The South West has never been a hotbed of English Football, Plymouth and Exeter have for a long period of time been EFL stalwarts and Yeovil Town have experienced fairly recent success with various Wembley trips and an eventual rise to the Championship, before suffering relegation after relegation and finding themselves as low as the National League South. 

These sporting successes can be drowned out by other areas of the country, such as the North West, North East, London and the Midlands. However, despite this at the turn of the century, the region was experiencing a period of domination in one non League competition, and two teams half an hour apart from each other were at the forefront of it. 

This unique period started at the end of the 1997/98 season, where Tiverton Town, a Devon club and then members of the Western League Premier Division embarked on what can only be described as an incredible season.

Tivvy won an unheard of 36 out of 38 games, drawing the other two and going unbeaten and beating out Taunton, who finished second on an impressive 96 points. Not only did the yellows dominate the league, they also won two trophies in their final two games, the Western League Cup and the FA Vase at Wembley. 

In 1999 Tiverton became one of only three teams to go back to back in the FA Vase, securing another win at Wembley, beating Bedlington Terriers 1-0 in front of just under 14 000 people under the arch.

The Yellows couldn’t quite reproduce their exploits of the previous year in the league, finishing 2nd in the Western League Premier Division. They still finished on 91 points from 38 games, a tally that in many seasons would win a title. However, on this occasion it would be Taunton Town who would finish on over 100 points this term. 

As is already evident, the two South Western clubs were experiencing immense success in both cups and the Western League Premier Division. And it would be during the 2000/01 season where this period of the region’s domination would become cemented. This year it would be Taunton who had their day in the sun, tasting the first cup success in their history, beating Berkhamstead Town 2-1 at Villa Park (Wembley was in the process of its transformation from its original form to the now well known “new” look). 

This period of FA Vase sweeping by the South West is only complimented by the two teams exploits in the league. With each club having secured centenary seasons during this time period, something which is made entirely more impressive by the fact these campaigns were only 38 games, rather than a more traditional 42-46 game league season. 

Fast Forward to the present day and both clubs are in some trouble.

Taunton have been relegated from the National League South, having been forced to play a large amount of their games away from their home of Wordsworth Drive due to pitch conditions.

Tiverton faced some turbulent times in the boardroom however, they are coming out the other side and sustained a 14th placed finish in the Southern League Premier Division.

Once again, both clubs will compete against each other in the Southern League next season and ambitions of their past glories are sure to be had.