In a pulsating Remembrance Day encounter at The NL Services Stadium, Bristol Manor Farm faced an agonising 2-3 defeat against Tavistock, writes William Ledbury.
The game began with both teams showing intent, but it was Tavistock who drew first blood with a goal that then set the match’s dramatic tone. Ollie Woodhouse, who hasn’t put a foot wrong since signing in the summer, unfortunately headed into his own net with goalkeeper Seth Locke rooted and unable to prevent the opener. Manor Farm, who were left understandably shellshocked by the own goal, ridiculously found themselves two goals down just 60 seconds later when the prolific Liam Prynne glanced a header into the far right corner. Even after seeing their team 2-0 down, a healthy 244 Farmers fans came out to cheer their team on, and arguably none more so than Jayden Nielsen, who fought hard to keep the flame alive.
A Nielsen corner just missed the right bodies who could convert a goalmouth scramble on 51 minutes in Farm’s favour. That move certainly gave the Farmy Army something to cheer for, and thanks to the introduction of Daniel Dodimead and Ben Bament, The NL Services Stadium was rocking again on 68 minutes. Fancy footwork from Nielsen allowed him to enter the Tavistock penalty area and lash a deadly strike past Dearing to reduce the deficit. Just 10 minutes later, Ollie Woodhouse redeemed his earlier mistake when he was carelessly hurled to the floor by Dearing. Up stepped Nielsen to bury his second of the afternoon to level the afternoon’s score. Evander Grubb very nearly stole the headlines on 83 minutes when his curling right foot strike was expertly tipped over. Theo Llewellyn was handed an early shower on 90 minutes when he was given an incredibly harsh second yellow for a 50/50 challenge. Certainly, that decision left a sour taste in the mouth of the Farm, but what happened just minutes later was something nobody could have predicted. Football can be a cruel game, and just as Lee Lashenko’s side thought they had secured at least a point, Tavistock dealt a devastating blow. A long ball from the visiting defence approached the Farm penalty area, and rare miscommunication from Josh Ford and Locke meant the pair collided leaving Prynne the simple enough task of tapping home the winner. Despite the heartbreaking defeat, the Farmy Army can take pride in the valiant effort they put forth on the pitch – including Nielsen’s heroic double which showcased the young side’s never-say-die attitude that defines the spirit of the club.