Match report

Tiverton Town 3 - 2 Ilkeston Town

   Saturday 22/12/2001   Southern League Premier Division
John Reidy

Dutch scientists this week published the results of some major research into the cause‚ effect and possible solution to the problem of the difficulty in undoing jam jar tops. Obviously a matter of major concern to our Euro-neighbours in the Nederlands and a subject well worthy of testing their finest brains. The understanding of time‚ how it might be transversed and its measurement pales into insignificance in comparison. The recent Millennium celebrations highlighted our lack of comprehension of the later subject. Should we have celebrated when we did or should it have been a year later? Had allowance been made for the change to the Gregorian calendar when the peasants revolted because they believed their lives were being shortened? What did it matter anyway since it was only the Christian world that used the death of Christ as the starting point of time; the Jews and followers of Islam give different numbers to their years and count from different points: the Chinese name them after animals. Even Revolutionary France counted from the day of the deposing of Louis XVI for a while‚ and even introduced the ten day metric week. Perhaps with football becoming the new religion the time is fast approaching when the calendar will once more be reorganised. We could start by renumbering the ´old´ year 1966 as the year 1 AWC( after world cup). The year could start in what we now call July‚ which will be renamed Banks‚ with the big end of year feast falling in the month of Hurst. Maybe......In the meantime we have to stick with the orthodox calendar and Ilkeston Town were to be the last visitors to Ladysmead in 2001. A win would haul Tivvy to within reach of the Derbyshire side in the table and give the Yellows fans a pre Christmas boost.

From the way the Yellows started it looked as if they were eager for the celebrations to get underway. Forward they poured‚ sometimes to the left‚ sometimes to the right‚ sometimes down the middle. Half a dozen or more crosses flew into the Ilkeston goalmouth. High ones‚ low ones‚ close ones deep ones. All to no avail. The visitors back line was sound and Andy Love between the posts looked more than competent. The red shirted side built on their survival and forced their way into the game. It was Tiverton that conceded the first corner‚ and the second‚ and the third. By the quarter hour mark Ilkeston were not only in the game they were looking as they might be moving towards controlling it. Tivvy were looking more dangerous on the break‚ doing it in more direct fashion‚ but the possession in mid-field was swinging the Derbyshire men´s way. The effervescent Jamie Mudge created the Yellows first true chance when he burst onto Neil Saunders long clearance in the sixteenth minute‚ beat the rapidly advancing Love but placed the ball well wide. A misdirected header from Kevin Nancekivell flew past the same post a few minutes later rapidly followed by a fearsome Mudge drive that took the paint off the same piece of steelwork. Despite these efforts the visitors had gained the upper hand and it came as no shock when they took the lead. Good work out towards the right hand corner saw David Holmes cutting in to space to hammer the ball past Paul Edwards. Tivvy tried to come back. Steve Winter‚ wrist heavily strapped‚ took a free kick just outside the area. Nick Marker charging in from the left was beaten to the ball by a red socked foot and it was scooped up by Love. No back pass called the man in black‚ and rightly so for the ball could have gone anywhere. Both keepers made good saves late in the first half; Love from Jamie in a one on one situation and Eddie from Glen Kirkwood as the pacey No.9 burst through. The Yellows forced their first corner after 39minutes but that was all they had to show for their efforts as the half time whistle sounded. It was early October that Tivvy last went behind at Ladysmead (v Merthyr). Early in the season it became a habit‚. Now it seemed strange.

Martyn Rogers must have ransacked the dressing room first aid kit to find some of the magic half time potion he used to give the guys in those early season games for they came out firing on all barrels. The 48th minute should have seen the equaliser. Phil and Jamie both lost and then regained possession out towards their left hand corner flag. Eventually the ball was sliced into the middle bisecting the space between Nance and the keeper. Nance got his foot to the ball first‚ flipped it past Love‚ nipped round the glovesman and lobed it into the net - nearly. It was going until John Knapper hooked it away at the last moment. Tivvy persisted‚ as they had in the first half but though Ilkeston had their moments they failed to get involved to the same extent that they had in the first 45‚ and the Yellows fans waited for the break through. Jamie Mudge was the target man but having little seasonal joy from two very efficient looking big central defenders. Like Tivvy in the first half Ilkeston looked swift and dangerous on the break but were unable to capitalise when they did create space. Approaching the hour mark a sweet six man move was frustratingly bought to a halt when Jamie Mudge fell victim of a far to frequently seen offside flag as he bore down on goal and a minute later Winter blasted inches over from 35 yards after Everett´s left wing cross had been half cleared. With just 20 minutes to go there were signs of frustration rising from around the ground. They were soon to be dispelled. Someone must have shouted to remind Jamie of his goal creating efforts of Wednesday. For probably only the second or third time of the afternoon he ran round the outside and round the back of a defender. In he cut and over came the cross. Phil was in the middle and crashed the ball towards the line. How Love got there only he knows‚ but get there he did only to have the ball rebound to David Steele who made no mistake in hammering it home over his prostate body.

´Even Steven´ was probably a good reflection of the game at this point but there was more to come‚ lots more. Ilkeston‚ to their‚ credit were not going to settle for a share of the points and so increased their forward motion in an attempt to regain their lead. Tivvy were fired up by the goal and were just as determined to grab all the prize. It was the home boys that worked the magic as Steve Winter‚ defending level with the edge of his own penalty area delivered a long pass forward. It was not a ´defence´ splitting pass it was a ´complete team´ splitting pass. Half way inside the ´Ilks´ half Jamie collected it. One defender came from his left‚ one from his right. Like a bar of soap in the bath Jamie squeezed from between them. One on one again with Love (nice!) he slid the ball under him and into the net. There were congratulations and celebrations (apologies to Cliff Richard) at both ends. Jamie and midfielders at that nearest the swimming pool and Stevie and defenders a hundred yards away at the Devco end. Two minutes later Jamie‚ still fizzing despite his exertions‚ nearly did it again but was hauled back by an arm as he closed on the area. Ilkeston saw their festive dreams fading. A triple substitution was tried in an effort to revive their fortunes. It worked. A twice taken free kick was crashed through the defensive wall to beat Eddie as he threw himself one way and the ball caught a pair of yellow shorts and flew the other. Martyn´s turn‚ with 5 minutes left on the watch to try something new. Lynch on‚ Everett off. Anthony dropped straight into the chasing role as the Yellows pressed towards the visitors goal. Nothing was being given away by either side. Both thought they could score again‚ both thought they could win. Well not quite nothing‚ the sleigh bells were ringing and Santa was on his way. Steve Winter‚ seasonally plastered‚ collected in midfield and went jingling forward‚ rode one reindeer‚ sorry‚ tackle. Rode another and let fly from outside the box. It was a good shot but not one of Steve´s thunderbolts‚ though he had imparted a vicious spin to it. Down went the keeper‚ both hands to the ball. Santa Love hadn´t seen the spin and could only look on, mouth a-gape, as the ball span up and over his wrist and sedately into his net. Now we could see why MeatLoaf would do anything for Love. With three minutes to go the Yellows weren´t going to let go again and the ovation at the end told the players what the fans thought of the early Christmas present.

Just what Tivvy wanted, three points and a cracking match. Our visitors too are to be thanked for their part. It takes two good sides to produce entertainment of this calibre.



Tiverton Town: 1. Paul Edwards, 2. Steve Winter, 3. Neil Saunders, 4. Steve Peters, 5. Nicky Marker, 6. Scott Rogers, 7. Kevin Nancekivell, 8. Jamie Mudge, 9. Phil Everett 10. David Steele, 11. Paul Chenoweth.

Subs: 12. Anthony Lynch (Everett, 85), 14. Marcus Gross, 15. Richard Pears.

Ilkeston Town: 1. Andy Love, 2. James Whitehead, 3. Lenny Curtis, 4. Chris Timons, 5. Matt McKenzie, 6. John Napper, 7. Ian Robinson, 8. Tony Hemmings, 9. Glen Kirkwood, 10. David Holmes, 11. Emaka Nwadike.

Subs: 12. Pat Lyons (Whitehead,80), 14. Carl Wright (Robinson,80), 15. Chris Bettney (Holmes,80)

Att: 783



In best ´tabloid´ fashion all that remains for me to do, until Boxing Day, is to wish all you good readers a happy Christmas and to thank you for your support and comments since the start of my stint on the site.

Oh and I nearly forgot:- The conclusion to which those Dutch intelectuals came? Simple really! Don´t screw the things on so tight. Amazing but true!

This report ©2001 John Reidy






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