Team: Kenny, Hill, Leigertwood, Hall, Gorkss, Derry, Buzsaky, Faurlin, Mackie, Clarke, Helguson.
Subs: Cerny, Ramage, Borrowdale, Stewart, Connolly, Parker, Ephraim, German.
Kicking off our pre-season campaign this summer was the trip to Tavistock in deepest Devon. I would of loved to have spent more time there but with no operational train station in the vicinity, I was relieved when Roger Stokes phoned me to confirm that he was going to drive there.
‘The Lambs’ were founded in 1888 and this coincided with the foundation of the Devon County FA. Their first match was against the Duke of Cornwall Light Infantry which ended in a 1-0 victory. By 1892, they were playing at Green Lane, Torlands, which was situated on the edge of Dartmoor. One match had to be postponed because wild ducks had set up home in a flooded penalty area and then stayed there for a week or so !!! They continued to change venues and in 1939 they amalgamated with a number of other clubs in the town. Salmon pink shirts with chocolate collars and cuffs made way for the red and black. In 1947, the Club President, Herbert Thomas Langsford, purchased what is now Langsford Park, which he then gave to the club under Trust two years later.
The ground is in a lovely setting and in a beautiful part of the County. The latter part of our journey took us around the edge of Dartmoor. We made for the Clubhouse and it wasn’t long before Alan Barnes walked in. He was staying in Torquay and he told us that it had been quite a trek just getting from there to Tavistock, but he made it in good time for a pint despite having to make three or four changes en route. I didn’t realise that Tom Harrison had been so ill recently, but he was there with Pat of course, so we were relieved to see him looking a bit like his old self again. It started drizzling and Alan told one of the locals that we hadn’t experienced rain in London for over three months !
The small Stand soon filled up and thankfully the rain managed to stop well in time for the kick-off. Out of convenience and habit, we stood in our ‘Saturday Morning’ positions…by the corner flag. We worked out the new arrivals but surprisingly it was Kaspars Gorkss who we had difficulty recognising with his hair now well trimmed. We reckoned that the first goal from Buzz was scored in under ten seconds but once it went up on ‘You Tube’, I’ve now been assured that it is most definitely twelve seconds. Buzsaky had got the goal feast under way when the ball came in low from Mackie on the right and he was on hand to score from around the six-yard box.
A few minutes later, Leon Clarke clipped the outside of the post. Our second came after around 13 minutes when Mackie was fouled following a good run. Buzsaky curled the resulting free kick into the net from just outside the ‘D’, and past a stranded keeper. He was still rooted to the spot when the ball bounced out again. However, he denied the R’s a further goal when he made a superb finger-tip save, I think from Faurlin, which he put round the post. Clint Hill scored number three with a header. The impressive Mackie made it four just after the half-hour mark when, after a neat turn, he hit the ball low into the net from just outside the box.
As expected, Neil Warnock made seven changes after the interval. A lovely one-two was played which enabled Hogan to finish off neatly for number five. The lively Josh Parker was the next to score when he headed Gary Borrowdale’s cross into the net. Rangers looked very fit and were easily controlling the game. Faurlin rattled in number seven when his low shot was seemingly seen too late by the keeper. The eighth and final goal was put away by Hogan Ephraim a few minutes from time.
There was a good turnout of R’s fans and it seemed that many of them were from the West Country. I was pleased to see Diane from Teignmouth again and fellow Devon R, Paula. Well done to Roger for clocking up over 440 miles and then dropping me off in Northolt to catch the night bus home.
Photos by Mark Truman: www.try-eye.smugmug.com
Apart from the programme cover, the other images featured above are copyright but permission was kindly given by Mark.