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Beacon of Christmas Hope

Tiverton Town v Beaconsfield Town 

Pitching In Southern League, Premier Division South 

Saturday, December 23. 3pm  

The Ian Moorcroft Stadium 

 

WITH just one point between the teams in the table, having played the same number of games, this looks like a six pointer - not for the first time this season. 

 

The Yellows occupy 14th place, and the Rams are 16th, so both sides will be looking to escape from the relegation picture and, in doing so, enter the Christmas programme not looking over their shoulders. 

Tiverton won 3-2 at Beaconsfield in August.

Whereas Tiverton were slowly dragged into the drop zone before rallying under Leigh Robinson, Beaconsfield - under former Slough Town boss Jon Underwood - have slid a bit in recent months after previously being in mid table. In their last outing, an added-time equaliser against Hungerford saw the game on home turf end 3-3. 

  

The evergreen Sam Togwell provides plenty of pedigree in the Rams’ midfield. Now 39, he played 333 games in the EFL; 143 of those games were in the Championship for Barnsley and Scunthorpe.  

 

Cultured midfielder 33-year-old Josh Payne is a footballer who played twice in the Premier League for West Ham and is a notable name in the Beaconsfield squad. 

 

The Buckinghamshire side have made a new signing ahead of this game: 30-year-old winger Jake Gosling, formerly of Exeter City, Bristol Rovers and Torquay United, has joined their cause. The former EFL man has represented Gibraltar 12 times and started the season with National League North side Rushall Olympic before relocating. 

 

Signing for us on dual registration forms is striker Rikki Shepherd. His parent club is Western League Helston Athletic, and he was briefly with our local rivals Willand Rovers. 

 

Leigh Robinson’s men came agonisingly close to a deserved victory at Didcot last Saturday despite being hampered by losing Joe O’Connor to injury and the sending-off of captain Jamie Richards. Only a fine late penalty save denied the Yellows. We will be without Richards today as Leigh Robinson and first-team coach Ben Gerring consider their options in defence. 

Joe O'Connor (left) is helped by Matt Britton after being injured at Didcot

An option for opposing manager Jon Underwood is 44-year-old veteran striker Jefferson Louis, in his second stint with Beaconsfield. He has played for a staggering 42 different clubs, three of those being in the EFL: Oxford United, Bristol Rovers and Mansfield Town. 

 

Tiverton can take many positives into this game as they look to climb further away from trouble. This is their last home league game of 2023, with the Devon Derby at Plymouth Parkway to follow on Boxing Day.  

 

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