It`s so, so hard (from a fans perspective) not to get overly carried away with the start the Yellows have made to the 2020/21 season. 4 matches, 4 wins, 12 goals scored and only 2 conceded is certainly cause for optimism. But (you knew one was coming) the 2018/19 season started similarly before the Yellows dropped away and only just managed to hang on to their Premier Division status come the seasons end. Such an outcome is unlikely again, based on the current squads strength and depth, however as a famous pundit once said “It`s a funny old game”
The fourth match at the beginning of the campaign got off to the perfect start when Jared Lewington fired home after just five minutes, Jordan Lam struck his second in consecutive matches seven minutes after the interval and all seemed rosy until Weston, who had been denied on several occasions by excellent Lewis Williams saves, set up a tense finale with a late penalty that Scott Laird put away before an even later penalty, confidently despatched by Alex Fletcher, secured win number four.
With interested on-lookers from just up the M5 amongst the crowd ahead of Saturdays FA Cup tie, the Yellows made three changes from those who had started in the two-one win at Swindon Supermarine last time out as starts were handed to Louis Morison, Jordan Lam & Ed Butcher at the expense of Aaron Dawson, Andy Watkins and Jordan Bastin. The Seagulls, meanwhile, off the back of their one-all draw at home to Met. Police last time out changed two as Ryan Jones and Chris Knowles replaced Lewis Hall and Ben Griffith.
The first half was a half of two halves, if that makes sense. The Yellows dominated the early exchanges and took the lead as early as the fifth minute. The eventual Man of the Match Jordan Lam received the ball on the right edge of the area, confronted by a posse of Weston defenders, but he still somehow managed to jink his way past them and the ball found Fletcher, who was denied by a smart save by Luke Purnell but the rebound fell perfectly for Lewington to fire home from close range but as good as the Yellows were in the opening twenty-or-so minutes, the visitors had their own purple patch as the half drew to a close but could not turn their superiority in to goals, mainly because of the impressive Lewis Williams, who superbly saved from Lloyd Humphries after he had beaten the offside trap, then an equally good save to keep out a well hit Chris Knowles shot before James Waite did beat Williams but his effort cannoned back in to play off the upright.
The first meaningful action of the second half saw the Yellows double their advantage as Lam, similarly to his goal at Swindon Supermarine, cut in off the right wing and played a neat one-two with Fletcher before finishing calmly past Purnell for two-nil. Chances came and went at both ends as the half wore on, Williams denied Grubb as the visitors pressed for a way back in to the match, which opened the door for the Yellows to break and smart stops late on from Purnell denied Shephard and then Watkins before the Seagulls made the final few minutes interesting, to say the least, as Knowles was sent tumbling inside the box, referee Ryan Saward pointed the spot and Scott Laird despatched the penalty.
The panic, amongst the home crowd anyway, was eventually put to bed as the Yellows were awarded a penalty of their own in the last of the four minutes of stoppage time as Fletcher was sent tumbling as he was about to shoot before he sent Purnell the wrong way from twelve yards for his fourth goal of the season, but more importantly to secure all three points.
Tiverton Town: Lewis Williams, Kyle Egan, Craig Woodman, Louis Morison, Michael Peck, Neil Martin, JORDAN LAM (Chris Shephard 76), Dan Hayfield, Jared Lewington (Andy Watkins 69), Alex Fletcher, Ed Butcher (Jordan Bastin 31)
Goals: Jared Lewington 5 Jordan Lam 52 Alex Fletcher (pen) 90+4.