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Saturday 4th February 2017 ko 15.00

Southern League Division One South & West

TIVERTON TOWN 2 (L. Landricombe 11 47)

BRIDGWATER TOWN 0

Att 206

Entry £9

Programme £2

All sorts of coincidences happened for me to be at Ladysmead. For a start the torrential rain held off for a couple of hours longer than expected, saving an already sodden pitch. Then the police decided that swindon vs Oxford United game really ought to played Sunday lunchtime (no argument from me!) then girlfriend Robyn really wanted to be dropped off at Bristol City’s home game. But the real reason I was there was Mathew Thresher.

Mathew and I have followed each other on Twitter since I visited Willand Rovers nearby. He was physio there, but has switched to Tiverton, and as soon as he worked out I hadn’t paid Tivvy a visit he suggested I come along. Mathew all it took was a few coicidences!

The ground lies close to Tiverton castle, sadly not visible from the ground, the spire you can see is of St Peter’s Church, but the town does have the distinction of once having one of Britain’s last independent police forces. Perhaps of less importance is that Bucks Fizz singer Bobby G hails from here?

The biggest surprise visiting here is just how well appointed it is. There’s little or nothing that hasn’t been thought of. I strolled round and thought, “This place has got to have staged Conference football, retired to the clubhouse and was amazed that they’ve only played one notch higher than this, the Southern League Premier. There’s cover on all four sides, a club shop, a tea bar; I’ve seen less well-equipped League grounds!

A few weeks ago I explored the idea of the derby game where both sides have other rivals but still have each other to hate. With Bristol City and Cardiff City the closest rivals are Bristol Rovers and Swansea City, but for Tiverton and Bridgwater the closest rivalry is the same club- Taunton Town! But once again the “Since you’re here” principle was in force so a bumper crowd watched Devon face-off against Somerset.

Sadly it looks likely that this fixture will go into abeyance, Bridgwater are second-from-bottom on only 10 points and only fleetingly looked like adding to that tally. In contrast Tiverton are nicely esconced in the play-off zone, and managed to win this one without ever really being stretched. In the end I watched a team in yellow beat a team in red, which I hoped would be a portent for the next day’s game. To add to that feeling I overheard a couple of directors at half-time….

They were interrogating Twitter, to get the scores from their rivals for promotion, and someone piped up “Oh good, swindon are losing!” He of course meant Supermarine, but I know what I meant…..I smiled and finished my coffee.

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