Tiverton Town came away from Berkshire safely through to the 2nd Qualifying Round after a gutsy performance after twice coming from behind. The £4,500 prize money was not easily acquired, credit must go to Burnham FC for putting in a strong case for progressing from the tie themselves.
Tiverton’s line up was made up of Lewis Williams in goal with a back four of Jordan Dyer, Jordan Bentley, Mike Landricombe and Noah Smerdon. The midfield trio in the boiler room was Steve Colwell, George Nancekivell and our captain River Allen. The front three comprised of Chris Shepherd, Jordan Bastin and was spearheaded by Jared Lewington. The bench as made up of Isaac Furness, Olaf Koszela, Tyler Elliott, George Rogers and Scott Rogers.
As early as the second minute Tiverton knew they were in a game as a wicked bounce of the ball deceived two Tiverton players and Gavin James raced through and expertly slotted the ball past Lewis Williams in Tiverton’s goal to give the Hellenic Premier Division side the lead. A second nearly arrived when the blues broke through again although it looked blatantly offside, however Jordan Bentley went into super defender overdrive and snuffed the chance out before the attacker bore down on Lewis Williams goal.
Tiverton never seem to get flustered these days when conceding goals as they always have enough firepower to get back into games. On thirteen minutes another Tiverton attack saw the ball hit a Blues player on the arm in the box and an eagle-eyed linesman had no hesitation to inform the referee that it was a penalty. The resulting spot kick was dispatched by River Allen with ease to restore parity in the game.
Tivvy were starting to crank up the pressure and a few half chances were created but they received a blow in the 36th minute when the skilful, attacking threat of Chris Shepherd was forced off the pitch with an injury that looked like a pulled hamstring. Sheps was replaced by the livewire Tyler Elliott and he slotted straight into the attacking position that was vacated. Half time came with no further major incidents and was about the right score based on the clear-cut chances created by both sides. The Step 5 side Burnham could be proud of their first half efforts especially after their midweek game against Slimbridge in the previous round that had gone to extra time and penalties.
The second half saw Tiverton come out with purpose and try to take a stranglehold on the game. First Jordan Bastin had a great shot charged down when it looked like it as arrowing into the corner of the Blues net. With Jared Lewington taking a battering but leading the line really well, Tyler Elliott through his clever runs creating space and Jordan Bastin’s trickery things were looking promising. Disaster struck through on 70 minutes with an unusual defensive mistake from Mike Landricombe saw Cameron R-Brown race through on goal and dispatch past Lewis Williams. Tivvy then sacrificed Jordan Bentley for Olaf Koszela to get back into the game. Mike Landricombe made up for the error minutes later with a great ball that evaded everyone apart from Jared Lewington in the box who got a deft flick off his head from where I was sat and sent the ball past the Burnham keeper to get us back in the game at 2-2.
Tivvy not satisfied with a replay then surged forward and on 80 minutes were awarded a free kick just outside the Burnham penalty area. The one man you want to take the free kick as per Kings Langley away last season was River Allen. River stepped up and bent the free kick around the wall and low to the keepers left hand side giving the young keeper no chance. The players including the kit man went wild and the lads saw out the final minutes to make sure that Tiverton Town were safely in the hat for the 2nd Qualifying Round to be drawn on Monday afternoon.
Tiverton Town: Lewis Williams, Jordan Dyer, Noah Smerdon, George Nancekivell, Michael Landricombe, Jordan Bentley (Olaf Koszela 70), Steve Colwell, River Allen, Jared Lewington, Jordan Bastin, Chris Shephard (Tyler Elliott 36).
Goals: River Allen 14, 80 Jared Lewington 75.