Tavistock AFC 0
TAVISTOCK continued their stiff programme of friendly fixtures with a visit to Southern League premier side Taunton Town.
The Lambs started brightly playing some fine pass and move football, matching their opponents in a fast, entertaining match for the spectators.
It was Josh Oak in the visitors’ goal that was first called into action, when he turned away a fine effort from Neal for a corner kick; White headed over the bar from the kick.
In the 19th minute the Lambs put a terrific move together; Tyler Elliot made a penetrating run before providing a fine pass to Glynn Hobbs but his fierce shot was brilliantly saved by Irish in the home goal.
Minutes later only brave goalkeeping by Irish denied Jack Crago from scoring - the keeper diving at the feet of the on rushing forward. On the half hour Irish was in action again when he made a great save to deny Glynn Hobbs from breaking the deadlock.
Just before the interval another fine move involving Elliot and Hallett saw Josh Grant flash his shot inches wide of the target.
The second half continued with the game flowing from end to end, each side looking for the breakthrough. Taunton forced two corner kicks early in the half, but the visitor’s defence were in fine form. Former Lambs player Dan Sullivan then made a terrific break down the left flank, his fine pass found Neal in a good position but his effort was blocked by Dan Evans.
Back came Tavistock when another fine move ended with Glynn Hobbs shot over the bar.
The visitors were awarded a free kick 20 yards from the Taunton goal, but Hobbs’ shot was well saved by the home keeper.
In the 65th minute the Lambs made a substitution with Greening replacing Daw, who was playing his first game following a long term injury. Further changes were made four minutes later, Clifton replaced Hallett and Williams replaced Hobbs.
Taunton finally broke the deadlock in the 75th minute, when Brett threaded an inch perfect pass to put Neal in on goal; he rounded the advancing Josh Oak and slotted the ball home from eight yards.
Two minutes later Taunton doubled their lead when the ball was lost in a vital area, the ball fell to Neal who deftly chipped the ball over Oak into the net.
The third goal was a bizarre affair - a shot was blocked, the ball fell to Josh Robins inside the six yard box before the ball went back to the goalkeeper; the referee immediately awarded a free kick on the six yard line, for a pass back. The resultant free kick was blocked but the ball fell to Brett, his thunderous shot was blocked by a defender but the referee adjudged a hand ball and awarded a penalty. Neal stepped up to fire the ball home to complete his hat-trick.
This was a fine performance by the Lambs from which they can take a lot of positives.
The team performed admirably, testing their skills against a team three tiers higher in the FA pyramid.
Once again the youngsters showed they can more than hold their own at this level.
The team is now really taking shape with a number of injured players coming back to fitness and ready for selection.
The game proved to be a good work out for both teams.
Tavistock AFC 1
THE Lambs were were without Hobbs, Grant, Crago and Prynn in this friendly fixture against Southern League One side Bideford Town.
Tavistock started brightly having the better of the opening exchanges, creating an opening in the second minute when good work by Tyler Elliot set up Luke Brown but his fine shot was beaten away for a corner kick. Brown also went close in the 12th minute when he saw his powerful shot from a free kick 25 yards out flashed inches wide of the target.
More good work by Elliot put Josh Robins in on goal but his attempt to chip the ball over the keeper went just over the bar. Minutes later a great ball from Luke Brown got Robins in but this time he dragged his shot wide of the target.
As the half progressed, Bideford came more into the game and on the half hour, Josh Oak had to make a smart save to keep the scores level. The home team created a couple of half chances but their efforts were wide of the target. A minute before the interval Bideford were awarded a penalty. The penalty kick went wide of the goal.
Sam Clifton and Bailey Williams replaced Afet Toujani and Lewis Coombes who both picked up knocks in the first half.
Bideford stepped up their tempo in the second half and started to create more chances but the Lambs’ defence were in fine form with Corrie Burns and Warren Daw outstanding at the heart of the defence.
The home team broke the deadlock in the 63rd minute when their centre forward scored following a good move. Tavistock then made a
substitution with young Cairo replacing Elliot.
Back came the Lambs and they levelled the score in the 70th minute when a fine header from Luke Brown found Williams who calmly lobbed the advancing goal keeper to score.
The Lambs finished the game the stronger but had a set back when they were reduced to ten men when Tallin Burns was sent off after receiving a second yellow card for a tackle.
The Lambs deservedly held on to get a draw. This was another good performance and work out for the Lambs, from which many positives can be taken.
On Wednesday, August 14 the first team are home to Exmouth Town, kick off 7.30 pm.