Boss Bowker poised to reinforce Liverton's defence
LIVERTON United boss Tony Bowker was this week looking to reinforce his back line ahead of Saturday's trip to Elburton Villa (3pm).
Bowker was scathing about his side's second-half display against Penzance last Saturday – even though it resulted in a 4-2 victory, extending their unbeaten record to five games.
Centre-halves were in short supply for the hosts, as Rob Mills was a late no-show, while Simon Laughton, Tom Stocco and Craig Fenner were all unavailable.
With Mills seemingly on his way to Buckland Athletic, Bowker was hoping to sign a cover player in time for their trip to Plymouth this weekend.
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Stocco was due to step in for Liverton's trip to leaders Tavistock last night, which Bowker had admitted was likely to be a severe test of his side's unbeaten record.
Saturday's trip to Haye Road could also prove difficult for Liverton, who have made an impressive start to life in the Premier Division.
"It will be a tough one – but we will go there without fear," said Bowker.
"But if we can get two draws out of these games I will be more than happy."
Last Saturday, Liverton scored four goals in just 33 minutes against Penzance, before seemingly sitting back on their advantage.
Danny Broadway, Nick Rudge and Liam Ford (2) all found a way past 57-year-old goalkeeper-manager John Dent – a new record for the Peninsula league – inside a manic first half.
"But our second half performance was probably the worst we've played for a long time – we went 4-0 up and then I don't know what happened. The shape went and people were trying to score from all over the place. We had a goal disallowed early in the second half and the discipline went after that."
He added: "We let ourselves down, but we won, so it might do us a bit of good."
BOVEY TRACEY player-manager Roger Bonaparte said he accepts that he has to put up with some chopping and changing this season, as his side start their FA Vase campaign.
The Moorlanders are welcoming Welton Rovers to the Western Counties Roofing Ground on Saturday (3pm) in the competition's second qualifying round – having received a bye in the last round.
Bonaparte will be without centre-half Ed Plackett against Rovers – he is the latest player to book an ill-timed holiday – while Lee Pascoe is still unavailable.
Plackett was awarded man of the match in a 2-1 home win over Liskeard Athletic last weekend – the third straight win for Bonaparte's side – and will be sorely missed.
Goals from Dejan Maric and Hayden Roe gave Bovey the three points after they had gone behind to a Chris Clarke penalty straight after the break.
But with £700 in prize money at stake this weekend, Bonaparte admitted he will look to field the strongest side possible in order to progress.
"I've accepted that I will not have a consistent team at Bovey because of people's holidays and injuries," said Bonaparte.
"We have been able to bond as a team and it was a true reflection of that [last Saturday].
"In the past we would have ended up losing 4-2 or something like that. Liskeard were an inexperienced team, but worked very hard. It wasn't a pleasant game to watch, but the result was the important thing.
"We knew we weren't at our best, but it's three points and we're safely in mid-table now."
With the playing budget slashed at Mill Marsh Park this season, a run in the FA Vase would be a welcome boost to finances.
But Bonaparte also wants to prove that progress can be made without paying players.
"It's a rest away from the league, and we're in a privileged position as a club to be involved in a national competition," he said. "It's a one-off game and we're going to be up for it.
He added: "The joke around the club is that people are surprised that we've got to nine points so fast – last season it took a long time to get to nine points. It's all about showing that you can achieve things without a playing budget."