Key win gives Teversal upper hand in title race

Brad Cox, who scored one of Teversal's goals and also took the man-of-the-match award.
Brad Cox, who scored one of Teversal's goals and also took the man-of-the-match award.

An impressive and decisive victory over one of their main title contenders has put top-of-the-table Teversal in control of their own destiny in the East Midlands Counties League’s Premier Division.

Until Saturday, Teversal could have been picked off by teams in the chasing pack who have games in hand. But a 3-1 success at home to Anstey Nomads gave them a four-point cushion and they now know that if they win their remaining 17 games, they can’t be caught.

Such an unblemished run is, of course, unlikely, but they were good value against Anstey, exacting revenge for a defeat against the same side earlier in the season.

They had to come from behind too because, after a bright start by Teversal, the Leicestershire visitors struck first in the 27th minute when a cross by Joe Hopewell was clinically finished by James Ireland with a textbook volley.

The hosts were level within a minute. Dave Cockerill produced a superb unorthodox pass that opened up the Anstey defence by sending Kurt Bamford to the by-line, from where he cut the ball back for Matt Wilkinson to net from five yards.

An intriguing and entertaining game continued to swing from end to end, but Teversal took control from the opening minute of the second half when they went 2-1 up. Khyle Sargent found himself with time and space to drive at the Anstey defence before laying an inch-perfect ball into the path of creative midfielder Bamford, who cut in from the right superbly and finished coolly with a low effort at the near post.

The visitors thought they had levelled in a massive goalmouth scramble when claiming the ball had crossed the line after being dropped by home ‘keeper Josh Turton . But the referee would have none of it, and their grievance was compounded in the 53rd minute when Teversal scored again. This time, Wilkinson laid a well-weighted pass to man-of-the-match Brad Cox, who took it in his stride and planted a clinical, first-touch shot in the far corner.

As Teversal turned the screw, Wilkinson saw an effort cleared off the line and striker Danny Fletcher had a goal disallowed for offside before Bamford brought a superb block from Anstey defender Olly Preston.

TEVERSAL LINE-UP -- Turton/ Laister (Levelle 82), Pride, Gregory, Fisher, Sargent, Bamford, Cox (Atkins 80), Fletcher, Cockerill, Wilkinson (Griffiths 75). Subs not used: Travis, Short.