Match report

Tiverton Town 1 - 0 Salisbury

   Wednesday 24/10/2001   Southern League Premier Division
John Reidy

CLICH OF THE WEEK: Familiarity breeds contempt.
As far as Tiverton Town are concerned‚ Salisbury City are nothing if not familiar. Having faced the Wiltshire side
three times in the previous six weeks another meeting between the teams was hardly going to be a novel
experience. But contempt? Probably too strong a word despite the fact that Sarum had failed to win any of the
earlier encounters‚ indeed had failed to win a game at all so far this season. The fans that had seen those other
contests might well have been tempted to sing‚ "Can we play you every week‚" but they wouldn´t really have
wanted to‚ would they? The ´gate´‚ a mere 540 paying customers‚ possibly was an indication that a fair few of
the fans didn´t even want to see Tivvy playing them again this week. So - AMENDMENT TO CLICH OF THE
WEEK: Familiarity breeds boredom. Salisbury had named a total of 21 players in their previous three fixtures
against the Yellows but did their best to relieve the ennui by introducing another 4 new names to their line up‚
including Tony Malessa in goal‚ the ninth man to have worn their keepers jersey so far this season. They must
be running out of names‚ surely.

It showed from the opening moves that they were a disrupted side. Town settled almost immediately and
within minutes were mounting wave after wave of attacks. And they were varied attacks too. Right wing breaks‚
left wing breaks‚ cross field build ups‚ route one over the top moves; Tivvy tried them all. Malessa was the first
of the keepers to see action as Town´s first move saw Scott Rogers fouled as he pushed forward down the left.
Paul Chenoweth swung the free kick over. Malessa was up for it but missed‚ as did Nicky Marker on the far
post. A minute later and Tivvy poured down the right flank‚ this time in the shape of Steve Winter. Another cross
into the box. Phil Everett got in front of the keeper as they both leapt for the ball. Phil´s downward header fell into
space‚ inviting a shot from the advancing.....nobody. The ball was hoofed clear. Back again came the Yellows.
Cheno was sent in pursuit of a ball that looked like it was destined to go for a goal kick. Somehow Cheno caught
it and managed to get it into the middle. Rogers was following up and nearly beat Malessa with a neat flick but
the Sarum man fell on the ball at the last moment. There had not been even five minutes played and the
chances were coming thick and fast. Unfortunately this was Tiverton Town at Ladysmead not Saul on the Road
to Damascus so there were no conversions. In the seventh minute came the first real ´miss´. Salisbury
discovered that the pitch extended beyond the halfway line and went exploring‚ taking the ball with them. They
didn´t keep it for long though and as it was hoisted back into their half Everett´s headed flick on fell to Kevin
Nancekivell who bought the ball neatly down with his head and advanced unchallenged on the visitors goal‚ only
to thump in a shot that rattled the advertisement hoardings above the terrace at the sponsors end. Minutes later
Winters let fly and managed to send his shot even higher‚ into the netting above the hoardings. With just a
quarter of an hour gone the game could have been over‚ instead Salisbury started to get their act together and
work their way into the game. They won two corners in rapid succession‚ the second leading to a frantic
scramble as Tivvy failed to clear cleanly. Then came ´miss´ No.2.
Not so much a miss as good fortune for the visitors. Cheno swung a free kick in from the Tivvy left that was
nodded on by Everett to Antony Lynch. Lynchie´s header had Malessa flinging himself to his right but he was
nowhere near getting a touch. As the keeper‚ on his knees‚ watched the ball drop towards the net‚ it hit the base
of the upright and rebounded into his grateful arms. His grin as he hugged the ball said it all. He knew it was
luck. In front of him his team mates were struggling to impose something of themselves on the game‚
sometimes a little too boisterously. Skipper Emm´s and former Taunton Town (among many others) Tivvy rival
Martin Underhay collected yellow cards within minutes of each other as they became a little too physical in their
endeavours. The Yellows‚ though‚ were in control if not dominating and a triple 1-2 between Rogers and
Nancekivell split the visitors wide open only for Malessa to rescue them again as he grabbed the resultant cross
off the head of Everett. The elusive goal came in the 35th minute. It had been a long wait to see Tivvy make a
first half strike against these opponents but when it came it was worth every patient moment. Down the left
broke Tivvy‚ over came the cross and looked to be safely cleared . But the clearance ricocheted to Everett lying
deep a couple of yards outside the area. Phil shot on sight and the ball flew into the top right hand corner of the
Salisbury net with Malessa rooted to the goal line. At last the Yellows were in front. Town went looking to
increase their lead but it was more of the same until the half time whistle - never threatened but unable to deliver
the ´coup de grace´. Half time came and the score remained 1-0 but the fans were hopeful of more goals to
come. After all‚ in those three previous games the Yellows had scored three second half goals each time‚ hadn´t
they.

Time for another proverb/ clich: ´Don´t Count Your Chickens Before They Hatch´.
If the first period had provided plenty of action the second 45 minutes proved singularly lacking in it.
Salisbury‚ far from collapsing as they did in the earlier meetings‚ had their fair share of the play. The majority of
scoring opportunities did fall to the Yellows but not as many as in the first half. Sarum also managed to create a
few of their own but overall the half had all the hallmarks of a ´bore draw´. Town looked the more dangerous
coming forward down the flanks but Salisbury´s player manager Steve Richardson was a cool stalwart as he
organised his back line. Malessa was obviously struggling‚ hobbling around his area bravely after a first half
knock and wincing every time he had to kick clear. Despite his lack of mobility Town were unable to severely test
him‚ protected as he was by his defence.
Could it be that Sarum will have to find yet another keeper for their next game? I hear Des O´Connor is free at
weekends! When Tivvy did manage to open up the visitors defence they were always a yard behind or a yard in
front of the ball. At the other end the home defence held against a series of mostly ineffectual attacks‚ mainly
consisting of solo runs‚ from the Wiltshire men. Paul Edwards was called on to make one exceptional save but it
was a game of little entertainment. Even the introduction of substitutes by both sides did little to liven things up.
There were cheers from the home supporters for the final whistle. Justifiable cheers‚ for the Yellows had gained
the three points they so desperately needed. They had won but it was not the convincing win that would have
set the alarm bells ringing in Billericay.

Unless Salisbury can conjure up a win in either the Dr. Martens Cup or the FA Trophy‚ and the draw were to
pit them once more against Town‚ it is the last time Tivvy will face them this season. Unless they suddenly
discover the winning habit in the League they look doomed for the drop at the end of the season‚ hopefully
without Tivvy accompanying them. If that happens it could be a long time before the sides meet again. We´ll
probably enjoy it more when they do for as they say - last proverb - ´Absence Makes The Heart Grow Fonder.´

Tiverton Town: Paul Edwards‚ Steve Winter‚ David Steele, Paul Tatterton, Nicky Marker, Scott Rogers, Kevin
Nancekivell, Antony Lynch, Phil Everett, Paul Chenoweth, Dave Leonard.
Subs: Neil Saunders (Chenoweth,66), Richard Pears (Lynch,80), Luke Vinicombe (Rogers,54).

Salisbury City: Tony Malessa, Scott Bartlett, Steve Richardson, Robert Gibson, Roger Emms, Matt Davies,
Wayne Turk, Martin Underhay, Martin Shepherd, Tom Killick, Tyronne Bowers.
Subs: Darren Crook (Killick,46), Robert Harbut, Robbie Matthews (Underhay,80).

This report ©2001 John Reidy






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