Match report

Tiverton Town 4 - 0 Folkstone Invicta

   Saturday 25/01/2003   Southern League Premier Division
John Reidy

I came across an unaccredited quote during my last week´s reading‚ that sent my train of thought puffing happily out of the station of my mind. It was‚ in view of the topic saturating recent news bulletins‚ an appropriately timely piece of sagacity‚ though I gave it little thought in the context in which it was intended. "War is 85% talking and sitting around waiting for something to happen‚ 10% threatening and bluffing that you´re going to do or make something happen and only 5% actual action. After enduring Tivvy´s last game at Chelmsford I thought that‚ with a few minor adjustments to the figures‚ the same could equally well apply to The Yellows recent matches. The degree of adaptation would depend on the performance; unfortunately in Essex last weekend the 5% seemed to have be reduced to below the ´whole number´ factor‚ so much so that even MR had to admit to feeling let down. So if the balance as per the law of averages were to be maintained then the Ladysmead faithful could expect a full threat‚ all action show from their favourites as they pitted themselves against struggling‚ rock bottom of the table - and from all reports I´d seen‚ playing like it - Folkestone Invicta. But then Cambridge and Chelmsford had hardly been flying high........
The action started like an old Morris Minor on a cold‚ damp morning - slowly‚ reluctantly‚ sluggishly‚ but gradually picking up as the gears were shifted upwards until after a couple of minutes everything was firing normally and we had forward motion. And the first of it came from the visitors as they won a corner in the third minute. Crashed over at shoulder height (Nathan Rudge´s shoulder NOT Jason Rees´)‚ John Guest ducked his head to make contact but ducked it a couple of inches too far and sent the ball looping up and over the fence above the terrace roof to join the forecourt display in Devco. Tivvy retaliated and a high‚ long ball through the middle was headed on by Richard Pears to Phil Everett‚ rampaging forward in his role as right wing back‚ deputising for Steve Winter. Before Phil could steady himself the ball was poked off his toe for a Tivvy corner. Although nothing came of the set piece it did offer a sign of what was to come‚ as within a couple of minutes it was clear that Phil was going to be well forward at every opportunity. Not only Phil‚ even Rees was following up closely in the 6th minute when a solid Everett cross from the right was headed clear and fell to the Tivvy skipper who sent it straight back and on target with a dramatically executed scissors kick volley that had it had enough power to beat Invicta´s veteran keeper would have provided us with a spectacular opening goal. Munden‚ however‚ cushioned the effort in his not insubstantial mid-riff with little difficulty. For the next ten minutes or so‚ the Yellows steadily increased the pressure on the Kent side. Everett on the right and Paul Chenoweth on the opposite flank maintained a barrage of crosses‚ Pears and Steve Ovens kept the central defenders tied up. The deadlock would have been broken in the 11th minute had it not been for the intervention of the woodwork as Ovens went runabout‚ crossed for Pears to crash in a shot that flew back off the crossbar. Even then‚ Scott Rogers‚ following through‚ looked as if he´d forced the ball home until Anthony Henry intervened on the goal-line. There´s a goal on the way‚ we thought. Then thought again as we remembered other times. On this occasion‚ though‚ first impressions were right‚ and when some panicky defending gave Town a corner that was similarly hacked out for another‚ in the 15th minute the breakthrough came. Chenoweth curled in the second kick low to the near post‚ Maurice Munden palmed it forward‚ and Chris Curran bundled it into the net for his first goal in a Tivvy shirt.
There was no inkling that the goal was going to reduce the pressure on Folkestone - or inspire them to fight back. Tivvy continued to run the show but without managing to add to their tally‚ partly due to a lack of killer instinct‚ partly due to some desperate and at times anxious defending. In the 23rd minute‚ Everett cut inside to meet a long crossfield ball from Scott Rogers‚ ran at and past three defenders but over ran the ball just as he broke into the clear‚ and his shot lacked power. Again‚ no problem for Munden. Around the half hour mark, Invicta began to pick up a bit. They began to compete for balls and finding they could win the odd one or two started to get into the game. They almost snatched what would have been a travesty of an equaliser as a short weighted back pass by Curran let James Dryden, who´s effort throughout the afternoon was the highlight of Invicta´s play, through in a one to one on Ben Foster. The Tiverton keeper spread himself well and forced Dryden to shoot wide. The Folkestone front man wasn´t the only one lacking direction. Jason Rees sent a free kick straight through the middle; Ovens stopped it dead; right in the path of Pears who almost hit the corner flag with his effort. Then Ovo chested the ball down, swivelled and shot in one fluid motion. Pretty, but no cigar, no score, and the game began to fizzle out as Tiverton began to misfire and the heavy going began to take its toll on an Invicta side that looked as if they could use a half time break of about an hour to regain their strength. A couple of speculative efforts from the visitors gave Foster reason to stay alert but as the half time whistle went there was a feeling that the lead should have been greater than the single goal.
´Cheno´ had taken a knock and was replaced at the start of the second 45 minutes by Danny Haines. Now if ever a man was ´up for it´, it was Mr H! There had been a few comments about the possible destination of all the missing pies of the South East in relation to the visiting No.2, Andy Morris. He´d taken it all in good humour - even suggesting that he´d eaten all the pasties too - but there was little doubt that he was carrying a pound or too of excess weight. It was a situation that cried out for exploitation and Danny was the man to do it. Within minutes of the restart he was looking lively down the left. Come the 50th minute and for the second time he burst clear down the flank, leaving the defender wallowing in his wake as he made his way right to the by-line before thumping in a cross. It was Nathan Rudge´s turn to be powering forward in support and the big fella met the ball fair and square at the near post to thunder his header past a flat footed Munden. 2 - 0, and not undeserved. A minute later and the need for maintenance work on Pears´ direction finder was again in evidence as a Steve Ovens cross was deflected vertically by a defender, fell to Rico, but was again screwed wide. Another minute passed and another chance. Ovo poked the ball past a defender, Haines nipped round the back of Morris, covered the ground and whipped in a cross that evaded the desperate lunge of Scott Rogers as it wizzed across the goalmouth to be turned out for a corner. Another minute, well two actually, and Danny was at it again. This time he angled his run away from the touchline, shot past two white shirts on the inside and poked the ball right along the ground into the path of Pears. Richard had beaten the offside trap - such as it was, Invicta couldn´t be accused of over using such a negative defensive tactic - and carried the ball ten yards before blasting it under Munden to bring a degree of reality to the score with 54 minutes gone.
Two minutes on and there should have been a further addition to the scoreline, though it would not have been one that would have been applauded by the home fans. Just as the heavy pitch had resulted in Curran underhitting a backpass to Foster in the first half, so it played a similar prank on Nathan Rudge. Ben was out quickly to poke the ball sideways to avoid the challenge of the first Folkestone player descending on him, but then found he had to dribble past another two before being able to clear upfield from well outside his area. But Foster´s sheet remained clean, the Town defence unbreached despite the energy of Dryden who broke the line on the hour but was dispossessed by a last ditch tackle by Curran. Haines went on another twisting run before setting Ovens free down the left. Steve´s cross found Everett at the far post and Phil swung his boot to crash the ball into the gaping net, connected with tremendous power, and sent the ball rocketing high and wide into the ´other´ netting over the terracing, and as the action, now running well over the 5% mark, continued Ovens and Rogers each found similar targets. evin Nancekivell and David Steele replaced Rogers and Rees, Rob Cousins shyly accepting the captain´s arm band. The Folkestone defence was flagging and Steele took over Haines´ mantle as the man who would run at them. With thirteen minutes remaining he did just that, from just beyond the halfway line. David passed one, two. Left the touchline and began making his way crossfield. The defenders backed off. David kept going, swaying right, feigning left as he closed on the edge of the penalty area. Still no tackle was launched so David did the only thing he could as a gap opened in front of him. He unleashed a shot that hit the back of the net like a missile. The youngster is building a bit of a reputation. He scored last time he came on as a substitute up at Ilkeston! There were to be further chances for the Yellows. Pears, Everett, Ovens; all could have made the scoreline even more one-sided. The ´faithful´ were not too unhappy, though. They cheered and applauded the rotund Morris when he was replaced - which gave him a chance to get to the post game ´nosh´ first - and laughed as the referee fell flat on his face after bouncing off Phil Everett as the man in black turned and sprinted away after checking that a free kick had been correctly placed.
The four - nil final score was a fair reflection of the game. We must not get carried away, however. The opposition was not good. Far be it from my nature to kick anyone when they´re down, and Invicta are certainly heading in that direction on this showing, but our visitors are patently mis-named. Invicta roughly translates as undefeatable. They are far from that at this level. I doubt if they would even be so in the Eastern Division. They are certainly not a good team. They might not be a bad team.....by County League standards. Perhaps, in view of their off field problems that is where they should head in order to rebuild and regroup. Sadly, they perhaps contributed to making Tivvy look good. The truth will be revealed in the forthcoming fixtures at Ladysmead and beyond.

Tiverton Town: Ben Foster, Phil Everett, Paul Chenoweth (Danny Haines,46), Chris Curran, Nathan Rudge, Rob Cousins, Jason Rees (David Steele, 64), Chris Holloway, Richard Pears, Scott Rogers (KevinNancekivell,73), Steve Ovens.
Subs (not used): Jamie Mudge, Paul Edwards.
Cards: Yellow: Curran (31), Holloway (65).

Folkestone Invicta: Maurice Munden, Andy Morris (Lee Blackman,83), Dan Larkin, Scott Daniels, Anthony Henry, John Guest, Martin Chandler, Mark Twose, James Dryden, Ryan Peters, John Ayling.
Subs (not used): 17. Scott Lindsey, MikeAzzopardi, Alan Tait, .
Cards: Yellow: Chandler (65), Dryden (89).

Referee: Mr J Farries (Bicester, Oxon).

This report ©2003 John Reidy






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