WITH the curtain barely down on Saturday’s encouraging 2-2 draw at home to play-off hopefuls Walton & Hersham on Saturday, the Yellows travel to Dorset, where Poole Town await. The Dolphins are always a side that presents a tough test and Tuesday night’s game will be no exception.
Following their relegation from the Conference South (now the Vanarama National League South) at the end of the 2017-18 season, the two sides have met frequently and Tiverton have won twice at the Tatnam ground since Poole joined us in the division.
Last season, we held an unlikely 4-1 lead at half-time in a game that finished 4-2 – one of our best away wins in the Pitching In Southern League Premier South. In the 2019-20 campaign, the Yellows registered their other away win at Tatnam. Two current players played in that triumph: goalkeeper Lewis Williams and midfielder River Allen, whose late winner decided the match.
Manager Matt Tubbs, who took over from the legendary long-serving Tom Killick a little way into this season, has navigated his team into the chasing pack for the play-off places despite having been beaten 4-2 at Basingstoke on Saturday in front of 893 spectators.
Tony Lee’s goalscoring feats at this level speak for themselves and Toby Holmes, another hugely prolific marksman, spearhead the Dolphins’ attack. Evergreen centre-back Jamie Whisken and gifted midfielder Wes Fogden are also amongst a talented core of players from the Killick era.
The new manager and ex-EFL striker Tubbs has brought in goalkeeper Max Evans, from Frome, Town and brought back utility man Billy Lowes, from Bashley.
Tiverton upset the odds at the weekend in a performance of quality and spirit when drawing with tough, skilful opponents in Walton & Hersham. They will need to ensure that those levels are maintained to stand a chance of once again coming away with something from Dorset.
Interim manager Richard Pears was without Jack Rice on Saturday; Dylan Jones remains a long-term absentee although he is nearing full recovery; Matt Britton remains suspended; and Craig Woodman is some little way short of being totally ready.
Pears will be hoping for more of the same from his team as the Yellows look to build on a display that lifted its supporters at the end of a somewhat testing week.