Struggling Teversal freely admit they have reached crisis point after suffering a heavy defeat at the hands of buoyant Bottesford Town in the Toolstation Northern Counties East League’s First Division.
Title contenders Bottesford, who have now won 11 on the bounce since losing their opening-day game, inflicted a 5-2 scoreline on Tevie, who have lost five of their eight home games in the league this term.
“It’s a case of back to basics and a true test for the management team,” confessed club secretary Kev Newton this week.
“We have to rectify the team’s lack of confidence and go back to that promise we showed early season. The players need to show the character and commitment to turn the faltering form round. It’s time for the club to find out who really wants to do their best for Teversal FC.”
It was never in doubt that confident Bottesford, who have yet to drop a single point away from home, would extend their impressive winning streak at Carnarvon Street.
From the off, they were the dominant force, so it was no surprise that the Lincolnshire club took the lead after only seven minutes when a high-tempo move reduced Teversal to statues and Terry Barwick’s pinpoint pass picked up Martin Pembleton ghosting in behind the defence to calmly finish past stranded ‘keeper Dale Sheppard.
The home side responded with an effort by Brett Watson, from Jacob Tittley’s floated a free-kick into the penalty area that was cleared off the line by Ryan Short. But it was 2-0 on the quarter-hour mark when more schoolboy defending saw a free-kick by Danny Gibbons drift into the box where Lee Ridley easily guided home a header, unchallenged.
Two minutes later, the game was over as a contest when a more direct approach by Bottesford saw Short lump the ball forward for Josh Nicholl to head on into the untracked run of Barwick, who had the time, space and composure to lift the ball over the advancing Sheppard.
Bottesford appeared to take their foot of the gas for a while and after Brad Cox had been denied by an excellent save from Leigh Herrick, Teversal pulled a goal back on 40 minutes as Richard Guest spread the ball out to Gary Atkins, who produced a terrific near-post cross that invited Khyle Sargent to powerfully head home.
However, if the Tevie management team were hoping their side could hold on until half-time, they were wrong. For just three minutes later, Bottesford raised the tempo once more to make it 4-1. Barwick was again the architect with a thunderous 30-yard effort that smashed against the bar, and veteran midfielder Wayne Graves reacted quickest to head in the rebound.
Only a minute into the second half, Graves struck again when left in time and space to deliver a far-post cross that found Tom Spall, who was allowed the freedom of Teversal to head a fifth.
Who knows what the final score might have been if the visitors had not been reduced to ten men by a straight red card in the 52nd minute. Striker Nicholl gave the referee his easiest decision of the game when he dangerously and recklessly slid in to Sheppard as the Teversal ‘keeper gathered the ball.
As the numerical advantage took effect, Teversal started to have a share of the play. And they netted another consolation goal five minutes later when Sheppard’s free-kick found man-of-the-match Kyle Hempshall, who calmly gathered the ball before laying across the six-yard box for Guest to fire home.
However, although the home side had the better of the possession in the final half-hour, the outcome was never in doubt as Bottesford arguably picked up the easiest of their 11 consecutive victories and really didn’t need to demonstrate their credentials as promotion candidates.
This Saturday, Teversal are off on their travels again, with a trip to Glasshoughton Welfare, who are one of only seven teams now below them in the table.
TEVERSAL LINE-UP -- Sheppard/ Moody, Tittley (Widdowson 75), Gregory, Hempshall, Sargent, Atkins, Watson (Coupe 60), Guest, Cox (Short M. 75), McCann. SUBS NOT USED: Short D., Charlesworth.