Match report

Tiverton Town 3 - 0 Weymouth

   Tuesday 01/04/2003   Southern League Premier Division
John Reidy

Overkill. I guess it´s part of modern life. Certainly as far as the media is concerned. Sometimes‚ most times‚ I can deal with it. The last ten days‚ though‚ I´ve found it hard. Every time I switch on the radio‚ every time I see a newspaper‚ every time I get into a conversation that lasts more than a couple of minutes then it isn´t long before one of about a dozen words comes up. Fill in the blanks! S*dd*m‚ Ir*q‚ Bl**r‚ B*sh‚ W*r - you get the picture? Important though the matter maybe‚ I can´t help thinking that it would be nice to get away from it for a while. But I´m no better‚ I guess. I´m the one mentioning it now and bringing it into a field where it doesn´t belong‚ for which I apologise. The point is that the saturation coverage has caused me to operate the final sanction. I´ve turned the radio´s in the house off for the first time in years. I´ve turned the pages of the papers until there´s no mention of ***. I´ve even terminated chats when the subject has come up. Unfortunately the end result has been a new level of isolation‚ and with it a lack of inspiration for a ´twist´ on the Yellows oft re-arranged game with Weymouth. Not to worry‚ the game itself had a twist or two even if it was only that it embodied the evidence to justify the old adage of it being ´a game of two halves´.
The first half was Tiverton´s. No doubt. Overwhelmingly so. Weymouth were weakened by an injury crisis. Equally no doubt and equally overwhelmingly so. Only able to muster three substitutes then there is no doubt‚ particularly in view of their precarious position just above the relegation zone‚ that beleaguered manager Goeff Butler has serious problems. And those problems were transferred to the pitch as his makeshift squad struggled to contain a buoyant Tiverton side from the outset. Jason Matthews‚ an old ´friend´ from his Western League days at Paulton Rovers and Taunton Town‚ in the Terrra´s goal was immediately in the thick of things and under stress as he was forced to wildly punch clear a long looping Danny Haines cross as early as the second minute. Within minutes he did better as he held a shot from Paul Chenoweth‚ the result of a run down the opposite flank from David Steele. Seven minutes in and the visitors mounted their first attack‚ a massive long throw-in that was as good as a corner and was sliced away for just that - a corner that caused far less consternation in the Yellows defence than the trow had‚and was easily cleared. Town were‚ like the lions and unicorns holding up a coat of arms‚ rampant. Another Haines cross had former Taunton Town defender‚ Toby Redwood diving full length to head out for a corner. Redwood gain cleared as Nathan Rudge got his head to the kick. Something had to give and give it did in the 11th minute. Haines again on the left. Fed forward to Scott Rogers whose cross was poked out to Rob Cousins just outside the Weymouth penalty area. Surprisingly‚ considering he was in unfamiliar territory being that far forward‚ Rob had no need to consult a map to find where the goal was and drove the ball through the crowds in front of him and past Matthews to score fore the first time in a Tivvy shirt. Town showed no sign of easing up. From the restart they were straight back on the attack. Another corner was won and Phil Everett almost added to the tally with a neat back flicked header that was inches wide.
Weymouth have to be given credit for their readiness to keep battling‚ and not only in defence‚ they almost capitalised on a typical Tivvy defensive slip after 21 minutes. Haines‚ a hero so far‚ almost became a villain as he underhit a short back pass to Ben Foster. Ben‚ as we have seen so often in recent weeks confidently tried to dribble round Weymouth´s Steve Tully before hoofing clear. This time he failed and Tully gained the possession to send in an angled shot that looked to be headed into the net. Jason Rees charged back just in time to be in a position to clear but was able to watch as the ball edged past the upright. Three minutes later Weymouth had their first decent shot of the game as Mark Whiteman tested Foster‚ but not seriously. If those two ´chances´ had given the visitors hope that they might get into the game‚ it was short lived. From the clearance the Yellows cut right through the middle of their defence‚ thanks to a delicate little lob from Everett that went over the head of the defence but fell perfectly for Scott Rogers whose run round the outside of them had been impeccably timed. The ball fell just in front of Scott and it looked as if it might bounce too high for him but the Rogers boy lifted his foot knee high to blast it past a helpless Matthews. The tide had come in - Weymouth were all at sea. Matthews‚ Redwood and Tully were the only Terras that seemed to have any idea of what they were supposed to be doing‚ and had the ability to do it. Steve Ovens was causing problems for the entire Weymouth defence as his persistent chasing‚ the pace at which he did it‚ and the fact that he was likely to appear anywhere on the field dragged them out of shape. He was coming in for some pretty (well‚ it wasn´t really pretty‚ but.....) rough treatment from various members of the opposition and after one particularly boisterous incident repaid the visitors in good Christian fashion. No violent retribution‚ just a determined run, tackle evasion and scintillating cross to Everett on the penalty area. Phil showed that pace isn´t everything as he skilfully deflected the ball past Matthews with his right foot and steered it into the net with his left. A classic strikers goal to take his tally for the season to 16, and who would bet against him hitting the 20 mark before the end of the season? At 3-0, and with Weymouth being no Stafford Rangers the game was safe, surely. Tully tried to prove otherwise with a long cross that had Foster stretching to turn the ball over for a corner, but there was little for the Dorset contingent to be happy about at the interval.
It was Tully that threatened first after the break, bursting through to blast a shot at Foster that Ben could only beat away as far as Whiteman. The Weymouth striker took an age to get the ball under control but it looked as if his delay had paid off as the eventual shot crept inside the upright..........until.......like the genie from the lamp, up popped Rob Cousins for his almost mandatory, once a match, goal line clearance. The visitors were looking far better since the break but still not good enough. They were tighter in defence, more fluent going forward but lacking in punch up front. Michael Sajic made his first noticeable contribution with a run that ended with a shot that Foster couldn´t hold and we saw a header wide from the largely anonymous Michael Jackson - no ´Thriller´ there! Scott Rogers game came to an abrupt end as he appeared to twist an ankle and limped off to be replaced by Kevin Nancekivell. It started a steady flow of substitutions and a dumming down of the game. There were fewer chances being created by the Yellows, Everett skied one, and about the same number by the Terras as in the first half, which wasn´t many. Whiteman ran onto a through ball to find the head of Tully with his cross but it lofted well over the crossbar. Jamie Mudge, who´d replaced Ovens, worked a nice move with Steele that resulted in Everett failing to connect with the cross. It was all low key; an anti climax after the first half. Weymouth were content to limit the damage to the three goals. Tivvy were content to put another clean sheet on their record knowing that the points were safe. The game petered out into an exhibition of two teams going through the motions. I´m not complaining, Towns first half display was enough entertainment to make me forget about.............until I heard the 11 O´clock news, at least.

Tiverton Town: Ben Foster, David Steele, Danny Haines, Jason Rees, Nathan Rudge, Rob Cousins, Paul Chenoweth, Chris Holloway, Phil Everett (Richard Pears,80), Scott Rogers (Kevin Nancekivell, 56), Steve Ovens (James Mudge,70).
Subs not used: Steve Winter, Paul Edwards (GK).
Cards: Yellow: Rudge.

Weymouth: Jason Matthews, Steve Tully, Simon Browne, Lee Russell, Mark Kenway, Toby Redwood, Paul Andrews, Michael Sajic, Mark Whiteman (Nathan Walker, 85), Michael Jackson, Leon Green (John Lamb,67).
Sub not used: Carl Mutch, .
Cards: Yellow: Redwood, Kenway

Referee: Mr Ollie McGuiness (Minehead)

This report ©2003 John Reidy






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