It almost seems fitting that Wimborne Town, our last home game opponents before the 2019/20 season was suspended would be those same opponents that we start the 2020/21 season with 210 days later. After a busy period of signings and departures, only four of the starting 11 that featured back in the 2-2 draw in February started in today’s game and thanks to goals from Dan Hayfield, Jordan Bastin and a hat trick by Alex Fletcher cruised the Yellows to three points in their opening fixture. Both sides started off as you would expect on the first game of the season with little chances created until around on 10 minutes when Sinclair for the visitors was played through which required a great save from Williams to keep honours level. This early scare clearly woke up Tivvy as Lewington broke the offside trap moments later but his cross to Fletcher cleared away from danger. The Yellows continued to press with two more chances from Fletcher before Wimborne really should have been ahead and maybe changed the course of the game as a Craig Woodman block fell to Sinclair who blazed over from close range when it seemed easier to score. Half time was approaching and it looked like neither side would break the deadlock until the Yellows were awarded a penalty on 39’ Fletchers effort was well saved by Terrell in the Wimborne goal but Fletcher reacted quickest and nodded home and moments later a Bastin free kick out on the far right evaded everyone in the box and nestled in the bottom left corner to give the Yellows a 2-0 lead. A further free-kick in added time eventually found Fletcher on the edge of the area who’s shot deflected passed the keeper putting Tivvy firmly into the driving seat at the half-time whistle. The second half got underway and it would be fair to say that the Yellows domination continued with Wimborne clearly looking deflated from the last seven minutes of the first half. Lewington keen to add to his previous 37 goals for the Yellows couldn’t keep his header down on the hour before moments later again burst through on goal but his effort just high and wide. A rare few chances for the visitors came in the second half, firstly in the form of a free kick on 68’ but the shot was blocked and easily cleared before Williams made a great save as the visitors were handed a free header from a corner. All three points were made certain on 73’ when Dan Hayfield volleyed home his first goal for the Yellows before Alex Fletcher completed his hat trick with 6 minutes to go, tapping in a cleverly worked Kyle Egan cross who really was superb all game, tirelessly running the right wing, earning him a much deserved Man of the Match award. This performance will no doubt give the Yellows much needed confidence going into Wednesdays FA Cup tie vs Bideford but most importantly starting the 2020/21 campaign with three points and to be top of the table is certainly the dream start the Yellows management team and new look squad would have hoped for.
Tiverton: Lewis Williams, KYLE EGAN, Craig Woodman, Aaron Dawson (Louis Morison 72), Michael Peck, Neil Martin, Andy Watkins (Chris Shephard 63), Dan Hayfield, Jared Lewington, Alex Fletcher, Jordan Bastin (Ed Butcher 78).
Goals: Alex Fletcher 40, 45 & 84 Jordan Bastin 42 Dan Hayfield 73.
Report written, with thank, by Dan Ellis