Nervy Oak Villa hold off Tavvy fightback to maintain title tilt
AN ARCHETYPAL game of two halves saw Vospers Oak Villa continue their title chase after a nervy 4-3 triumph at Tavistock Community.
After a cagey opening 20 minutes, Vospers took control, with James Jackson giving them the lead and Richard Conn doubling it with a half-volley.
And they showed no mercy, as left-back James Fuller raced forward with the ball to score a memorable first goal for the club, and an instinctive Matty Thompson goal ensured his side led 4-0 after 45 minutes.
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Tavistock looked for a much-needed reaction, and got it, with substitutes Max Scragg and Sam Hicks combining from a rehearsed corner as Hicks finished from the edge of the area.
The goal rallied Tavvy, and another soon followed, again from a corner, Scragg this time the scorer, with a superb diving header from James Phillpots' ball.
With three minutes remaining, it was 4-3, with Scragg capping a wonderful cameo with another strike from a free-kick, but time ran out for the underdogs.
It was a spirited comeback after such a one-sided first half, and Vospers were more than relieved to hear the final whistle.
Elsewhere, it was a tale of two penalties as Manadon edged out Plympton RBL 2-1 at West Park.
The pitch was deemed playable with the help of some sand, and although RBL started the stronger, Manadon went ahead when Wayne Jago toe-poked the ball just over the line after a goalmouth scramble.
Plympton were given the opportunity to level soon after, but a Paul England spot-kick was saved and held onto impressively by Alex Johnston.
The visitors, playing only their fifth league game, were made to pay as Manadon's Ryan Houghton was awarded a penalty after a determined run, which he dispatched to open up a two-goal lead.
After the break the game remained tight, with RBL exerting more pressure, and they got their just deserts when Andy Hampton headed home from a set-piece with 20 minutes remaining.
Second-placed Manadon ran out of steam in the closing stages, with their lack of match practice evident, as they resorted to running the clock down, but they held on for the points.
SHANE SUTHERLAND tapped-in the only goal of the game as a stuttering Morley Rangers B side toppled leaders Tavistock Hire Centre.
In what was Morley's first game in nearly two months, and they grabbed the decisive goal when Ricky Hitt's effort was pushed onto the post, falling for Sutherland to slot home on 15 minutes.
The result also gave the hosts their first shutout of the campaign, though Tavistock were wasteful and clearly missing talisman Des Newton, who is out for the season with knee ligament damage.
Jamie Rowe missed a one-on-one, while Dave Wilkinson and Kurt Hadaway were also guilty of fluffing chances in an even encounter.
Morley themselves had a goal disallowed for offside before the interval, and could have given themselves a more comfortable conclusion to the game if Lewis Hurrell's free-kick hadn't gone just past the post.
PLYMOUTH Spurs keeper Ben Nash kept his third consecutive clean sheet as his side went to the top of the division with a 5-0 victory over Harveys Garage Services.
In a one-sided affair, Spurs quickly got into their stride, with a thundering header from Ian Chapple opening the scoring, before John Craven opened his account to make it 2-0.
A third goal came before half-time, as Tom Ward's exquisite pass set Andy Wall clear to finish.
Harveys had a penalty shout waved away when Jamie Eddy tumbled after cutting in from the wing.
After the interval, man of the match Paul Collins came into his own, dancing through the visitors' defence and slotting home, typifying his dominating midfield display. Craven rounded things off, finding the goal after capitalising on Shane Whatton's audacious scooped pass which found him in the box. Harveys looked rusty after an extended break, while in stark contrast, the new leaders looked assured on the ball.