Wiltshire Publications

United kept going right to the end without reward

Story posted on

Sat. 18th Jan. Toolstation Prem. Div. Westbury Utd 0 Tavistock 1

THIS was a game of two halves at Meadow Lane; the first, a brilliant half of attacking football, the second, a referee-induced farce that lasted about an hour!

On a glorious afternoon the match was put in late doubt when the referee, thereby signalling his awkward tendencies that would resurface later,  insisted the goalmouths be sanded due to their condition or he would postpone it! This, despite the visitors having travelled over 100 miles and being perfectly happy with conditions.

While this was a first defeat of their centenary year, the hosts played well and every player put in a hard working shift against strong opposition.

Visiting keeper, Tom Watson, made several excellent early saves to deny Callum Demkiv and Sam Jordan. Demkiv had got a shot away that forced a fine low save and Jordan’s header came from the second corner that followed.

Tavistock then took the lead on 16 minutes. Ryan Bole had joined a Westbury attack but his side were caught out when Jordan Annear broke into Bole’s vacant left back space and sent in a brilliant cross that was headed in powerfully by Josh Grant.

It was nearly 0-2 a few minutes later when Josh Rubins’ cross from the left found Grant, but this time Ed Baldy saved the header.

Watson then came to the fore again; Ricky Hulbert had gone to ground claiming a penalty in the build up, but Demkiv managed an attempt which was deflected wide and Bole’s swinging corner was tipped over the bar by the keeper. Then shortly after, Bole broke through, only to be denied by Watson again.

At the other end, the visitors nearly doubled their lead, but Gray and Annear were off target.

The final action of a fine half saw Watson to the fore yet again, to prevent Demkiv from equalising.

United started the better after the break with several attacks that had no end product; fine play between Steve Hulbert and substitute Louis Wilkins ended with Ben Griffiths shooting over, then Watson got down to save from Wilkins after a good move by Jason Henley and Demkiv.

The match then descended into chaos to such an extent that this report maybe inaccurate! Over officious refereeing saw Sam Jordan penalised after a challenge with a Tavistock player. Captain Steve Hulbert tried to talk to the referee but received a trip to the sin bin for dissent.

With United down to 10 men for 10 minutes, they held their opponents at bay, but were then rocked further when Sam Jordan was apparently shown a second yellow card, although there was confusion that he too had been sin binned because he took his place in the dugout rather than leaving the pitch side!

Westbury had 9 men for a few minutes until Steve Hulbert returned to the action. At this point, Sam Jordan was ordered away from the dugout!

So, the hosts had 10 men for the remaining play. Tavistock didn’t take advantage, missing several clear-cut chances, with Annear and Jack Crago guilty of poor finishing. Westbury kept going right to the end without reward.

STAR MAN ; Tom Watson (Tavistock)

TEAM ; Ed Baldy, Jason Henley, Ryan Bole, Dan Jordan, Steve Hulbert, Jordan Pinder, Joe Stradling, Ben Griffiths, Ricky Hulbert, Callum Demkiv, Sam Jordan. 

SUBS ; Louis Wilkins (used) Joe Kirkpatrick, Will Thomson, Luke Smith, Lewis Porter (unused).