Match report

Tiverton Town 3 - 1 Swansea City

   Friday 27/07/2001   Friendly
John Reidy

John Hollins rested many of his likely first starting X1 of the season‚ but the team selected still included the vastly experienced trio of Bound‚ Coates and Williams through the middle‚ whilst at the other end of the scale‚ there was a first appearance since turning pro for Steve Healey‚ Craig Draper and Chris O´Sullivan. Hollins also threw a surprise‚ selecting Bari Morgan‚ released on Wednesday‚ in an attempt to help the youngster find a new club. The Swans almost grabbed a bizarre opening goal‚ with less than 20 seconds on the clock‚ when Tiverton keeper Paul Edwards completely misread a Steve Winter back pass under pressure from Williams‚ and scythed it backwards towards goal‚ but fortunately for the home side‚ it spun wide of the goal. Almost immediately‚ Antony Lynch was able to release Dave Leonard in the opposite penalty area‚ but the striker screwed his effort wide under pressure from Coates. Still within the opening three minutes‚ Coates and Williams worked well on the left to create an opening for young O´Sullivan‚ but his effort on the turn curved the wrong side of the post. The Swans took the lead on 12 minutes‚ from a free kick close to the goalline on the right‚ after a foul on O´Sullivan. Draper drilled a low ball across the six-yard box‚ and it was O´Sullivan himself who was in the right place to drill it home from close range. Coates fired over from 15 yards‚ after a good run up the right from Arranz‚ and on a beautiful summers evening at the picturesque Ladysmead ground it looked as if it was going to be a good night for the travelling Swansea fans. However‚ Tivvy served a wake up call to the Swans defence shortly before the 20 minute mark‚ Steve Winter crossing from right to left‚ and finding Ovens at the far post‚ whose header beat Jones and came back off the bar.

An entertaining game was swinging back and forth‚ and three minutes later‚ it was young midfielder Craig Draper who hit the woodwork‚ his 20 yard free kick leaving the keeper stranded‚ but rebounding to safety off the inside of the post. Jason Jones pulled off a good save down to his right from Steve Winter‚ after the full back intercepted a De-Vulgt pass at halfway and raced forward‚ before Nicky Marker headed over from a Neil Saunders cross. Swansea´s Jonathan Coates enjoyed a good half‚ and almost ended it by grabbing a second Swansea goal‚ showing good ability to ride several challenges as he cut through the middle‚ but his low drive was saved well by Paul Edwards.

With just the one Tivvy change at half time (Rob Hallem for Paul Edwards)‚ the game was soon swinging back and forth again. John Williams went on a good run‚ cutting in from the left-hand touchline‚ but his curling effort was comfortable for the keeper. Nicky Marker almost grabbed an equaliser‚ his header from Leonard´s cross deceiving Jones and coming back off the bar‚ before Ovens went close‚ driving across the face of the goal. On 55 minutes‚ Jones did well to turn Kevin Nancekivell´s effort around the post, after Scott Rogers had released him into the area. The Swans should really have extended their lead on 56 minutes, after Draper supplied a tempting, dropping ball into the danger area, drawing the keeper out for a ball he would never reach, but Morgan´s sidefooter from 12 yards rolled agonisingly the wrong side of the post.

On a warm night, tempers began to fray, and the ref found himself having to deal with several incidents, usually involving Morgan, and Scott Rogers. A Bound clearance rebounded back into the danger area of sub Martin Parker, allowing Richard Pears to race clear, but his disappointing shot was straight at Jones. With fifteen minutes remaining, the goal that the home side had been threatening, finally came. A long ball out of defence should have been easily dealt with, but Pears managed to shrug off a Lee De-Vulgt challenge, before lobbing an advancing Jason Jones with some aplomb.

Shortly afterwards, the ref had to give a long ticking off to John Williams and Dave Leonard, after the pair clashed on the edge of the Tiverton box. With time ticking away, the Swans went close to a second, Healey getting up well to meet a Draper cross, but his header drifted inches wide. As the game moved into the 90th minute, the Swans should have been able to kill the game, and settle for a draw, but unfortunately, things didn´t go to plan! Tiverton grabbed a last gasp winner, after Russell Jee floated a perfect ball into the box from halfway, to find Richard Pears, who had lost his marker, and he planted an unstoppable header past a despairing Jason Jones. Things turned from bad to worse for Swansea, as Tivvy regained possession straight from the kick off and broke up the left. Dave Toomey got to the line, and his pullback found Martin Parker, who made no mistake from 10 yards, sidefooting it calmly into the bottom corner, to seal an impressive win.

Line up: Edwards, Winter (Steele), Saunders, Conning (Vinnicombe), Marker (Gee), Rogers, Nancekivill (Parker), Ovens (Toomey), Lynch (Pears), Chenoweth, Leonard

Swansea: Jones, Arranz, De-Vulgt, Phillips (Heffernen), Healey, Bound, O´Sullivan, (Shannon), Draper, Morgan, Williams, Coates.

Att: 343

This report ©2001 John Reidy

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