Match report

Clevedon Town 5 - 2 Tiverton Town

   Tuesday 13/11/2001   Southern League Cup
John Reidy

Where can one start?
Firstly‚ I´d like to express my thanks to all of those at Clevedon who offered their commiserations‚ condolences and concern for my well-being‚ knowing that I had to write about this game.
Secondly‚ I´d like to offer similar sentiments to those who wondered how I would deal with the situation and let me know that they would be logging on as soon as possible‚ with great anticipation‚ to see the outcome.
Thirdly let me say that..................(John Reidy exits page right‚ shaking head in bewilderment).
Perhaps I should do as one ´wag´ suggested and write a work of fiction; perhaps a horror story. For certain if any literary effort of mine were to have any resemblance to this match it could never be classed as a thriller. From the moment the teams were announced over the loudspeakers‚ I guessed that everyone connected with Tivvy was in for a hard night‚ so to put the whole thing in perspective‚ webmaster allowing‚ I´ll break with the normal format of listing the line-up at the foot of my piece and do it now!

Tiverton Town: 1. Paul Weeks (announced repeatedly as Paul Edwards)‚ 2. Steve Winter‚ 3. Dave Leonard‚ 4. Steve Peters‚ 5. Luke Vinnicombe‚ 6. Stuart Smith‚ 7. Pete Conning‚ 8. Antony Lynch‚ 9. Jamie Mudge‚ 10. Paul Chenoweth ‚ 11. David Steele

Subs: 12. Neil Saunders (Smith‚ 34)‚ 14. Scott Rogers (Steele‚ 60)‚ 15. Richard Pears.

As a youngster I had all the usual childhood ailments‚ chicken-pox‚ mumps‚ measles. My parents used to buy me jigsaw puzzles to keep me occupied through the weeks of isolation and I soon learnt how to sort the pieces out.
There were only a limited number of different shapes so quite often the shape would fit and though the part was wrong you could still see the overall picture. You could‚ however‚ get a group of right shaped pieces with the wrong design on them and though they´d fit together the overall picture was a shambles. So was it with the Tiverton Town line up that faced Clevedon. Individually the players had all that might be required‚ any of them would have fitted into the overall picture without disrupting things beyond recognition. Together they were a shapeless mess that had no relationship to the parts around them. Former Cinderford Town goalkeeper Weeks is now plying his trade at Screwfix First Division side Bitton. He might be remembered for saving the injury time penalty from Steve Daly that led to the Yellows defeat on that waterlogged pitch and severely dented our promotion hopes in our first season in the Dr Martens League. Signed‚ one assumes‚ to give Eddie an evening off he was totally out of his depth. There was little or no understanding between him and the men in front of him. If his signing was intended as ´cover´ in case of injury to our regular No 1‚ then he was not going to get much experience of the way the Yellows play from this line up. Peters looked to be a good investment but again there was a lack of understanding which would probably have been less noticeable had he been slotted into a ´normal´ defence.
The lack of shape in the Tiverton side was evident from the outset. Clevedon went forward and stayed forward until they scored their opening goal through Sam Allison in the 4th minute‚ following a corner won after a free kick had been scrambled away. The yellows kicked off and lost possession. Clevedon pushed forward and stayed forward until they scored their second goal in the 11 minute. Dave Morrissey latched onto a long ball out to the left‚ cut in towards goal and let fly with a shot from the angle that left Paul Weeks wondering where the defence was. Twelve minutes later Morrissey added the third and the Yellows fans wondered how many more were going to come. Tivvy found that they could get forward and as the half hour mark approached won a corner‚ but were soon back in their own half. A degree of organisation started to show in the Yellows defence as Neil Saunders replaced Stuart Smith and with the ball coming more cleanly out of defence front men Antony Lynch and Jamie Mudge started to see something of it. Just before the break Mudge cut in from the right and was pushed of the ball as he sped into the area. The man with the flag signalled‚ the referee blew and despite the objections of the home players the ball was placed on the spot. Lynch‚ having played in the same Taunton side as Clevedon keeper Jason Matthews was the right man to know how to beat him. Matthews went one way‚ the ball went the other.
The half time score was 3-1 and Tivvy were flattered by it. Tiverton were a little bit more competitive as the second half started‚ still pretty shapeless but at least they were moving forward a bit more. Matthews even had to make a spectacular fingertip save as Winter drove a free kick towards the top corner of his goal fifteen minutes into the half. The risk that the margin might be reduced spurred the home side back into action and they increased their lead in the 60th minute when Defender Mark Clode was allowed time and space to drive home through a crowded penalty area. Just to make the game safe‚ and almost as if they wanted to show that they could score at will, Sam Allison added the fifth two minutes later. The game was over and both sets of players knew it. Jamie Mudge added a second for Tivvy with a brilliant last minute goal, chipping home into the top left hand corner despite being surrounded by four Clevedon defenders and having no support as he had chased and won the ball from a long clearance. Other than that everyone went through the motions but that´s about all that could be said about the last quarter of the game and players and fans were quite happy when the final whistle sounded, happy not with the game but that it was over. Few of the Tiverton players that completed the 90 minutes came out of the game with credit. Peters looked promising, Lensy was his usual self. Steve Winter carried the job of captain well and kept trying, Mudge kept going. The rest? nightmares but.......they probably would have struggled to beat Somerset Senior Leaguers Clevedon United!. When there had been doubt about the supporters bus being well enough subscribed to run, I had been concerned about denting my record of having managed to get to every competitive away match Tivvy had played since joining the Dr Martens League. I should not have worried, this was not a competitive match.
Roll on Ninian Park and a recognisable line up. With the players that were ´saved´ for the ´big one´ the fans that made the trip to Clevedon are due to be paid back with interest.

Clevedon Town: 1. Jason Matthews, 2. Mark Clode, 3. Wayne Thorne, 4. Oliver Price, 5. Lee Jefferies, 6. Ryan Dorrian, 7. Tony Cook, 8. Jamie Mills, 9. Dave Morrissey, 10. Sam Allison, 11. Steve Lester,

Subs: 12. Gary Smart, 14. Karl Bayliss, 15. Keith Knight

This report ©2001 John Reidy

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