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Yellows Show Strength in Adversity

Didcot Town 0 Tiverton Town 0

Saturday, December 16, 2023

Pitching In Southern League, Premier Division South

 

IN the context of what happened and the cards that the Yellows had to deal with – literally – this result, looking back, demonstrated the togetherness and resilience of the squad, and the belief they have in what they are trying to achieve.

 

When the game got underway, it was Tiverton who controlled possession, although without testing Leigh Bedwell in the Didcot goal. The first opening was created by our hosts and a progressive move saw Patrick Osbourne receive Murphy Bennett’s pass, ending with the former shooting wide of the target. A dominant Yellows were still seeing plenty of the ball, but moves were breaking down in the final third.

 

We were dealt our first blow of the afternoon when Joe O’Connor was unable to continue following a heavy challenge and Jack Veale replaced him. The game was then turned on its head when, with 35 minutes on the clock, our captain Jamie Richards got his marching orders after he was adjudged by the referee to be illegally preventing a goalscoring opportunity as the last man.

 

In spite of Diddy’s numerical advantage, Tiverton stayed in the ascendancy as the first half reached its conclusion.

There were bookings for Bailey Kempster and Josh Jones either side of half time as a fired-up Yellows made light of having ten men. Bearing in mind that, with Matt Britton out, Jamie Richards now unavailable for the rest of the game and River Allen only fit enough to make the bench, this was now a real test for a relatively young side playing with a man down.

 

How would they handle this adversity? Well, they answered their predicament by still being the better side.

 

With the blistering pace of the powerful Thompson always being a threatening outlet, Tiverton created four good chances to win this game, but each time were thwarted by the inspired Bedwell in the Didcot goal.

 

The home side could muster only half-chances and speculative efforts as the Yellows secured a third clean sheet since the arrival of Leigh Robinson and on-loan Plymouth Argyle goalkeeper Zak Baker.

 

On 56 minutes, a quick passing movement saw us break with purpose and Jack Rice forced Diddy’s keeper into a vital save as he palmed away for a corner.

 

On the hour mark, with the introduction of Allen for Jerry Lawrence, it was only a dive to the feet of the rapidly onrushing Javan Wright that saw Bedwell keep the score goalless when he smothered the ball.

 

Further incisive play from Tivvy resulted in Thompson this time being denied by Bedwell, parrying his stinging effort away for another corner. There was six minutes of normal time left at this stage and it was still the visitors who looked the most likely to pull off the win.

The board was raised showing four minutes additional time and there was late drama with less than a minute left. Tivvy were awarded a penalty. However, River Allen so often our saviour was, on this occasion, outfoxed by Bedwell, who saved magnificently with his feet.

 

 Moments later, it was all over and, despite the setbacks and frustration at the end, we can be immensely proud of our team for a stirring performance.

 

Honours even, but the team spirit and quality of the side on display augurs well for Leigh Robinson’s men in the future.

 

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