Match report

Elmore 0 - 8 Tiverton Town

   Wednesday 06/08/2008   Hospital Cup Fr
Alan Reidy

Mills Hospital Cup




Tiverton moved closer towards the competitive season with the Mills Hospital Cup game at Horsdon Park against cross-town rivals Elmore, and Martyn Rogers was forced to shuffle the pack following the ankle injury suffered by Ray Johnston in the previous game. Tom Gardner once again took the gloves and was set for a relatively quiet evening in the rain, while Arran Pugh and Adam Faux teamed up with Nathan Rudge in the heart of the defence. Raiff Gwinnett earned his first start on the right flank and Mark Saunders returned to the fray to fill the midfield slot vacated by Pugh. With Lawrence Yiga unavailable Tom Knighton was recalled to partner Matt Groves in the attack, and Matt Villis was given the night off.



Elmore are anything but world beaters - they have sadly been perpetual strugglers in the Western League for a number of seasons, and their lack of strength in depth was accentuated a week earlier when they fell to a heavy 8-2 defeat at the hands of South West Peninsula side Witheridge. With that considered it was expected that Tiverton would be able to bag a few goals against the team from the East of town, and that prediction eventually held true, although five of the eight goals were scored against tired legs in the final seventeen minutes of the game. In the end Elmore proved willing workers - on the whole they are a youthful team of local players who play for pride and the enjoyment of the game. Such an attitude may not win many football games but it is refreshing to witness nonetheless, and fits nicely into the ethos of Elmore Football Club as a whole.



In heavy rain the match began and immediately took the pattern that was expected with Tiverton on the front foot and laying siege to the host’s goal. Groves had already put a shot into the carpark by the time Bobby Hopkinson opened the scoring from twenty-five yards after just six minutes. Picking up a simple square ball from Chris Vinnicombe, Hopkinson put his head down, dropped a shoulder to open the space and made headway. Ignoring the shrieks from Gwinnett on his right he struck a low swerving drive that had Elmore goalkeeper Anthony Taylor well beaten.



Elmore offered little in terms of an attacking threat inside the Tivvy half of the pitch; when they did break into the final third they couldn’t get past the mile-long legs of Arran Pugh, leaving him to feed Nathan Rudge in order to commence another Tiverton onslaught. That was how the game went, and the only surprise was that it took until ten minutes before the break for Town to double the lead. When the second goal came it was worth the wait, however, Vinnicombe once again starting the move, and Matt Groves curling an unstoppable shot into the far corner of the net from well outside the area.



Alex Faux and Paul Wyatt were introduced on the resumption following the change of ends, and it was the former that had the greatest impact, curling in a fine deep cross from wide on the right for Mark Saunders to scramble home at the far post. Brazilian trialist Zuco replaced Groves before Faux the younger notched his first goal in Yellow with a simple tap in from close range, a strike that would open the floodgates.



Saunders nodded in the fifth of the evening at the second attempt from Hopkinson’s corner kick, and Wyatt danced through a heavy-legged defensive line before calmly slotting home number six on 82 minutes. Elmore didn’t drop heads but had no answer to Tivvy’s superiority and Zuco showed a touch of South American flair to grab his first of the night just sixty seconds later. Having picked up the ball just inside the penalty area he took one look and delivered a cute weighted lob that left the goalkeeper hopelessly flat-footed and left Tiverton with a comfortable seven-goal margin.



Zuco then made it eight with the final kick of the game, placing the ball into the bottom corner of the goal from the edge of the area, and Tivvy lifted the Hospital Cup once more and could now look forward to the league opener at The Grove, Halesowen in twelve days time.



Tiverton Town: Tom Gardner; Raiff Gwinnett, Chris Vinnicombe (Alex Faux 46), Adam Faux, Nathan Rudge, Arran Pugh, Glenn Gould, Bobby Hopkinson, Tom Knighton (Paul Wyatt 46), Mark Saunders, Matt Groves (Zuco 54)



This report ©2008 Alan Reidy






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