Match report

Tiverton Town 2 - 2 Gloucester City

   Tuesday 19/08/2008   Southern League Premier Division
Alan Reidy

Tiverton Town’s return to competitive action at Ladysmead, the first league game here since a sorry defeat at the hands of Banbury United last April saw the arrival in Devon of a much fancied Gloucester City side that had ripped the heart out of newly promoted Stourbridge at the weekend. Tivvy, fresh from victory at Halesowen Town were keen to build on that fine result and fielded an unchanged starting line-up against the Tigers.



A cagy start meant few chances of breaking the deadlock in the early stages, although Adam Faux was galloping up and down the right flank for the Yellows, and nearly delivered a fine cross to the feet of Arran Pugh, only for the Tivvy midfielder to lose out under a stiff challenge on the edge of the area. From there it was Gloucester that began to exert their authority, and they pinned Town deep inside their own half for a lengthy period, but only mustered up a handful of corners, all of which headed towards the far post via the foot of Neil Mustoe, and all of which were dealt with by Pugh.



On a rare attack down the left flank Tivvy had their first speculative effort on goal, Matt Groves cut in, slipped a challenge or two and struck powerfully only to see the shot blocked at close range and then hacked away from danger. That was after eighteen minutes, and little happened for the next ten with the exception of a dubious yellow card for Pugh when he was adjudged to have fouled while it seemed he was as much the victim as he was the villain. But the breakthrough came just before the half-hour mark - a hopeful free kick was launched half the length of the pitch by Matt Villis, Nathan Rudge clambered at the far post to direct the ball back into the goalmouth, and Tom Gardner stole in to bundle home from close range. The word on the street was that it was the unfortunate Mustoe that delivered the final touch, but Gardner claimed it, and either way Tiverton had edged in front.



The game was just four minutes older, and Gloucester were on the front foot again; Marus Palmer, largely anonymous to that point picked up the ball with back to goal just inside the area, twisted a little, turned a little more and fell over Rudge’s outstretched left leg. The referee had no hesitation in awarding a penalty, a decision that wasn’t hotly disputed by the Yellows’ players, and Mustoe rammed the spot kick down the middle as Steve Book dived out of the way to his right.



Luke Ballinger replaced the poor Alex Allard and was soon in the referee’s notebook following a crude challenge on Pugh, with Tom Webb joining his team-mate after “failing to respect the referee”, and Faux once again beat his man on the right but his low cross was cut out at the last by City goalkeeper Kevin Sawyer.



Symons had the ball in the net at the start of the second half but was denied by the briskly raised flag of the linesman, and Town gradually edged on top. Bobby Hopkinson’s low drive from the edge of the box was neatly saved and held by a stretched Sawyer, and Tom Knighton’s shot was deflected past the post as Tivvy looked to get themselves back ahead. But the goal didn’t come and Symons missed a glaring chance at the other end, having received an agricultural shove by Rudge following a superb save from Book. Gloucester wanted a penalty and they got one just four minutes later when Book clumsily clipped the heels of the dynamic Jack Pitcher. Same decision, it was indisputable, Book in the book, and another cool penalty strike from Mustoe; Gloucester led.



Pitcher could only deflect Lee Smith’s drilled cross straight at Book, and from that point Tivvy dominated, particularly after the introduction to the game of Paul Wyatt in place of a lacklustre Tom Knighton. It was Wyatt’s tenacity that led to Tiverton’s equaliser; chasing a lost cause that Smith should have put into Row Z and winning a corner on the left. Hopkinson floated the ball to the far post; Rudge rose unchallenged and rammed a header into the back of the net. Late on Town should have won the game but Groves stumbled and stuttered with the ball after more excellent work from Wyatt had opened the Tigers’ defence, and the match petered out into a frenetic but unpenatrative affair.



Tiverton Town: Steve Book; Adam Faux, Chris Vinnicombe, Matt Villis (Scott Hiley 77), Nathan Rudge, Tom Gardner, Arran Pugh (Glenn Gould 85), Bobby Hopkinson, Tom Knighton (Paul Wyatt 77), Mark Saunders, Matt Groves

Goals: Gardner 29, Rudge 80

Booked: Pugh 26, Book 60, Vinnicombe 63

Sent Off: None



Gloucester City: Kevin Sawyer; Matt Walsh, Lee Marshall, Neil Mustoe, Ashley Thomas, Matt Rose, Lee Smith, Tom Webb, Marcus Palmer (Jack Pitcher 54), Mike Symons, Alex Allard (Luke Ballinger 36)

Goals: Mustoe 34 (pen), 61 (pen)

Booked: Balliner 40, Webb 40

Sent Off: None



Attendance: 446

This report ©2008 Alan Reidy






Please note: The � or ? character in some older reports denotes where an error has occured in translation when the reports were transfered between databases