The Yellows adventure into this years Emirates FA Cup got off to the best way possible, with a 2-0 victory over Bideford AFC at the Ian Moorcroft Stadium thanks to goals from Man of the Match Jared Lewington and a late, late nail in the Robins coffin from second half substitute Chris Shephard.
Before the draw was made, I wonder what odds would have been given by the bookies to face The Robins, being that this was to be the 12th meeting in the FA Cup between the two sides ! This tie was to be even more interesting, as the two sides had met twice already this year in pre-season friendlies with a win a piece.
The Yellows named an unchanged starting eleven from the side that beat Wimborne 5-0 on the opening game of the season and confidence was high in the home dressing room.
It was clear from the kick off that this was “no preseason friendly” with some tasty challenges setting the scene for a thrilling cup tie. As in the first pre season fixture, it would fall to Jared Lewington to score first for the Yellows, firing in to the bottom corner following a cross out wide from the impressive Jordan Bastin and the Yellows could and probably should have made it two moments later when Fletcher broke out on the left and crossed but the normally accurate Lewington couldn’t keep his effort on target.
Chances came for Bideford who were only inches away from drawing level with a fine strike from Jordan Annear, followed by a well hit shot from Charlie Lawrence that Williams did well to hold and and Kingston in the Bideford goal did superbly well to keep out a curling Bastin free kick before the referee brought a close to the first half at 1-0 as the heavens opened.
Bideford got the second half underway and continued to press hard for the equaliser but Tivvys new look back four, having only played a handful of games together, really does look assured with the experienced Woodman leading the line.
With a little less than 30 minutes left the Yellows midfield was freshened up with Shephard introduced for Watkins who gave the Yellows some fresh legs as the visitors continued to press. Likewise Bideford also made some changes and introduced one time Tivvy player Jack Rice-Lethaby who twice made Williams work hard to keep the scoreline at 1-0
The 90th minute came and still at 1-0 an air of nerves was apparent around Ladysmead until Chris Shephard broke free in the fourth minute of added time, following a high press from the visitors and one on one with Bideford keeper Liam Kingston, he neatly nestled the ball into the net securing the Yellows progress in to the second qualifying draw, much to the delight of the majority of the 331 crowd, to be held on Friday at 1pm. So, who’s up for guessing our next opponents in the FA Cup ?!
Tiverton: Lewis Williams, Kyle Egan, Craig Woodman, Aaron Dawson, Michael Peck, Neil Martin, Andy Watkins (Chris Shephard 63), Dan Hayfield, JARED LEWINGTON (Louis Morison 77), Alex Fletcher, Jordan Bastin (Jordan Lam 77).
Goals: Jared Lewington 19, Chris Shephard 90+4.