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One for Sorrow, Two for More Sorrow

Pitching In Southern League, Premier Division South

Tiverton Town 0

Dorchester Town 2 (Gwengwe 29, Daws 36)

Tuesday, April 16 . The Ian Moorcroft Stadium

 

THE Yellows, following on from Saturday’s season high in defeating Pitching In Southern League Premier Division South champions Chesham, came crashing back down to earth with a bump in falling to a disheartening loss by a strong Dorchester outfit.

 

Playing with the pressure of knowing that relegation is still a distinct possibility is never easy and the opening half was a long way away from the standard set at the weekend.

Tiverton saw both Josh Jones and prolific marksman Joe Parker return to their line up in what was a full strength team with the exception of River Allen being suspended.

 

Dorchester fielded a strong looking 11, although they were missing, through suspension, Jack Dickson, who was sent off in the reverse fixture just over two weeks previously.

Our opponents still harvest faint play-off hopes and are on an incredible unbeaten run which dates back to mid February; when the match started, straightaway you could see that motivation in the Magpies’ play.

 

Tiverton struggled with both the athleticism and physicality of Dorchester from the outset. A hesitant Yellows were pushed back into their own half early on and when clearing their lines, they were often back in trouble immediately with almost every second ball being won or intercepted by the relentless visitors.

 

Marcus Daws found himself one-on-one with Tivvy goalkeeper Zak Baker on 10 minutes, following some intense pressure, but Tiverton’s number one, not for the first time this season, came to his side’s rescue with a good save low down.

 

The tireless Jordan N’galo and his all round technical game was a constant in the Magpies’ dominance as the midfielder, who captains the side, and his team-mates were clearly getting the better of their hosts.

 

In the 22nd minute, Ollie Haste was found in space as he galloped forward, but former Yellow Olaf Koszela could only screw his effort wide. There was the odd attempt of a counter from Tiverton, but their moves often broke down early with inaccurate passes or being caught in possession, the slow tempo of our play compared to Saturday causing this.

 

Just before the half-hour, we were made to pay, Shaquille Gwengwe, their top scorer and centre forward, finding the net as, defensively, we switched off.

For Dorchester’s second, following a stray pass from Matt Britton, Daws ran a good 30 yards without a meaningful challenge being made on him and despatched a shot beyond Baker. This has to be up there with the poorest goals that we have conceded this season and the Ian Moorcroft Stadium was almost stunned into silence as the jubilant away supporters, who had travelled in numbers, celebrated.


Josh Jones headed over from a Tivvy corner; a speculative effort from Joe Parker went beyond the crossbar; and Jack Rice’s free-kick dipped just wide. However, this was a first half to forget and we were a clear second best heading to the dressing room at half-time.

 

For the Yellows, Javan Wright was good in and out of possession, but both he and Parker were mainly feeding off scraps. Parker was having a decent game, but, too often, his intelligent movement was ignored in favour of the Yellows launching, hopeful and over-hit long balls.

 

It should be said at this point that Dorchester are, on form, the best side in the division currently and they were well organised and slick in their build-up play.

 

In the second half, we did improve and saw a lot more of the ball. A Niall Thompson surge on 50 minutes saw him flash an attempt wide of Jameson Horlick, the Dorchester goalkeeper, but also considerably wide of the post. Horlick’s commanding of his area was impressive all evening.

 

We did ask more questions after the interval and created a few half-chances. The main talking point arrived with around 75 minutes played after a Tiverton set-piece resulted in a scramble in the Magpies’ area. It looked like Matt Britton had bundled the ball over the line, but the referee decided it had not.

This could have set up a grandstand finish for the Yellows. Parker shot without power past the post when found by substitute Alex Fletcher, but Dorchester also had a few chances of their own in a second period of which we had the better.

 

On Thursday, we entertain Winchester who toppled Merthyr 2-0 on Tuesday.  What will happen? Well, your guess is as good as mine. However, anything other than a win will leave us staring down the barrel.

 

No one deliberately plays badly, so let us accept this setback and move on. Three to play; two wins needed.

 

Let us get behind the team and together get us back on track.

 



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