Non League Daily

Tony Incenzo's Ground of the Week: Larkhall Athletic

Groundhopper Tony Incenzo made a visit to Larkhall Athletic as they hosted Taunton Town in the Evo-Stik League Southern Division one South and West. You can follow Tony on Twitter at @tonyincenzo

Larkhall Athleic 3 Taunton Town 0
28 March 2015
Plain Ham, Larkhall
Attendance 162
Football grounds visited - 1,959

Taunton well beaten as Tyler gets a hat-trick

The Larks commenced the game with a high attacking line, Matt Thorne partnering Tyler Sibbick up front with support from a roaming Ross Lye. It took a little while for the game to get into its stride and the first real action was some good tracking back from Jamie Lyons as Taunton pushed forward. The Larks’ first shot on goal came about as Tyler and Joe Tumelty combined well but the ball came off the post. Thorney then went on a solo run only for his looping shot to go way over the bar.

As ever Tyler’s strength on the ball was causing the opposition defence some problems and he had a chance off a useful knock on from Jamie but was flagged offside. Undeterred he won the first of many corners from which Jamie side footed past the post. Taunton keeper Lloyd Irish made a poor clearance but we couldn't take advantage.

Persistent pressure from the Larks broke the deadlock on 25 minutes when Tyler placed a trademark header fiercely into the goal from Ollie's neat ball into the box. Going 1-0 down seemed to give the Peacocks fresh energy and Jake Gardner did well to run the ball out at the expense of a corner. Josh Barrington saved the attempt but the ball stayed in the danger zone and was only kept out by a last-ditch clearance off the line from Rob Hobbs. A further chance for the visitors was scrambled clear but on the whole they looked more of a threat in the last few minutes of the half, which concluded with a superb punch clear from Josh off a corner.

Taunton looked sharper than hitherto early in the second half but the Larks were playing with confidence and soon won a corner as Joe exploited a defensive mistake. Taunton’s woes were exacerbated when Tyler got his brace, another header supplied by a nod on from Ollie at close range.

To their credit Taunton did keep probing but the blustery conditions made it difficult for them to control the ball for long. Josh got to a would-be strike and then their number 11 Graham Mercieca was through on goal but fired wide. The Larks in turn had good possession in and around the Taunton area and Ross blasted narrowly past the post from some 30 yards out.

Matt Morris came on for Thorney with half an hour to go and his energetic running tested the Taunton defence even more. Tyler’s strength on the ball won yet another corner after a great interception from Lyno. Taunton were being forced to make a number of frantic clearances as the Larks tried find a way through to make it 3-0.

That third goal did eventually come. Hobbo, who had a fine game, went on a brilliant run but didn’t have the right support to make it count. Taunton then won a free kick in a dangerous position just outside our area but the shot went tamely into the defensive wall. Hobbo then turned provider, setting up Matty Morris for a great run into the Taunton box, where he was promptly brought down for a clear penalty.

Unlike last weekend Tyler belted the penalty safely home past Irish for a deserved hat-trick. The Larks were completely in the driving seat by now and more chances followed. Ross’s solo run petered out for a goal kick and a fabulous ball from Joe to Tyler was thwarted by the Taunton defence.

The game should have ended with a fourth goal for the Larks as Ollie surged into the box after a free kick supplied by Hobbo. Our captain was fouled on the edge of the area for a second penalty but sub Chris Pile didn’t put enough on the shot and it was fairly easily saved by Irish.

Missed penalty notwithstanding this was another important win against a top side that can only strengthen the Larks’ hopes of ending the season in a play-off spot.



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