Match report

Tiverton Town 0 - 1 Weymouth

   Monday 27/08/2001   Southern League Premier Division
John Reidy

It was almost four years to the day since Weymouth last visited Ladysmead for a competitive fixture. That was 30 August 1997 and Tivvy were the underdogs but never-the-less ran out comfortable 2-0 winners in an FA Cup Preliminary Round tie. Since then the Yellows have come a long way but obviously not far enough‚ certainly as far as the killer touch goes. Rather like Saturday on the Island the sun was shining‚ the holiday atmosphere was abundant and all that was needed to complete the day was a good match and the right result. Not that the match was not good - far from it - but the result and the way it was obtained was far from right unless you were one of the ample number of ´Terra´s´ fans that had journeyed across from Dorset.

Tactically the visiting fans got it right‚ massing behind the goal at the Sponsors end and frankly out shouting the home supporters‚ but it was first blood to the Yellows as the visiting support was sent down the Swimming Pool end as Nicky Marker won the toss and elected to play towards Devco. And play they did for the first five minutes. Then Weymouth has their spell and forced Town back for a while. Second wind came to Tivvy and they started to find space down the right flank and Phil Everett began to cause consternation in the Terras defence both on the ground and in the air. Former Exeter City keeper Danny Potter had little time to sunbathe but was seldom troubled thanks to the sharpness and adept covering of his defence. Tivvy were just about getting the best of things when the ultimate chance to capitalise on it came along. Everett was tumbled over as he broke into the area. No doubt about it‚ the whistle went and there were no protests from the visitors. Up stepped Marker‚ slotting the ball to Potters right. Out went Potters hand and out stayed the ball to be scrambled away. It wasn´t a missed penalty‚ it was a saved penalty‚ there is a subtle difference‚ though it was lost on the yellow army! Far from causing the Tivvy heads to drop‚ the lost chance made them fight even harder and minutes later it was Everett again that met a cross from Steve Winter on the right to bring out a spectacular save from Potter followed seconds later by the Weymouth keeper just managing to flap the ball off Phil´s head as he was about to connect with a high ball from the other wing. And so it continued to the half time whistle‚ disappointed not to be in front but confident that we had the upper hand. Few were saying it but some were thinking it‚ ´reminiscent of Saturday´.

It was only the timing that proved to be different to the I.o.W. though as The Yellows still looked the most likely to break the deadlock as the second period got underway. Over at Newport Guy Whittingham ran at our defence and found the net after 47 mins. At Ladysmead it was not until the 58th that Lee Phillips‚ who had been showing a fair degree of pace throughout‚ cut in from the left‚ dragging the defence behind him and unleashed a shot low down and into the net past Eddies outstretched left hand. Deja Vu! Weymouth had the lead and they meant to hold on to it. There were a couple of nasty clashes but the yellows kept their heads‚ just‚ and to their credit battled on. A nice move on 67 mins saw Kevin Nancekivell find space to force a shot goalwards. A claret and blue hand deflected the shot. A melee followed as bodies and legs tumbled in the six yard box. The ball eased over the line. The whistle blew. Confusion as the referee pointed to the centre of the pitch. Was he awarding a goal? Was he awarding a free kick? Nobody seemed too sure including the man himself! Of he went to consult his assistant. Back he came pointing to the spot. Now let´s be clear about this. Surely if the ball crossed the line the goal should have been awarded. If the referee´s assistant had spotted the handball then the offender should have seen red! But no just another penalty. And so it turned out. Just another penalty; just like the first. Same kicker. Same place. Same outcome. Yes‚ Tiverton kept playing but it was one of those days when nothing was going to work. The changes were rung. On came Richard Pears and Stevie Ovens to try to bring new life to the attack but frankly there was little‚ if any‚ improvement. The Terras never really looked like giving up the three points they held. Frustration boiled over at the final whistle both on and off the field‚ but ultimately it has to be said that a team that fails to convert two penalties deserve just what Tivvy got - nothing.

There are problems to be sorted out. The fans know it. Martyn and his squad know it. How they are sorted are up to the manager and he´s a ´shrewd cookie´. If Tiverton Town were Manchester United we could throw a cheque book at the problems but we´re not so it might take time. It´s all part of yet another learning curve - let´s hope it changes from a downward curve to an upwards curve before too long. Like next Saturday´s visit of Crawley...

Tiverton Town: Paul Edwards‚ Steve Winter‚ Neil Saunders‚ Paul Tatterton‚ Nicky Marker‚ Scott Rogers‚ Kevin Nancekivell‚ Antony Lynch‚ Phil Everett‚ Paul Chenoweth‚ Dave Leonard.
Subs: Steve Ovens‚ Richard Pears‚ David Steele.

Att: 1083




This report ©2001 John Reidy






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