LONGFORD TAKE TAVS THE FULL 90 BEFORE PENALTY SHOWDOWN
Taverners welcomed Longford to Snakey Lane in the first round of the Presidents Cup. Manager Harsant was missing some key personnel from the starting line up with Mike Thornton, Jamie Bish, Harry Bennett and Brook Jenner all missing. The windy conditions really made for an untidy affair throughout with both defensives coming out on top. Craig Roberts returned to the Tavs side and his leadership and strength made for an improved Tavs defensive display from recent weeks. Captain Louis Wilkins was as solid as ever at centre back and full backs Shaun Helbrow and Ethan Moulden gave impressive performances. The first half was a battle and a Dean Neale shot from 20 yards was all Tavs could muster in terms of shots at goal. The away side also had the one opportunity when they had a goal ruled out for offside. Highlight of the first 45 minutes was a 50 yard run from Craig Roberts, meandering past players and riding challenges before seeing his shot blocked.
Half time 0-0
The second period produced individual battles and last ditch defending as both teams worked tirelessly but neither could find the quality in the final 3rd. Russell Chamberlain was introduced to add his combative midfield approach and Harsant sent himself on with 10 minutes to go to add a different dimension but the game ended stalemate which was a fair reflection of a match where both sides couldn’t quite find that clinical final ball or shot.
Full time 0-0
Penalties commenced and Neale, Adams, Chamberlain, Moulden and Wilkins dispatched clinically. Tavs keeper Connor Wilkins then saved a Longford penalty to win the game but the referee ruled a re-take as Wilkins stepped off his line. Harsant then struck the cross bar but Longford then blazed over. Freddie Searle scored his penalty but Wilkins was the hero as he saved low to his left hand side to send Tavs into the second round.
Full time after penalties 6-5
Next Saturday Taverners return to league action away at Horsley United, 2pm KO.