Football: Taunton primed to turn the tables
Friday 12 March 1999
It is a fixture that in recent years has had a big influence on the outcome of the Screwfix Direct Western League title race, which has been won by Tiverton four times in the past five years and by Taunton in 1996.
Both sides could probably hold their own in the Conference but, for geographical and financial reasons, they have been content with regional football at a lower level - until now, that is. Tiverton have applied for promotion to the Dr Martens League this summer.
If the Devon side do go up, it will bring to an end their active rivalry with Taunton. The club from the Somerset county town left the Southern League due to a lack of funds in 1983, and they do not feel ready to return.
Tomorrow, though, when the two sides meet at Taunton's Wordsworth Drive ground, much more than league points and regional pride will be at stake. The prize for the winners of two all-ticket semi-final legs is a place in the final of the FA Carlsberg Vase at Wembley in May, against either Bedlington Terriers or Thame United.
If Tiverton prevail after the second leg at their Ladysmead home tomorrow week, it will be their third trip to Wembley. They lost the 1993 Vase final to Bridlington Town, but were victorious against Tow Law Town in the same event last year.
After leading until they conceded a penalty in the ninth minute of second- half injury time, Taunton were beaten in extra time of the 1994 Vase final by Diss Town, so their hunger for success this year may be greater. They have played second fiddle to Tiverton in recent seasons, but now they feel they have the edge at last over their great rivals.
After Tiverton's 2-1 defeat at Bridport on Tuesday, Taunton have a 12- point lead at the top of the Western League over the champions and the Vase holders, and they have played one fewer game. "This year we feel we are at least equal with them, if not better," the Somerset side's manager, Russell Musker, said. "We can certainly compete."
The ambition for Musker and his men is not just to reach Wembley but to make up for last season, when Taunton were beaten by Tow Law in the Vase semi-finals.
"I've never been so disappointed in all my footballing career," the former Bristol City and Torquay United midfielder said.
"We lost to a side that nine times out of 10 we would have beaten. Everybody at the club was gutted."
This year, though, it could be Taunton's turn to smile.
- 1 Secret Cinema interview: Why were Back to the Future screenings cancelled?
- 2 Christians: The world's most persecuted people
- 3 Israel-Gaza conflict: The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
- 4 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
- 5 Iraq crisis: End 'very near' for Christianity after Isis takeover, says Bishop
Israel-Gaza conflict: John Prescott condemns bombardment of Gaza as a 'war crime'
Thatcher ‘was warned of Tory child sex party claims’
Israel-Gaza conflict: President Obama presses Netanyahu to call ‘immediate and unconditional’ Gaza ceasefire
Lauren Goodger calls for tougher laws on revenge porn after sex tape leaks online
Iraq crisis: End 'very near' for Christianity after Isis takeover, says Bishop
Israel-Gaza conflict: The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Opponents of Israel's military operation in Gaza are the real enemies of Middle Eastern peace
Were 'Poor Doors' added to mixed developments so wealthy residents don't have to go in alongside social housing tenants?
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
iJobs Money & Business
£28000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Training/Learning and Development Co...
£28000 - £32000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Training Programme Manage...
£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established professional services...
£600 - £650 per day: Orgtel: Conduct Risk Liaison Manager - Banking - London -...