Match report

Tiverton Town 1 - 0 Moor Green

   Saturday 12/04/2003   Southern League Premier Division
John Reidy

I came across a disc and in a moment of madness put it on the turntable. The Best of Max Bygraves. Forgive me. In mitigation I offer the belief that every record collector must have one album that they´d rather not admit to. Sing-a-long-a Max regaled me with the nonsensical Gilly Gilly Ossenfeffer Katzenellen Bogen By The Sea; wandered through the puerile I´m A Blue Toothbrush You´re A Pink Toothbrush; monologued his way through the trite Deck of Cards. By the time the somewhat bouncier Fings Ain´t What They Used To Be was underway I´d had enough and committed the tasteless slice of vinyl to the black bag for collection later in the week. My problem‚ though‚ wasn´t over. I couldn´t get that last song out of my mind and April has always been a bad month for me when it comes to wallowing in nostalgia. Schooldays - the best years of my life...for my parents perhaps. Those glorious teens with free love‚ the Mersey Beat explosion and Pirate Radio. Etc.‚ Etc. Max was right‚ Things ain´t what they used to be and though we might have fond memories would we really want to step back in time. Do we honestly want to return to those heady (not) days when the Ambers were struggling to exist at the foot of The Western League First Division? How long before we got bored with life at the top of the Screwfix Premier? We´ve moved on. Things ain´t what they used to be and we ain´t who we used to be. Having said that‚ some things don´t seem to change. Football matches between Tiverton Town and Moor Green seldom vary. Tight‚ usually dour‚ encounters that explode for a brief period that settles the outcome. The Yellows assault on the penultimate peak of the league table saw them take on the Birmingham side and the contest went to form‚ nothing much different from previous encounters.
For the first time in a number of games the early exchanges were even with both teams feeling their way cautiously‚ testing the opposition for strengths and weaknesses. It was the Moors that seemed to be satisfied with their explorations first and they created the first scoring opportunity in the 6th minute. Route one tactics‚ probably because they detected a perceived weakness with a lack if inches in the Tivvy back line‚ saw Jae Martin nod the ball on to Rob Elmes whose hook shot was well wide. For a while the Birmingham side looked as if they might be getting on top as a minute later they won the first corner of the game and rapidly followed that up with another shot following a free kick that was hit wide by Josh Walker. Having had a good look at the opposition‚ dealt with the threat that it provided‚ the Yellows opened up and began to show their capabilities. Steve Ovens began to run at the defenders and soon won a corner on the right. Danny Haines sprinted onto a visionary cross field ball from Chris Holloway. It was a superb run by Danny - spoilt by a feeble cross as he cut into the penalty area. Town were now‚ debatably‚ on top‚ showing more zest but for all their pretty triangles in midfield still unable to pierce an efficient and well organised defence. Even when they did find a way through‚ as happened in the 19th minute‚ Martin Myers was on hand to clear Phil Everett´s header off the line. Town were well established as top dogs‚ even David Steele as able to power forward into the visitors penalty area at a corner to direct a header into the arms of Moors keeper Adam Rachel. Much of Tivvy´s threat was coming from Ovens who was‚ as ever‚ proving more than a handful for any blue shirted player he went near.
The No. 11 shirt was having its tear resistance tested and Steve really ought to be in receipt of some sponsorship fee from the manufacturers of his shin pads. Past the half hour mark and scoring chances were at a premium. Moors had one in the 32nd minute‚ the first since their early flurry. It seemed like an hour but it was more realistically only about two minutes that they ´faffed´ around over the taking of a free kick. Pointing this way‚ pointing that way. Shaping for player ´a´ to take it then changing to player ´b´‚ then back to ´a´. It was all a bit pointless for when the kick was taken there was no novel move‚ just a simple sideways tap and shot that cleared the roof over the Swimming Pool End terrace. At the other end Everett rose to beat Rachel (most ungentlemanly) to a high cross but made contact while still ascending and sent the ball almost vertical and the keeper claimed it at the second opportunity. In the final few minutes before the half time oranges and cups of tea were dished out Paul Chenoweth made a bid to keep his run of goals going with a drive from outside the area on the left. Ovens was hovering in the six yard box and it wasn´t clear if he reached the ball or it hit him. Which ever way it was it ended up as a retrieval gob from the netting over the Devco end - it wouldn´t have made any difference if Ovo hadn´t had the touch‚ Cheno´s shot was flying well off target any way.
The Yellows continued to have the better of the play after the break. Danny Haines had another good run early on but was again let down by his last touch‚ a weak shot that at least was on target though presenting no challenge for Rachel. Steve Ovens was still as involved and looked to be through on goal as he burst through the middle onto a long ball. Moor Green´s last man‚ Dean Peer‚ had other ideas and threw out an arm to divert the ball away. Hand ball - free kick - but that was all as referee Mr Woolfe displayed his sheep´s clothing. Not to worry‚ Steve was soon to get his revenge. Another minute‚ another free kick. Spread out low to the left and Haines bursting into the penalty area was tumbled over from behind. Before the Tiverton players had managed to complete their appeals for a penalty and with Danny yet to hit the deck‚ Ovo pounced on the ball to hit it under the keeper and give the Yellows the lead. It was no more than they deserved and for the next ten minutes they were totally in control‚ the visitors being given no chance to make a quick comeback. Ovens‚ again‚ down into the right-hand corner laid a short ball back to David Steele whose cross flew across the goalmouth just out of reach of Everett lurking at the back post. As the halfway point approached Haines saw Steele in a vacuum on the opposite wing and flighted a perfectly placed and weighted pass that fell for David to steady himself before crashing in a shot that Rachel made the minimal of touches to concede the corner. It was to be the last significant effort on goal - at either end. The round of substitutions by the visitors steadied their back line and the game slid towards extinction. Rachel made his final contribution by picking up a yellow card for handling outside the area as he risked losing a chase with Ovens. It was way out to the side of the area‚ similar to the incident a week or two back with Ben Foster (v Tamworth?) which perhaps was Mr Sheep´s - or was it Woolfe ? - justification for allowing him to stay on the field. It was an insignificant decision‚ the keeper was not to touch the ball again.
The majority of fans were happy to here the final whistle. The locals not because their team was hanging on but because they weren´t looking like adding anything. The visitors fans ditto. they didn´t look in the slightest like scoring. The game had run it´s course‚ was going nowhere. It was like some kind of sporting euthanasia‚ R.I.P.

Tiverton Town: Paul Edwards‚ David Steele‚ Danny Haines, Jason Rees, Nathan Rudge, Rob Cousins, Paul Chenoweth, Chris Holloway, Phil Everett (Richard Pears,89), Scott Rogers, Steve Ovens.
Subs not used: Steve Winter, James Mudge, Kevin Nancekivell, Luke Vinnicombe.
Cards: Yellow: None

Moor Green: Adam Rachel, Peter Faulds, Jamie Petty, Chris Gillard, Dean Peer, Craig Woodley(Danny Scheppell,69), Josh Walker, Nathan Lamey, Rob Elmes(Declan Chinery,87), Jae Martin, Martin Myres.
Sub not used: Jai Stanley.
Cards: Yellow: Myres 25, Rachel 90.

Referee: Mr A Woolfe (Bideford).

This report ©2003 John Reidy






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