Cup and league defeats for Mangos
MANGOTSFIELD United kicked off the season proper with a trip to Toolstation League side Tavistock in the FA Cup Preliminary Round.
They had concluded their pre-season programme with home wins over Longwell Green (2-1) and Stonehouse Town (4-0), which useful game time for the young squad.
The boys were particularly impressive against Hellenic League side Stonehouse Town, racing into a 3-0 half time lead, with some scintillating football and superb goals.
But the trip to Tavistock on September 12 was always going to be a stern test, despite the hosts being a lower-league side.
Tavistock, like a few other of the Devon-based Toolstation League sides, have put together a strong squad this season.
The Field enjoyed the majority of the play in the opening ten minutes, but neither keeper was really tested until Tavistock’s Tyler Elliott scored from 20 yards, to give Tavvy a first-half lead.
A double substitution around the hour mark changed the way the Mangos were playing, and paid dividends as substitute Marcus Kelly passed two Tavistock defenders to fire home on 65 minutes.
However, eight minutes later Tavistock regained the lead through a penalty. Keeper Jakob Glover saved Jack Crago’s initial shot, parrying the ball back into the 18-yard box, but Crago netted from the rebound.
The Devon side then stood firm to hold on for a 2-1 win and a place in the next round.
Fixtures in the Pitching In Southern Football League began in front of 220 spectators on September 19, when pre-season promotion favourites Frome Town took all three points away from Cossham Street, thanks to a second-half strike by Rex Mannings.
A spirited performance by Mangotsfield’s side, which included eight teenagers in the starting XI, meant there was very little to choose between the sides in the first half. The hosts then lost skipper Mircea Ilea to injury but continued to battle well.
Mangotsfield started brightly in the second period, with Andre Freckleton’s right wing cross falling just wide of the post and then Jai Semenyo heading a corner just wide of goal, with Frome keeper James Carey beaten.
However, the visitors began to up their game and take control of midfield, the breakthrough coming on 63 minutes when Rex Mannings converted a low cross from the left to fire home the only goal from five yards.
The next game at Cossham Street will be Willand Rovers on Tuesday October 6, 7.45pm.