KJM SPORT REPORT Tavistock AFC 5 Shepton Mallet AFC 3

Tavi Mallet KJM Sport
It was raining goals at a soaked Langsford Park on Saturday as Tavistock jumped to the top of the table for the first time this season after smashing five goals past previously unbeaten Shepton Mallet.

On a pitch which stood up well to morning downpours, Josh Grant and Liam Prynn hit two goals each and the other was added by Jake Miller as Stuart Henderson’s side underlined their title aspirations.

Jack Fillingham, with two penalties, and Pawid Regula replied for the visitors.

The eight-goal thriller was tighter than the scoreline suggests, with Shepton still very much in the game until Prynn’s strike in the fourth minute of time added on.

For most of the last 20 minutes Shepton looked more likely to make it 4-4 than Tavistock did to end up at 5-3.

It all made for an exciting end to end affair which was a credit to the Western League and a real joy for the 115 supporters who braved the heavy rain.

Shepton arrived in Devon boasting a proud nine-match unbeaten start to the league season but they found themselves behind after only nine minutes as Grant ran on to Josh Parry’s through ball to score.

Fillingham equalised from the penalty spot in the 26th minute but that only seemed to lift the home side, who dominated the remainder of the half.

A Grant free kick was well kept out by Shepton keeper Tom Easterbrook before the best move so far, in the 36th minute, ended with Miller firing a low right foot shot just wide.

Shepton had a great chance to go in front five minutes before the break with a five-on-three situation in the home box but they failed to make the most of the opportunity.

They were almost made to pay a minute later as Tavistock raced to the other end, and Prynn smashed a close range shot against the underside of the bar only to see the ball bounce into Easterbrook’s grateful hands.

It was a surprise that there had only been two goals in a thoroughly entertaining first half. But the second half was about to make up for that.

The impressive Regula produced a fierce low drive to put Shepton ahead for the first time in the 50th minute and the visitors looked well placed to win.

But their hopes were dashed as Tavistock roared back with three goals in seven minutes to establish a 4-2 lead.

The home side’s equaliser on 58 minutes was a close range effort from Grant after the referee waved away Shepton claims for a foul on keeper Easterbrook – I have to say I have seen them given.

Three minutes later Prynn used all of his striker’s know-how to punish sloppy defending and soon after that Miller finished superbly after good work along the left by Josh Robins to make it 4-2.

That would have been enough to have finished most teams but Shepton refused to lie down and when Dave Hallett tripped Regula, Fillingham stepped up to score his second penalty of the game to reduce the arrears to 4-3.

With a minimum of 14 minutes left, the visitors piled forward and they came close to equalising in the 78th minute when Conrad Peck’s shot was cleared off the line by sub Iestyn Harris.

Three minutes later Fin Haines looked certain to end a mazy run across the penalty area with a goal but Cory Sargent made a brilliantly-timed goal-saving tackle.

A minute later Shepton sub Jacob Lyons produced a defence-splitting pass to send Fillingham clear but Tavistock keeper Josh Oak raced off his line to make a brave save at the striker’s feet.

It seemed only a matter of time before Shepton equalised but Tavistock stood firm and in a breakaway attack in the fourth and final minute of time added on they finally made sure of the points with a fine low finish from Prynn.

Tavistock J Oak, B Cross, J Robins (C Sargent 68), J Parry, L Daw, W Daw (I Harris 73), J Miller, D Hallett, L Prynn, J Grant (D Koita 62), T Rosenquest.

Goals: J Grant 9 & 58, L Prynn 61 & 90+4, J Miller 65

Shepton Mallet T Easterbrook, C Gould, A Martin, N Hewlett, G Marris-Edwards, C Loxton, F Haines, C Peck, J Fillingham, N Legge, P Regula (J Lyons 81).

Subs: J Eveny-Bradley, S Lambert.

Goals: J Fillingham 26 & 75, both pens, P Regula 50

Referee Lee Roberts 

Attendance 115

SWSN Stars Tavistock – L Prynn; Shepton Mallet – J Fillingham.

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