The Lambs welcomed the newly promoted visitors from The Wessex League for this first match of the season on their very first visit to Langsford Park, writes Eric Pinch.
Just seven remained in the starting line up from last season with Dan Kiota on the subs bench returning from Willand Rovers. Newcomers Aaron Dearing, Charlie Elkington, Scott Piper and Owen Pritchard were included with Jacob Bowker and Will Elliot on the subs bench. Liam Prynn, George Newton, Josh Oak Adam McPherson, Noah Maund and Sam Rutter were unavailable for a number of reasons
It was an even opening 15 minutes with both sides forcing a series of corners and from one of them Taylor Scarff would see his goal-bound effort blocked and then had another chance as Harlequins ‘keeper Amadeusz Skrzyniarz (Adam) came out wide to clear with the ball falling to Scarff. A split second chance to score went as he chose to pass but even then Tallon Burns still got his shot away only to see his chance go wide with Adam still out of position.
On 25 minutes, a good interchange of passes in midfield allowed Ben Fowles the chance to get a 20-yarder go just wide but it was the visitors that opened the scoring on the half-hour for their first goal in the league.
Brendon Holmes picked up a stray pass and was allowed to go forward unchallenged to shoot low past Dearing.
A fairly even first half as it ended, the visitors with a slender lead.
The second half started brightly for the Lambs as captain Ed Harrison got clear in the visitors’ penalty area to get his shot away to go just wide and was fouled in the process with nothing given apart from a booking for Burns.
Harrison was then on the end of a strong challenge that pole-axed him, leaving him to have lengthy treatment. Battle then lobbed Adam but again it went agonisingly close as the Lambs applied the pressure seeking an equaliser.
Speechly Price then saw his effort tipped around a post by Dearing for a corner and from it Young ballooned his effort over the bar from close-range with the Lambs lucky to remain at just 0-1.
Kiota came on for Piper with Muhammed Jatta replacing Speechly Price on 65 minutes to make what was a colourful Cameo appearance. With almost his first touch he was allowed to stride forward in midfield and from 25 yards struck low past Dearing to double the visitor’s advantage.
The Lambs had put in a below par performance but it all changed on the 80th minute. A long ball out of defence was not dealt with by Bemerton’s defence, with the ball falling to Pritchard and from fully 35 yards lobbed the ball goal wards to leave Adam completely stranded in no man’s land as the ball settled in the net. Jatta had already been cautioned for kicking the ball away and then unnecessarily tripped Scarff to receive his second yellow and a red card on 82 minutes.
It then became a defensive last 15 for the away side as the Lambs sought to get on level terms.
Three good chances fell the Lambs’ way, Bowker’s deep cross saw Scarf floating behind the defence only to see his volley go straight at the ‘keeper, Adam then did well to keep out a Battle effort and finally Scarff’s high cross saw Adam completely miss the ball for it to fell to Pritchard, but he could only steer it the wrong side of the upright.
A tough defeat to take at home on the first day, however they will have had the chance to put it right as they will have played Willand Rovers last night away at Silver Street.
Saturday, August 19: It is FA Cup day as the Lambs play hosts to Barnstaple Town with a 3pm kick-off.
Tavistock AFC are seeking further help on match days on a regular voluntary basis. There are vacancies for a number of posts. We specifically are looking for a matchday newspaper reporter.
For further information, contact Eric on match days.