Match report

Tiverton Town 2 - 0 Worcester City

   Wednesday 19/12/2001   Southern League Premier Division
John Reidy

It makes no difference what faith you may follow‚ be it Christianity‚ Buddhism‚ Islam. Even if you have no particular religious leanings‚ preferring to follow one of the more Humanitarian ways of life‚ there are always contradictions in their teachings. Some one in the past‚ perhaps it was that wise old Chinese sage Confucius‚ told us that ´many hands make light work´ and then two breaths later informed us that ´too many cooks spoiled the broth´. Bible students have always battled with the New Testament´s teaching of forgiveness - ´How many times shall I forgive my brother? Twenty times twenty´ - as compared to the Old Testament´s ´an eye for an eye‚ a tooth for a tooth´. Hollywood´s equivalent of the later was probably‚ "Don´t get mad‚ get even"‚ and that was exactly how I felt as this return match with Worcester City approached. When Tivvy had travelled to Worcester back in October they had given almost as good as they had got but still came away on the wrong end of a 4-2 scoreline. There was a sense of injustice among the Yellow´s fans‚ for the team´s performance had shown a great deal more fight‚ skill and commitment than had been shown in some previous games. The promise of better things to come was justified‚ Town have not been beaten in the league since. Before we could reap the benefits of better results the outcome of other games plunged our favourites into the relegation zone for the first time in over a decade. It was not a pleasant feeling. Recompense was due.

Both sides had injury problems and were forced to re shuffle Saturday´s teams but it was the Worcester team that settled first and dominated the early exchanges‚ well I might call them exchanges but that implies that Tivvy were giving something and frankly if they were it wasn´t much. Within two minutes debutant Johnny Wilkinson clumsily gave away a free kick on the edge of the penalty area and Paul Edwards was called into spectacular action to tip the resulting header over the bar and out for a corner. The visitors looked as if they were the side with something to prove and looked far more likely to do it as they pushed the Yellows back with some fast‚ frantic but accurate attacking moves. Eddie was in action again in the tenth minute‚ unable to hold a fierce drive from Marc Burrow as he cut in swiftly from the left‚ and falling on the ball at the feet of Stewart Hadley just as he seemed certain to poke it home. After being pinned back in their own half for ten minutes Tivvy at last managed to venture forward. Phil Everett fed a long ball out to Wilkinson on the right but as the fans hopes rose so did the ball‚ high and wide into the netting above the sponsors stand. Worcester retaliated by applying twice as much pressure‚ winning two corners in quick succession‚ the second being conceded thanks to another acrobatic over the top tip by Eddie. The Town defence were gradually getting themselves organised and were starting to play the ball forward into midfield rather than just hoof it clear‚ and as the midfielders began to get better supply so they were able to prompt the forwards with more constructive balls.

Most of the attacking play was coming from the visitors but the breaks were becoming more frequent and looking more dangerous‚ particularly those emanating from Scott Rogers‚ and most of them did. First he sent Jamie Mudge away straight trough the middle. Jamie jinked first to his right past one defender‚ then to his left past another‚ then right again. Having done the hard work he then shot yards wide of the upright. Scott had a go himself in the twenty third minute after dummying to pass to Jamie but turning into the space he had created before blasting way over the top. The best yellows chance came on the half hour. Rogers again started it by setting Paul Chenoweth away down the left. Cheno´s cross beat the defence‚ Phil missed with a diving header and Wilkinson‚ getting the idea of pushing forward‚ was a yard short as the ball flashed past the right hand post. For all these attacks it was still City that were having most of the forward possession though they were finding it increasingly difficult to find space to actually threaten the Tiverton goal. Danny McDonnell in the Worcester goal made his first real save in the 39th minute. This time it was Jamie that fed Cheno on the left. Chens cut in and let fly with a ferocious shot. No way was the keeper going to get down and get a hand on it so option two was called for. Out went his foot and out went the ball for a corner. Worcester cleared the ball and with the exception of one break and cross goal shot from Mudge pushed Tivvy back to the territory that they had occupied for most of the first period‚ i.e.. their own half. Like the last home game it was a disappointing first 45 minutes for the fans and we couldn´t even say that we´d be better going towards the Devco end in the second half - we´d been playing that way anyway.

There was no respite when the teams took the field again. The team in white started where they had left off‚ camped on the outskirts of the Tivvy penalty area. As far as the Yellows were concerned they only looked dangerous in forward mode when Jamie Mudge was involved as he was in the 56th minute. Off he skipped down the right flank and whipped in a cross right to Everett´s head. Phil met the ball firmly enough but McDonnell held it easily. A minute later the whole move was repeated but this time it was Roger´s head and it didn´t quite connect and was cleared away. Town were upping the pace a little‚ even Wilkinson managed to test the keeper with a looping shot from way out on the right. Phil was next to make a wing run as Jamie fed him down the left touchline‚ Phil´s cross to Paul Chenoweth left ´Cheno´ little space and his effort was hacked away but it was clear that the Yellows were getting on top. As the pace hoted up so the feet‚ elbows and arms began to fly. Both sides were as guilty as the other and after all it is a ´mans´ game but it was not always pretty. The 73rd minute should have seen Tivvy´s first goal. With the defensive pressure on midfield eased Kevin Nancekivell was pushing forward more. He broke clear towards the left‚ cut in towards goal and sent in a low cross that Jamie Mudge hit hard towards goal. It was hacked of the line but fell to Scot Rogers eight yards out. Scot tried to pick his spot with a delicate side foot shot. Tried but failed as the ball flew over the crossbar. But Town were both dominant and rampant and we didn´t have to wait much longer for their first goal. It was predictable when it came in the 76th minute for we´d seen the move before. Jamie down the right. Good cross into the middle. Phil meeting it firmly with head. This time keeper not getting to it‚ 1-0. Now‚ often heard on the terraces is the comment‚ ´I wish we could have an instant replay´.

So for those that didn´t quite see how it was done‚ and without the aid of technology‚ Jamie and Phil obliged within the minute. It went like this. Jamie down the right. Good cross into the middle. Phil meeting it firmly with boot (..... ah....spot the difference‚ someone´s been tampering with the tape!)‚ keeper not getting to it, 2-0. Better than an instant replay - they both count. The fans frustration of waiting for a goal was over and so was the game. Worcester´s frustration at having dominated for so long only to be hit with the double whammy boiled over in a free for all after Eddie had been fouled taking a high ball resulting in John Holloway being shown the red card. He didn´t want to leave the scene and eventually had to be physically encouraged towards the dressing rooms by one of his own team-mates. (Interesting postings on Worcester Website re the incident). Stoppage time saw the ball in the Worcester net again but Nance was adjudged to have fouled the keeper.

In ´The End´ the outcome was just about right. Worcester took the first half but not their chances. Tivvy took the second and two of their chances. And taken chances win games as City found at their place. Recompence has been made!

It has been a long, hard climb but the Yellows are back in the top half of the table. Time to start trawling through my record collection, the last words surely have to come from Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes. Tivvy are - in the words of their 1983 hit song - UP WHERE WE BELONG.



Tiverton Town: Paul Edwards, John Wilkinson, Neil Saunders, Steve Peters, Nicky Marker, Scott Rogers, Kevin Nancekivell, Jamie Mudge, Phil Everett, David Steele, Paul Chenoweth.

Subs: Anthony Lynch (Wilkinson,84), Marcus Gross (Marker, 62), Steve Ovens.

Worcester City: Danny McDonnell, Paul Carty, Nathan Dukes, Carl Heeley, Dwaine McFarlane, Jon Holloway, Leon Jackson, Mark Blount, Marc Burrow, Jamie Hyde, Stewart Hadley.

Subs: Ray Woods Liam McDonald, Matt Stock

This report ©2001 John Reidy






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