Match report

Worcester City 4 - 2 Tiverton Town

   Saturday 20/10/2001   Southern League Premier Division
John Reidy

As this game approached I started to think about Worcester and suddenly realised my ignorance knew no
bounds. All I could think of was sauce‚ the kind made by Lee & Perrins not that found on seaside postcards.
Worcester City always seemed to have been there - in the Southern League that is - but hardly setting the place
on fire. They must have done something I thought‚ apart from being beaten in what I believe was their only
previous encounter with Tivvy‚ in the 1st Qualifying round of the FA Cup back in 93-94. Sharing a brace of goals
at their place‚ the Yellows had won 4-2 after extra time in the replay. A little research proved I was almost right
about them always being in the Southern League. They were part of the mass exodus that helped form the
Alliance but apart from their six year stay in that league they have spent all their days in the top Division of the
Southern since they first joined in 1938. And yes they did beat Liverpool in the Cup in ´58 - 59. Apart from that
there wasn´t much of interest apart from the puzzling fact that the club was formed by the amalgamation of
Worcester Rovers and Berwick Rangers. Obviously my geography teacher got it wrong. Berwick can´t be on the
Scottish Borders! There was not a kilt in site‚ nor the swirl o´ the pipes to warm Ramsey´s blood as the teams
took the field for a game that was to turn out to be entertaining and full of incident.

The thousand plus fans in the stadium didn´t have to wait until three o´clock‚ either‚ before the activities
started. Mr. Green the man in black‚ must have had another appointment later in the evening for at two minutes
to three he got things underway. Town kicked off. At one minute to three they did it again‚ this time a goal
behind! From the first kick off the ball was almost immediately out of play for a City throw deep in their own half.
A long one down the line and back out of play inside the Tivvy half. Quickly taken‚ and with the Yellows defence
static Darren Middleton broke free and closed on stranded Paul Edwards unchallenged. Eddie stood little
chance as Middleton found the net. I looked down - 32 seconds. Faster even than Chelmsford! As in Essex the
Tiverton heads did not drop and it soon became clear that the Devon (though the man on the mike seemed to
think it was Somerset) men were a match‚ if not more for their hosts. Town were in the hunt for an equaliser and
were pushing forward‚ mainly down their left flank. Some neat interplay between Phil Everett and Steve Ovens
after about quarter of an hour deserved more but came to nothing when Ovens was adjudged to have strayed
offside. Yellows kept the pressure on‚ winning a succession of corners as the City defence struggled to contain
them. From one Neil Saunders was unlucky that his header lacked power‚ but Tivvy were on top. The visitors
were getting in behind the home defence who‚ along with their supporters were showing signs of becoming
rattled.
The long awaited and deserved leveller came after 28 minutes. Kevin Nancekivell‚ looking more like the player
we know he can be‚ collected the ball 15 yards inside the Worcester half and carried it forward‚ despite the
attention of three defenders‚ before putting over a cross to the far post. Dave Leonard charging in from the left
met the ball fair and square with that hard head of his. It was one of those headers that either flew into the net or
into orbit. This time it was the net and Tivvy were level. Town were playing with confidence and spirit‚ the fans
on the terraces had little doubt that three points were a possibility. Then the bubble was burst. Two goals were
conceded in as many minutes and as is a frequent occurrence there was a mountain to climb. Firstly Worcester
attacked down their left. A cross was whipped in and the lumbering Paul Stant‚ unmarked‚ lashed home a first
time shot to restore his side´s lead in the 37th minute. From the restart City regained possession‚ attacked down
their right and won a free kick from an over zealous tackle by Leonard‚ for which the Yellows No. 11 collected a
yellow card. Half way between the edge of the penalty area and the touch line and right on the goal line‚ it was
like a close corner. The ball was stabbed into the goalmouth and it was Stant again that met it‚ this time with his
head‚ to consolidate City´s lead. Town did not deserve to be two behind at the interval on the balance of play;
they did on chances conversion rate.

The second half started in the same manner as the first. City kicked off‚ lost possession. A long through ball
sent Phil Everett into the area where he was unceremoniously sent sprawling. Mr Green had no hesitation in
pointing to the spot. Kevin Nancekivell had no hesitation in putting the ball past Paul Wyatt. The mountain was
now a hill with 44 minutes left! Tivvy were back in the hunt. Ovens continued to cause problems in the City back
line‚ first on the left then on the right. Everett was looking dangerous in the middle. The Mid-field were playing
their hearts out‚ winning the ball‚ holding it‚ and more importantly using it constructively. The defence had a few
scary moments against the pace of Middleton and substitute Dwain McFarlane‚ but were looking basically
sound. The home fans sensed things were not going their way and were howling at the referee every time there
was any physical contact. Twenty minutes into the second half and Ovens stretched for a ball in the area and
collapsed in a screaming heap. The ball was cleared up field but despite the writhing of Ovens in the City
penalty area and the shouting for attention from Wyatt the City goalkeeper‚ play continued for over a minute
before Mr. Green decided Oven maybe needed attention. The home fans showed their concern at the way the
game was going by making derisory comments about the Yellows time wasting! Had they forgotten Tivvy were
behind? After treatment Ovens continued‚ but only for eight painful minutes.
No sooner had he been replaced by Antony Lynch than once again Tivvy made their task harder than it
needed to be. Leonard charged down the left. As he cut in and crossed a defender crashed to the floor in front
of him. The ball smashed against the Worcester mans arm. ´Lensy´ appealed for the penalty but continued to
chase the ball out to the touch line where in the struggle to regain possession he felled an opponent. The
referee awarded the free kick to City. ´Lensy´ opened his mouth. He said the wrong thing and was shown the red
card. No second yellow‚ note. It was the end for Tivvy. They lost their composure. Moments later Tatts was lucky
to stay on the field after scything McFarlane to the ground. City took advantage of the extra man and were able
to take their fair share of the play. They pushed forward and Stant completed his hat-trick by hammering home
another long cross. For a man who appeared so lacking in speed he undoubtedly has the knack of ghosting
away into space and finishing powerfully when his colleagues can find him. At 4-2 and six minutes to go the
points were staying in Worcester.

Until the sending off it had been a much better‚ almost inspiring performance from the Yellows‚ but the
promised new faces are needed. If Martyn Roger´s attempts to bring in new blood continue to be thwarted‚
perhaps the answer might be to merge with another club. I wonder if Inverness Caledonian might be interested!


Tiverton Town: Paul Edwards‚ Steve Winter‚ Neil Saunders‚ Paul Tatterton, Luke Vinnicombe, Scott Rogers,
Kevin Nancekivell, Steve Ovens, Phil Everett Paul Chenoweth, Dave Leonard.
Subs: Antony Lynch (Ovens,65), Richard Pears, David Steele (Saunders,82).

Worcester City: Paul Wyatt, Allan Davies, Mark Burrow, Carl Heeley, Martin Weir, Jon Holloway, Darren
Middleton, Andy Ellis, Darren Bullock, Phil Stant, Ian Cottrill.
Subs: Nathan Jukes (Burrow, 46), Jamie Hyde, Dwaine McFarlane (Weir,63).

This report ©2001 John Reidy






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