in a corner from the Hartley right and Drage rose unmarked to nod home at the near post before more Desbois heroics denied the Yellows what would have been a deserved equaliser in the minutes that remained.
Tiverton: Liam Armstrong, Josh Key, Callum Hall, Jamie Price, Michael Landricombe, Dan Ball, Tom Bath, Steve Colwell, Stewart Yetton (Max Smallcombe 46), Levi Landricombe, ETHAN PHILLIPS.
Subs not used: Jordan Dyer, Isaac Furness, Scott Rogers