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Tiverton Town close gap at top of division

By Mid Devon Gazette  |  Posted: November 13, 2012

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Tiverton Town are only three points adrift of leaders Hungerford Town at the top of Division One South and West of the Evo-Stik League Southern, after last night's 3-1 win over North Leigh in Oxfordshire.

Michael Nardiello put Tivvy in front at Eynsham Park in the 21st minute but North Leigh were level two minutes before the break, when central defender Tom Franklin found the net.

The men from Ladysmead made their long journey worthwhile, however, in the second half. In-form striker Joe Bushin put the visitors ahead in the 50th minute before the three points were made safe nine minutes later.

Nardiello, Bushin's strike partner, was the delivery man with a fine cross and midfielder Andy Taylor did the rest with a diving header.

Third-from-bottom Taunton Town drew 3-3 at Paulton Rovers in a Somerset derby in the same division.

Neil Peek, Simon Ingram and Jamie Short – with an 88th-minute equaliser – were the scorers for the Peacocks. James Billing, Ben Lacey and Marcus Mapstone were on target for Rovers.

Willand Rovers manager Clive Jones hailed the character shown by Lloyd Beech, after the defender went in goal in last Saturday's 5-1 home win over Warminster Town.

The east Devon side found themselves without regular custodian Ryan Draper after the former Plymouth Argyle youngster – who is also a fireman – was called out to a barn blaze on the morning of the Les Phillips Western League Cup first-round tie.

Beech offered to take the gloves and produced a solid display at Silver Street as Willand booked a second-round encounter with Buckland Athletic thanks to goals from Kai Fisher (two), Stan Paxton (two) and Danny Jee.

Jones hailed Beech's commitment to the team's cause, although he admitted Draper's place was not under threat following what he had seen last Saturday.

"Ryan is the consummate professional, so when he was five minutes late I knew something was going on," the long-serving Willand boss explained. "But he is a fireman and there was a fire and some things are obviously more important than football.

"I asked in the changing room before the game who fancied going in and, fair play to Lloyd, he put his and up. I'm not sure how confident he was of playing there but as soon as I saw his hand twitch I went for him and in he went. He did put it up, a bit reluctantly.

"It showed great character from Lloyd to go in but I will say this – he won't be keeping his spot there next week!"

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