Tavistock 2 - 0 Hallen
Saturday 9th September 2017
Hallen shook off their grim start to the Premier Division season and gave SW Peninsula League champions Tavistock a real run for their money on Saturday in the FA Vase 1st Qualifying Round writes Kerry Miller.
A sound display, despite having around ten men unavailable for various reasons, kept Hallen in the hunt until 15 minutes from time but strikes from substitute Jack Tribble and Danny Sullivan, from the penalty spot ended what had been a superb week for the Devon Lambs. A week earlier more than 300 had seen them fight back to draw 2-2 with Southern League Taunton Town at Langsford Park in the FA Cup before finishing the job at Wordsworth Drive on Tuesday night and wrap up a home draw with Frome Town next Saturday.
For Saturday’s Vase tie no more than 60 turned up on a squally day and they were almost cheering straight away as Tyler Elliott broke but he shot just wide with Hallen keeper Mitch Wooley scrambling. Top scorer Jack Crago then crossed for Rikki Shepherd who just failed to make contact before young full back Josh Robins crossed for Crago to bring a save out of Wooley. Hallen survived and ventured forward with Tyler Davis and Mike Perham setting up Scott Cousins, whose shot lacked power. Tavistock were looking understandingly leggy after the dramas against Taunton and Hallen occasionally looked dangerous as they sensed the predicted heavy defeat may not be on the cards and after the defence had again crowded out Crago when in on goal, Calum Townsend went on a good run which ended with a save from Josh Oak in the home goal.
As the rain increased Sullivan hit a neat free-kick inches wide and the same man saw his shot cannon out to Jake Miller and he brought a fine save from Wooley to close out a goalless half.
Tavistock reacted to a half-time discussion and were strong at the start of the second half with Elliott finding Crago on the far post whose header was pushed wide but it was all Tavy until Nick Galla limped off to be replaced by Shadrack Twum-Barima then just on the hour mark Davis and Luke Mills linked for the latter to side-foot a shot which just clipped the top of the bar with Oak beaten. Hallen were having a good spell and Davis got in to shoot under Oak but Robins was back to clear off the line then Scott Thomas put Mills in again who shot over.
It was as good as it got for Hallen as Tavy began to assert themselves once more pushing Hallen deeper and Crago shot wide again before substitute Tribble was introduced which changed the game with ten minutes to go. Wooley again kept out Crago who looked destined to score but in the end it was Tribble who stabbed home after the ball pinged around the area to burst Hallen’s balloon.
Tavy then went for broke and Crago was fouled in the area by Dan Payne leaving Sullivan to do the rest and set up a home tie with Helston in the next round.
A Hallen spokesman said during the game ..”Sadly some of our lads seem to have had ‘Tavistockitis’ with the thought of a six hour round trip”, but those who made the trip did the club proud and now look to Tuesday’s home bottom of the table clash with Longwell Green Sports.