IVYBRIDGE Town took a major step towards clinching the East Division championship with a 3-1 away victory over Bridport, one of their main rivals, in the South West Peninsula League on Tuesday evening, writes Graham Hambly.

A successful recovery saw Ivybridge battle back after falling behind in the 24th minute when Bradley Rowe opened the scoring for Bridport following a corner by the home side.

The goal was somewhat against the run of play and Connor Rush deservedly equalised in the 34th minute.

Ivybridge continued to look the superior side with Rio Daly dominant in midfield as the visitors secured their win with second half goals from Dane Hewings (78th minute) and Scott Pocock (85th minute).

Ivybridge joint manager Wayne Gamble said: “It was an excellent result for us and a brilliant performance. Although we fell behind, I always felt we were the better side and the message to the players was to keep calm even when Bridport scored.

“The reaction from the team was fantastic with good work by Luke Forward creating the opening for Connor Rush to equalise.

“Rio Daly was our man of the match, making some important tackles at the back and also providing a little bit of magic for us at the front.”

Ivybridge now have a 24-point lead at the top of the table from Crediton, who climbed back above Bridport into second place with a 2-1 home win over Axminster. Crediton and Bridport both have games in hand over Ivybridge, but the lead is so great that Ivybridge now need only 10 points from their final seven games to ensure finishing in top spot.

Next up for Ivybridge is a visit to Teignmouth on Saturday (March 23) followed by their next home fixture against Dartmouth in the Peninsula League’s “Ground Hop” series on Easter Saturday, March 30, with an evening kick-off at 6.30.

Depending on results, there is a possibility that the match against Dartmouth could be the title decider.

Gamble says: “We know what we have to do and will be concentrating on our results. It will be a big game for us at Teignmouth.”

Ivybridge will be boosted for that match with right back Curtis Legrice and midfielder Owen Raven available to return to the squad.