Premier Division

Ivybridge Town 2,

St Austell 4

Ivybridge are facing two trips across the Tamar in five days this week as they look to finish the season on a high note writes Tim Leigh.

With just five games remaining, Town sit sixth in the table, level on points with seventh-placed Witheridge having played three more games. Tomorrow sees them travel to Camelford hoping to avoid three losses in a row after defeats last week to Saltash and league leaders St Austell in a six-goal thriller at Erme Valley.

Following the Camelford match, the Bridgers are in action midweek when they tackle Callington on Wednes­day evening.

Ivybridge Town’s general manager Brian Howard was disappointed with his side’s defeats in the last week, but was also left frustrated by the refereeing decisions in Town’s clash with champions Austell.

The Saltash game, which Ivybridge lost 3-1, saw Town start brightly and deservedly go ahead through Lee Doel before losing their way in what Howard described as a crazy 15 minutes.

He said: ‘We lost our way badly, capitulation is the word, I think. A lack of concentration at the back cost us three goals, it was very disappointing.’

If his side had only themselves to blame for the loss away, the match against St Austell was more frustrating for the Bridgers’ fans.

Town knew they were in for a hard game against Austell, who are a very strong outfit, but two controversial red cards and a disputed penalty left them with little chance of getting anything from the match.

Howard was proud of the way his side, who played with nine men for significant portion of the game, performed in the 2-4 loss, but couldn’t mask his anger at the decisions.

He said: ‘It was a good game marred by the decisions. I can moan all I like but it’s not going to change the result, so we just have to try and pick up as many points as possible now and see where we finish up.’

Ivybridge fell a goal behind to the reigning league champions before levelling up in spectacular fashion through a diving Joe Truelove header from a cross by Jordan Walton. Two more Austell goals meant the Bridgers were 3-1 behind at half time but were playing pretty well.

The first controversial moment came when defender Todd Hanrahan was shown a straight red card for a tackle, with Howard claiming Hanra­han was himself the victim of a similar tackle minutes earlier that saw no card brandished.

Despite going down to 10 men, Town were the next to score as Truelove turned creator to set up James Rowe, who put the home side right back in the game at 2-3.

The second red card for Ivybridge saw Josh Fenwick given his marching orders and a penalty conceded. Howard again felt his side were hard done by with the decision, which he saw as a foul on his player.

The resulting penalty was smashed on to the post before the taker slotted home the rebound, something he is only allowed to do if the ‘keeper has touched the ball.

The referee and Howard once more had differing opinions as to whether that was the case.

The Bridgers played well for the remainder of the game, not allowing Austell a further score, but a 2-4 defeat was the end result to cap off what was a disappointing week for the club.