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Bovey Tracey 1, Ivybridge Town 1

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Bovey Tracey 1, Ivybridge Town 1

(Bovey Tracey won 4-3 on penalties)

 Press Release from Graham Hambly

AN injury-time penalty dashed Ivybridge Town’s hopes of progress in the FA Vase when they were held to a 1-1 draw before losing 4-3 on penalties at Bovey Tracey in the first round of the competition on Saturday (Oct 22).

The teams looked evenly matched in the early stages, but Ivybridge were handed an advantage in the 34th minute when Bovey were reduced to ten men with Will Allen being sent off following a foul challenge which referee Lee Roberts deemed worthy of a straight red card.

Ivybridge made their numerical advantage count in the 74th minute when Luke Forward pounced at close range for his ninth goal of the season following a well-worked move.

Substitute Harvey Tomlinson could have wrapped up victory for Ivybridge in the closing stages but lacked the finishing touch to take advantage of a decent opportunity.

That proved costly as Bovey were awarded a penalty for handball in the eighth of nine minutes added at the end of the game and Lee Hildreth equalised with the spot kick.

That took the tie into a penalty shoot out in which goalkeeper Kane Gregory gave Ivybridge an early boost when he saved the first penalty from Tom Burt.

But then Josh Zimmerman suffered the same fate with the first spot kick for Ivybridge.

It was then all square at 3-3 as Neil Last, Si Laughton and Lee Hildreth successfully converted for Bovey while skipper Scott Pocock, Jordan Ewing and Jacob Smelt replied for Ivybridge.

Then came the final attempts of the first five kicks and Brad Crocombe did the necessary for Bovey to put pressure on Ivybridge’s Owen Raven, who had the misfortune to fire wide and signal the start of celebrations for the home side.

Ivybridge manager Darren Stewart was more disappointed, however, that his side failed to clinch victory without the need for penalties. He said: “We had an hour to win the game playing against ten men.

“You can look at the decision which led to their penalty in the last couple of minutes as a harsh decision against us but the truth of the matter is you can use that as an excuse. We have had an hour against ten men and should have been good enough to wrap up the game on the day.

“We never really controlled the game as we would want to against ten men and we could have been caught out on the break a couple of times. Bovey had just as many chances as us and it is not really acceptable from our standards.”

Ivybridge went into the game without four of their regular team members, defenders Jake Lane and Mitch Williams, midfielder Steve Rogers and attacker Fletcher Williams.

Stewart explained: “Jake Lane pulled out with illness this morning and Steve Rogers decided he was not available this morning while the other two players were away.

“It meant we had four players out unfortunately. It is something we have to try to deal with as a squad but on the day we were not good enough and not strong enough to get the job done.”

Ivybridge will aim to put Saturday’s cup disappointment behind them on Wednesday (Oct 26) when they return to league action with a home match against Dartmouth, one of their rivals at the top of the East Division of the South West Peninsula League.

Dartmouth are currently fourth in the table following Saturday’s 2-0 home defeat against Okehampton, who are now level on points with leaders Ivybridge but in second place on goal difference.

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