Town recorded a victory on the opening day of the new season for the first time since the 2013/14 season when they travelled to newly promoted Elburton Villa and came away with a convincing 4-1 win. Ironically the victory in 2013 was also 4-1 at Tavistock where Town are in action on Wednesday.
The Villa were promoted back to the Premier Division this season after Stoke Gabriel asked to be relegated as they were unable to meet the FA stipulations regarding floodlights and wished to avoid a heavy fine.
With just two players starting from last season, Steve Avery and Ace High and four players making their competitive debuts, Chris Ibbeson, Mark Lever, Callum Shipton and Kieran Willdigs, Town were quickly into their stride. A shot from Nathan Cooper was deflected onto the inside of the post and rebounded into the hands of a grateful ‘keeper with just nine minutes gone. The home custodian was again relieved when Karl Rickard raced clear and saw his shot also rebound off the inside of the post before being hacked clear. As Town continued to press they were finally rewarded for their efforts on thirty six minutes when Aarron Denny smashed a twenty yard effort against the underside of the bar and Ace High reacted quickest to head home the rebound.
In a rare home attack Robbie Powell was called into action turning away a shot that would have crept into the corner of the goal.
The hosts started the second half in the ascendency and it took a superb reaction save from Powell after forty eight minutes to retain the lead. Whilst a goal for the hosts might have changed the course of the game thereafter Town took control and the second goal finally arrived on sixty six minutes. Lever won the ball in midfield, passed to Rickard and was at the far post to head Rickard’s pin point cross past the ‘keeper.
Two minutes later Rickard was brought down in the box and Cooper made no mistake from the resulting spot kick.
The last five minutes was one debutant Kieran Willdigs will wish to forget. First he unwittingly deflected a wayward shot past Powell and then was shown a straight red card for his reaction to a poor challenge that received a yellow card. It marred a very promising display by the young fullback and whilst no contact was made at this level the referee would be roundly criticised if he did not deem the intent merited a red card.
There was still time for High to race through and score the fourth to round off a very satisfying display for the 50 plus supporters who had made the trip. They in turn received the plaudits from the host club for not just the support they gave to their team but also for drinking the bar dry and eating all the pasties, burgers and hot dogs.
Team: Powell, Avery, Dirrane, Ibbeson, Willdigs, Cooper (Merritt), Lever, Shipton, Denny, High, Rickard (Boere).