Jekyll and Hyde Yellows storm back from 2-0 down to bag draw
A STRONG second-half fightback from Tiverton Town saw them come from two goals down to rescue a point away to bottom side Sholing on Saturday.
The Yellows made a disastrous start as they conceded after just 40 seconds as Lewis Fennemore volleyed home from a free-kick.
Things failed to improve for Tivvy as, at the end of a poor first half in which they were second best in most departments, they conceded a second to Jamie Musselwhite.
But a spectacular overhead effort from Joe Bushin and an equaliser from the unlikely source of Paul Kendall saw the Yellows draw level.
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And Tivvy could have won it late on had Kevin Hill's effort not been hacked off the line in a late assault on the Sholing goal, although a point was probably fair given the contrasting nature of the two halves.
"We could have been out of it by the end of the first half to be fair," said midfielder David Steele.
"The goal after the first minute set the tone for the entire half really – we had a couple of brief spells of possession but they could have won it in that time in all honesty.
"It was a case of us going in at half-time, getting a bit of a roasting from Mark (Saunders, Tiverton manager), and going out there and turning it around.
"After getting the flea in our ear at half-time we just moved the ball a bit quicker, got our full-backs into the game and were just a little bit more direct.
"Even though we could have won it by the end, considering the position we were in at half-time, a point was a good result."
Tiverton went into the game looking to avoid a fourth straight defeat in all competitions, but they got off to the worst possible start in their quest as they went behind with less than one minute on the clock.
Hill conceded a free-kick on the edge of the box following an audacious Sholing attack straight from kick-off, and Tyronne Bowers' delivery was volleyed home by Fennemore to give the hosts a dream start.
Chris Wright then had to be alert to deny Bowers, before Kendall tested Matt Brown at the other end.
But it was the hosts who started to create the better chances as Tivvy struggled to get a grip on the match.
Twice Wright had to be on his toes to deny a maurauding Lee Wort as Tiverton's defence failed to pick up the pacey forward.
The Yellows, who were missing both Michael Nardiello and Harry Nodwell through injury, gradually began to string moves together in dangerous areas, although they failed to produce any form of end product.
And they were made to pay as Sholing doubled their lead when Marvin McLean saw his shot blocked by Wright to leave Musselwhite with the simplest of tap-ins.
Yet Tivvy came out a transformed side after the break, and they looked the part even more once Dave Pearse had made way for the lively Owen Howe.
Hill saw an effort deflected wide before an exquisite goal from Bushin brought the Yellows right back in it.
Steele's 59th-minute cross from the right was met by Bushin's right heel as he executed an overhead kick, and the ball floated in from 15 yards out to the disbelief of many.
Though not as spectacular, Tivvy's equaliser deserves equal praise for the teamwork it involved.
Josh Concanen, Josh Searle, Andy Taylor and Bushin all played their part before Kendall was sent clear, and the skipper made no mistake with a cool finish to draw the sides level with 13 minutes remaining.
Tiverton were the only side likely to win it as the clock ran down, with Hill, Bushin and Searle all going close, but both sides seemed satisfied with a point when the full-time whistle sounded.
"We have a few home games coming up and if we can pick up some good results from those then we will be right up there again," added Steele, with Tivvy welcoming Evesham United to Ladysmead this Saturday.
"We had a couple of toughies against Hungerford and Poole and we knew they would be tough games.
"The most disappointing part of the games against the top sides was that we just did not performing on the day.
"But we went on a good run around this time last season after a terrible start and we have made a much better start this season, so things are looking up for us."