Match report

Moor Green 1 - 1 Tiverton Town

   Saturday 15/09/2001   Southern League Premier Division
John Reidy

Two seasons ago‚ our first in the Dr Martens League ‚ there was a mass of new grounds to visit. We
returned to most of them last season and were able to refresh our memories. Of the others Yate slipped into
oblivion‚ Stourbridge stuck in our memory for its notable dereliction‚ Stafford and Moor Green remained vaugue
from those single visits. But as the coach pulled into the car park‚ at the Moorlands on Saturday it all started to
come back.... . A pretty basic ground‚ strangely with the main stand behind one goal. As we cleared the shelter
of the peremiter fence the wind was just as cold as on that previous February evening visit. I was immiediatly hit
by a regret. I hadn´t bought my pool cue. The pitch was immaculate‚ looking smooth enough to play a couple of
frames on before the match. Never mind‚ with the stiff wind and such a perfect surface surely we could look
forward to a skillful ground based game.

Any such hopes were to be dispelled. A minutes silence for those that lost their lives in last Tuesday´s affair
was impecably observed‚ and Referee Mr Singh‚ (local pronunciation)‚ that we last endured in our single goal
defeat at Bilston last season‚ got things underway. The opening gambits‚ with each side exploring for possible
weaknesses in their opponents make up‚ extended beyond the normal ten minutes or so. Though the game
moved from end to end there was little in the way of penetration by either set of forwards and the contest
developed into a hard midfield battle. Tivvy with the wind at their backs‚ and the advantage of the slight slope (a
beer mat under one leg of a Pool Table usually does the trick) were the equal of whatever the Moors threw at
them but by the same standard Richard Pears and Steve Ovens as the Yellows front runners caused problems
in the home defence without reallly looking as though they wre going to make a breakthrough. It did not make for
exciting viewing‚ but then the ´grinding down´ process that both teams were involved in‚ seldom does. Paul
Edwards in the Tivvy goal and his opposite number‚ the familiar Andy (Bopper) De Bont were called on to whack
clear the occasional back pass or scoop up the odd overhit through ball‚ otherwise they saw little action‚ though
the Moor´s man did miss hit one that Ovens chased down and into the corner before sending over a low cross
that De Bont smothered outside the near post to redeem himself.
And so it ground on. Into the middle 15 minutes of the first half....into the final 15 minutes of the first half.....
hard work but little impact. With thoughts of getting in the half time tea queue early‚ remembering what
happened at Sailisbury ( it WAS 39 seconds into the second half NOT 5 minutes as reported elswhere)‚ there
were glimpses of hope of some serious action from the Yellows. From a throw in on the Tiverton left Neil
Saunders found Pears who swiftly found Kevin Nancekivell with a diagonal ball as the midfielder boke round the
back of the defenders. Nance let fly from outside the area and watched as the ball flew a couple of feet past the
upright. But at least it was a shot. Ah‚ inspiration! Minutes later the Yellows won a corner on the left. Scott
Rogers took a short one. Paul Chenoweth returned it to him and Scott curled in a telling cross. Pears made solid
contact ahead of De Bont but again the ball flew wide. This time only by inches. The home side had their
moment as well. A long cross from their wing back‚ Stewart Brighton swung periously close to Edwards´
crossbar. Eddie palmed clear‚ Back in came the ball to be headed wide for a goal kick. Mr Singh‚ though
decided‚ that the ´Shot on target´ could wait and blew the whistle for the break.

Nothing much changed with the resumption and it seemed that if a goal were to come it was going to come
from the blue. Moor Green were taking advantage of the wind to make the ball hang as they lobbed it forward‚
which seemed such a waste of the surface.And it was when they did play it on the ground that the blue
appeared and the stalemate was broken. Ten minutes into the second period and forced wide into the right
hand corner‚ Nathan Lamey somehow managed to break in along the touchline and find Jamie Petty on the
near corner of the 6 yard box. The Moor´s man swivelled and hit a first time shot across the goal and past
Edwards. Town had to open the game up if they were to get their due reward and to their credit they fought.
Anthony Lynch replaced Richard Pears who had worked his socks of and shown some class touches at the
front. Eight minutes later with 18 minutes left Phil Everett came on for the largely ineffective Nancekivell.
The second substitution took place as Tivvy prepared to take a free kick half way inside their oponents half‚ a
couple of yards in from the touch line. Nicky Marker was forward‚ so was Saunders. Lynch was bustling back
and forth in the box pulling defenders this way and that way refusing to let them settle. The wall had to be
moved back. ´Cheno´ and Rogers hovered over the ball. It came over deep‚ but not too deep and for once it was
knocked back in rather than being followed out for a throw in. Even the return ball sailed over the heads of the
crowd in the goalmouth to fall at the feet of Marker on the edge of the six yard box. With a gap having opened in
front of him as the original kick drifted over Nicky saw the space and buried the ball through it to level the score.
A frantic last quarter of an hour saw a higher speed version of the first half. Little in the way of constructive
moves‚ few chances‚ lots of probing‚ no risks.

From the Tivvy supporters point of view it was a potential setback avoided‚ a hard earned‚ ground out‚ point.
It might turn out to be an important one come May.


Tiverton Town: Paul Edwards‚ Steve Winter‚ Neil Saunders‚ Paul Tatterton‚ Nicky Marker, Scott Rogers, Kevin
Nancekivell, Steve Ovens Richard Pears, Paul Chenoweth, Dave Leonard.
Subs: Phil Everett (Nancekivell 72), Anthony Lynch (Pears 64), David Steele.

Moor Green: Andy De Bont, Dean Peer, Stewart Brighton, Chris Gillard, Craig Gaunt, Jai Stanley, Martin Myers,
Richard Softley, Nathan Lamey, Jae Martin, Jamie Petty.
Subs: Mick Hayde, John Gayle, Richard Robinson.

This report ©2001 John Reidy






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