Tiverton Towns adventure came to an end in this year’s FA Cup following a valiant second half come-back but the Yellows couldn’t find the elusive equaliser before ex-Yellows forward; Owen Howe scored a penalty ten minutes from time to secure the Peacocks place in the third round qualifying draw on Monday. The Yellows changed two from the side that beat Weston-Super-Mare on Wednesday evening 3-1 as Aaron Dawson made his way back into the starting eleven, Louis Morison dropping to the bench and Chris Shephard replaced the injured Ed Butcher The first 20 minutes was very much an open affair with chances falling to both sides on a playing surface looking remarkably unscathed considering the recent deluge of rain ! Chris Shephards blocked shot on 12’ looped up off the defender and fell just wide of Irish’s goal was the first real “chance” for the game and the Yellows looked sharp early doors, considering the games have been coming thick and fast and when Dan Hayfield cut inside from the right on 20’ before beating Irish at his near post, it was the dream start Tiverton fans and players alike had all hoped and dreamed for. It’s hard to describe what happened to Tiverton in the next 25 minutes of football but suddenly the dream became a nightmare and on 26’ Dan Sullivan sent a thunderbolt strike past Lewis Williams into the top corner after his initial shot had been blocked and as a result the Peacocks found momentum and played the ball sharper and quicker and soon enough, six minutes later in fact ,found themselves ahead with Toby Holmes poking home from close range. In a rare moment of pressure from the Yellows late on in the first half on 39’ Fletcher broke past the visitors back line but Irish saved well and it seemed like half time couldn’t come soon enough and 4 minutes from the interval Gethyn Hill headed the visitors further in front from Sullivan’s delivery before ex-Yellows defender; Jamie Short seemed to have put the final nail in the Yellows coffin when he picked up the ball on the edge of the area and rammed home a fourth.
You can only imagine the scenes and words uttered in the home dressing room at half time and probably best left that way but the second half got underway and the Yellows had re-found their hunger and only a superb Lloyd Irish save kept out an early Lewington header. Neil Martin and Jared Lewington made way for fresh legs in the form of Andy Watkins and Jordan Bastin and the former instantly made an impact as on 55’ Watkins was brought down in the box, the referee pointed to the spot and Alex Fletcher slotted home his 5th of the season. The Yellows looked hungry for more with chances falling for Hayfield and Egan before Bastin cleverly worked himself some space on the edge of the area and reignited the Yellows fans hopes driving home his shot from 18 yards but the closest opportunity to restore parity was on 75’ when Watkins shot, that was well saved by Irish, fell to Bastin but he couldn’t redirect the shot goal bound and when ex-Yellows forward Owen Howe made his entrance on 78’ it was almost written in the script for him to make an impact and with ten minutes to go he did just that when he went to ground, with Woodman in close attendance, inside the box and Howe fired home the resulting penalty to end any hopes of a dream comeback and the chance to decide the tie on a penalty shoot-out. Tiverton Town: Lewis Williams, Kyle Egan, CRAIG WOODMAN, Aaron Dawson (Louis Morison 82), Michael Peck, Neil Martin (Jordan Bastin 54), Jordan Lam, Dan Hayfield, Jared Lewington (Andy Watkins 54), Alex Fletcher, Chris Shephard.
Goals: Dan Hayfield, 20 Alex Fletcher(pen) 57, Jordan Bastin 68. Attendance: 560.