Saunders delighted with spirit of Tiverton
Mark Saunders has hailed the character of his Tiverton Town team, claiming it is one of the hallmarks of a decent side.
Saunders' comments came in the wake of the Yellows' unlikely 3-2 victory over local rivals Taunton Town in the first round of the Red Insure Southern League Cup.
The hosts were on the back foot for much of Saturday's game and down to ten men due to injury for the closing stages, but twice came from behind to level before snatching a winner in the 90th minute.
Saunders conceded his side's technical performance had been found wanting on the day, but praised their team spirit in the wake of a difficult afternoon.
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"The team spirit is there for all to see and in the dressing room they are a good, close-knit bunch of lads," he said.
"It was not a vintage performance by any means but we have dug in, kept going and that is the only good thing that has come out it from our point of view. If we were going to get anything out of that game, then we had to improve and in turning it around it showed a lot about our character.
"It is also the sign of a good side. To not play well at all but come away having won the game is very good."
Showing character, particularly at home, is something Tivvy have had to do more than Saunders would have liked this season.
In their past four matches at Ladysmead, Tiverton have conceded the opening goal three times – against Bridgwater Town, Shortwood United, and on Saturday against the Peacocks.
But, of those three games, the Yellows have gone on to win two and draw one, scoring six goals in the process. They also won when they opened the scoring in the league game against Taunton.
Unfortunately, victory over the Somerset outfit – who had legendary former Tiverton manager Martyn Rogers on the touchline as assistant manager alongside Leigh Robinson – came at a price for Tivvy last weekend.
Teenage striker Owen Howe, who assistant manager Hedley Steele last week confirmed had attracted the interest of higher-league clubs, will be out of action for up to four weeks after rolling his ankle.
The club's medical staff were confident the youngster had not suffered a fracture, but his ankle was badly swollen and Howe was in some pain as he left the field of play.
"You don't mind so much if it is a knock or a kick but he has rolled it over quite badly," Saunders said. "Jules [Emati-Emati] came back in to have a run-out but he looked way off the pace too, but it is about having the squad and we used ours to get the result."