Sholing 0 Tiverton Town 4
Pitching In Southern League, Premier Division South
Saturday, November 18
ANYONE who was at the Imperial Homes Stadium or following the game at home or elsewhere could have scarcely imagined what was to take place.
Our hosts came into this match on the back of a seven-game unbeaten run. Tiverton, although buoyed by the previous Saturday's very good showing at home against Harrow Borough, could never in their wildest dreams have expected to come away with the result they did in a game played on the outskirts of Southampton.
Their 11 was missing suspended captain Jamie Richards, but they were able to include Josh Jones who was not deemed fit enough to start last weekend and, with Jerry Lawrence coming into the Yellows’ midfield, Elliott Dugan dropped to the bench as Leigh Robinson reshuffled his side.
Using the old adage of earning the right to play, Tiverton’s midfield asserted themselves early and this set the tone for the afternoon. Having come out of the blocks fast, in the fourth minute, a good chance for the Yellows was prodded wide and, with 15 minutes played, a near-post cross was converted by the lively Jack Rice.
Tivvy continued to have the better of it and Zak Baker was largely untroubled in the visitors’ goal.
Despite having to defend a couple of corners in quick succession, the potential threat was comfortably dealt with.
A quick Tiverton break almost led to us adding to our opener, although Ryan Gosney, in the Boatmen’s goal, saved expertly with his legs. We went into half-time a goal up and this was more than deserved; convincing in possession and well organised in defence, Sholing had been reduced to mainly speculative efforts.
The second half saw the introduction of the home side’s new signing Lynford Sackey. The young ex-Reading and Coventry wide man was obviously brought on to make a change. However, it was Tivvy's own wide player Dylan Jones who was to make the next telling move, running into the box and supplying a resounding finish on 57 minutes.
Then 2-0 quickly became 3-0 when River Allen drilled a shot from all of 50 yards, leaving Gosney helplessly beaten, a marvellous goal that seemed to put the game to bed.
However, rampant Yellows were not content merely to hold onto what they had and, in the 67th minute, Niall Thompson made it four, ending any faint hopes of a Sholing comeback.
In the 75th minute, Bailey Kempster was debatably sent off after receiving a second yellow card. However, in the 15 minutes of normal time that remained and a little bit of injury time, the shell-shocked Boatmen were unable to make their numerical advantage count, even in the form of a consolation goal.
It had been a long time in the making but, 84 days on from our last win in the league, the Yellows were rightfully celebrating. Leigh Robinson, player-coach Ben Gerring and the team will be all too aware of getting too carried away with this excellent victory: there is still much to do for us to pull clear of trouble.
However, the result has edged us out of the relegation places and we need to savour this success. We must also remember that the recipe for success is hard work on the training ground.
A fantastic afternoon for everyone connected with the club and a top effort from the Yellows.