Match report

Folkstone Invicta 0 - 3 Tiverton Town

   Saturday 15/12/2001   Southern League Premier Division
John Reidy

Thriller and crime novel writers of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century came up with some
fantastic tales and intriguing twists to their stories. Some of those authors and their famous characters
became national institutions; Sir Arthur Conan Doyle with Sherlock Holmes and the elementary Dr.
Watson: Agatha Christie with Hercule Piorot - surely more famous than any real life Belgian - and
Miss Marple. The fame and fortune of these purveyors of fiction was aided no doubt by the interest of
the public in crime and the criminal as promoted by the increasing influence of the mass media. Some
of the webs woven by those literary giants leant heavily on the theories of the practitioners of the ´new´
science of criminology. The study of and thus‚ hopefully‚ the understanding of the mind of the erring
was at best an inexact science. One commonly held belief was that the perpetrator of a crime would
always return to the scene of his misdemeanour. Any Folkestone Invica fan believing in that theory
might well have held up Tivvys return to the Mouth of the Chunnel as evidence in support of their
case. After all weren´t the Yellows guilty of a ´crime´ - robbing Invicta of a place in the second round of
the FA Trophy by stealing a single goal victory six weeks ago in Kent? And here we were again‚ back
at the scene of the larceny. For that November visit it was a beautiful sunny and warm day. We
basked in the south coast sun and I even went for a paddle in La Manche. No chance of doing
anything as outrageous this time. It was bitterly cold‚ almost arctic. There were other changes‚ too‚ in
the intervening weeks. No Paul Tatterton; no Dave Leonard‚ no Luke Vinnicombe. Then Jamie Mudge
was awaiting clearance‚ Steve Ovens injured. Stu Smith and Pete Conning were still in the squad‚
even Martyn Grimshaw got on the team sheet if not the field‚ being named as the fifth substitute but
failing to make this seasons ´cameo´ appearance. Budget trimming had resulted in a number of
players leaving the Ambers so the scene of crime may have been the same but there was every
reason to believe that the scenario would be different.

First difference was that the game got off to a lively start. Both sides were looking to push forward
and though there were early chances both defences earned their keep in the first ten minutes. Kevin
Nancekivell was first to show goal hunger for the Whites (first outing for my new replica away shirt‚ I
didn´t make it to Newport) as he powered forward to hit a cross goal shot that flew not close enough to
sneak inside the left hand post but just too close for Paul Chenoweth to reach as he charged forward
in support. The home side got into the act by laying siege to Paul Edwards´ penalty area; in their
amber and black striped shirts they looked not unlike a swarm of ballistic bees as they buzzed around
but went nowhere. Eventually a shot came in‚ or rather out‚ for the ball flew high and wide. Things
evened out somewhat but most of the forward movement was coming from the Kent men. Then Nick
Marker began to take full control of the approaches to the penalty area and Scot Rogers started to
show strength in midfield. As so often has happened in recent games Tivvy weathered the storm and
gradually took control and it was hardly unexpected when they grabbed the lead exactly half way
through the first 45.
Jamie Mudge had been causing consternation amongst the Invicta defence since the first whistle
and he did it again‚ flowing away down the right. His cross put every amber and black shirt under
pressure and it was no surprise to see a muffed clearance fall to Scot Rogers pushing up behind his
front runners. One firm connection and the net bulged‚ Tivvy were in front. Back buzzed Folkestone‚
as far as the edge of the penalty area‚ no further. The lead was so nearly increased five minutes later.
Steve Peters seems to have taken over Nicky Markers role at corners. Paul Chenoweth whipped one
over from the right. Peters was up and met it firmly. Weitecha was beaten but the ball flew inches
wide of his left hand post. At the opposite end Paul Edwards had been well protected from a pretty
ineffective attacking force but was finally called upon to earn his keep when Martin Chandler broke
free and charged down the left flank before unleashing a fierce shot that had Eddie getting well down
to force the ball past the post for a corner. Minutes later there was an almighty goalmouth scramble as
Invicta fought for the equaliser but a couple of goal-line clearances kept the ball out‚ Eddy´s sheet
clean and his laundry bill down. The lead was intact at half time but a single goal margin is always a
precarious thing at this level.

On Friday‚ contractors digging drainage channels along the edge of the pitch had severed a cable
feeding one of the floodlight pylons which were sited only at each corner of the ground. The supply
could not be restored and as darkness fell one corner of the pitch was decidedly dimpsy. We
wondered if the game would be allowed to continue but it did‚ clearance apparently having been
obtained prior to the match starting. The Invicta players probably wished the darkness would expand
and swallow then up or at least hide their blushes at the way the second half started. Early goals‚
scored or conceded‚ are becoming a feature of Tivvy games. Kevin Nancekivell provided the quickest
of the season so far as the game got underway again. Tivvy kicked off. The ball went out to the left‚
came back inside to Jamie Mudge who sent it diagonally across to Nance‚ marauding forward towards
the right-hand side of the penalty area. Nance had all the time and space he could want to control the
ball and take it past Weicheta. But he had been forced right to the goal line. He cut in and shot. Unlike
against Hednesford there were no defenders on the line to hack it away. How Kev managed to
squeeze the ball home from such an acute angle...........but he did‚ and it crossed the line and it was
0-2. No Folkestone foot had touched the ball and there was only twenty seconds on the watch! Invicta
were stunned into action. Forward they poured but for the most Tivvy´s defence looked comfortable.
Eddie gave us a fright as he casually took a James Dryden header and promptly dropped the ball
which hit the foot of the post and span goalwards. Neil Saunders spared the keeper´s embarrassment
by hacking the ball away for a corner. As the home side increased the pressure shot after shot was
blocked‚ saved or sent wide. Perhaps believing that attack would be the most effective means of
defence Martyn Rogers brought on Richard Pears to replace Jamie Mudge. There was an immediate
change to the game. Pearsy started to both hold the ball as clearances were made and dispel any
accusations about his work rate by chasing everything that came near him and moved. Within a
minute Phil Everett was set free down the right‚ stopped dead to let the pursuing defender charge
past him and sent a beautiful little centre into the middle‚ only to see Nance fail to control the ball and
do the Invicta defences job by clearing it back up field.
The Whites defenders were enjoying their respite‚ so sent the ball back forward. Pearsy´s turn to
chase down the wing and force in the cross. Everett met it at the far post and it was heading into the
net until Weitecha stumbled across its path and bumbled it past the post. The bewildered keeper had
no idea of where the ball had gone or how it had got there! The corner was taken short (no comments
please Mr Editor) and never made it to the penalty area as Invicta forced Town back. But Tivvy had
seized the initiative and it was Everett´s turn to charge down the right again. Another cross. This time it
was Richard in the middle but for once his first touch let him down and away up field went Invicta. But
back came Tivvy down the right again. Pearsy lost it. The defenders tried to play triangles to work it
clear. Richard chased and harried until the ball was hurriedly sliced away and out for a throw. Pears
collected the ball from the throw‚ slid it inside the defender‚ Steve Winter ran outside the defender and
was clear with the ball. Pearsy had moved across into the middle as Wints carried the ball forward.
Over came the cross‚ right to Pears´s foot. Thump! 3-0. Weicheta had not moved‚ he was rooted to
the goal-line again. (Weitecha line man?). It was time to defend again for Tivvy. Marcus Gross
replaced Cheno and the Whites settled down to protect their lead. Then disaster. Pears was still
chasing clearances and suddenly was a heap on the deck. He´d contacted some studs in a tackle.
Play was eventually halted. Off he hobbled and on came Antony Lynch. Five minutes later there was
another white shirt on the ground. Steve Winter. It looked bad. A stretcher was brought and Steve was
carried away. Ten man Tivvy had ten minutes to hang on. There were a few ´moments´ but they did it.
A new formation was devised‚ 1-8-1. Eddie in goal; Lynch up front; Eight defenders; No midfield. It
worked.

Folkestone´s fans could not claim this time that the outcome was robbery by Tivvy‚ it was far more
serious than that for the Men of Kent. Town are up to twelfth in the table and could go higher on
Wednesday. Bring on Worcester - there´s a score to settle‚ and Tivvy are looking good enough to
settle it.


Tiverton Town: Paul Edwards‚ Steve Winter‚ Neil Saunders‚ Steve Peters‚ Nicky Marker‚ Scott Rogers‚ Kevin
Nancekivell, Jamie Mudge, Phil Everett, David Steele, Paul Chenoweth.
Subs: Richard Pears (Mudge,67), Anthony Lynch (Pears,79), Marcus Gross (Chenoweth,76).

Folkestone Invicta: Dave Weitecha, Andy Morris, Dan Larkin, Andy Larkin, Scott Daniels, Mike Azzopardi,
Martin Chandler, Danny G. Chapman, James Dryden, Nicky Dent, Anthony Henry.
Subs: John Ayling, Anthony Hogg, Lee Winfield.

This report ©2001 John Reidy






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