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Landricombe's wonder goal sends Town to defeat

Ben Stephens wheels away to celebrate after scoring his 19th goal of the season against Tiverton. Photo: Steve Wood
Ben Stephens wheels away to celebrate after scoring his 19th goal of the season against Tiverton. Photo: Steve Wood

A WONDER strike from Levi Landricombe saw Stratford Town fall to a cruel 2-1 defeat to Tiverton Town at the MoodChimp Stadium on Tuesday night.

Landricombe's 80th-minute thunderbolt left Town wondering where it went wrong after dominating large periods of a fractious second half.

Stratford’s line-up showed two changes from the 4-0 defeat to Kettering, with Charlie Evans and Justin Marsden replacing the unavailable Loyiso Recci and Lee Thomas.

There was no starting place for striker Mike Taylor, who was named on the substitutes’ bench after completing his two-match ban.

Tiverton’s team saw a first start for 17-year-old goalkeeper Liam Armstrong, on loan from Bristol Rovers. His inclusion proved pivotal on the night.

Town got off to the worst possible start, going behind inside two minutes. Jordan Rogers' 25-yard rocket came back off the bar and Jamie Short was in the right place to head home the rebound.

The goal gave Stratford the jolt they needed and were awarded a penalty in the 15th minute.

Ben Stephens was brought down in the area by Jamie Price, only for Edwin Ahenkorah to see his tame effort saved by Armstrong.

Further chances fell for Stephens, Justin Marsden and Eli Bako, but Tiverton, and in particular Armstrong, held firm to lead at the break.

Armstrong produced another fine save just after the restart to deny Stephens, but Town's top scorer got the better of the Tiverton No.1 moments later.

Skipper James Fry's long ball forward sent Stephens on his way and the forward kept his cool, tucking it past Armstrong with aplomb.

At this point, it looked as if Town would go on to win it as they were dominating territory and the chances were soon clocking up. Armstrong, however, had other ideas and he made a couple of fine stops to deny Stephens and keep it at 1-1.

Ten minutes from time, Stratford were made to pay for their wastefulness. Charlie Evans gave away a free-kick on the edge of the area, which Landricombe fired straight into the Town wall. The ball ricocheted back to Tiverton's leading scorer and he rifled it home at the second attempt.

Stratford piled on the pressure in the final ten minutes with Mike Taylor and Dan Summerfield going close, but Tiverton held on to leave Town with nothing to show for their efforts.

The win moves Tiverton up to seven in the Evo-Stik South Premier table, while Town remain in 15th, with their pre-season target of tenth looking increasingly unlikely.

Stratford Town: Louis Connor, Dan Summerfield, Charlie Evans, James Hancocks, James Fry (c), Liam Francis, Eli Bako (Mike Taylor 72), Justin Marsden, Edwin Ahenkorah, Will Grocott, Ben Stephens. Subs not used: Andy Gallinagh, George Dawson.

Tiverton Town: Liam Armstrong, Jamie Short, Mike Landricombe, Owen Irish, Tom Gardner, Tom Bath, Jared Lewington, Jordan Rogers, Levi Landricombe, Scott Rogers. Subs not used: Nick Hurst, George Rogers, Kye Mountford.

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