Match report

Clevedon Town 1 - 2 Tiverton Town

   Monday 25/08/2008   Southern League Premier Division
Alan Reidy

Clevedon Town boast a very different animal to the one that won this fixture on Boxing Day last season by a landslide 4-0 margin, just a couple of players remain, and on the evidence of Monday afternoon they will have a lot of work to carry out before the new look side become accustomed to the rigours of Southern League football. For all their keenness and intent they were lacking the know-how to break down what is becoming an increasingly stoic Tiverton defence, and the Seasiders can have few qualms about the end result which saw Tivvy rocket back up the league table into eighth position.



It was fast and furious from the off, no niceties, just high tempo forward motion and little chance to settle into the game. Typically for Tiverton it was Bobby Hopkinson that was at the centre of the attacking movement, his gutsy tenaciousness and intelligent passing helping to carve space, but Danny Greaves, one of few mainstays in the Clevedon side showed safe hands and calmness as all around him were battling away against man and wind alike.



Midway through the opening period the deadlock was broken with the run of play as Tivvy pinned back their hosts and won a throw-in deep inside the Clevedon half of the pitch on the right touchline. Hopkinson let it fly towards the goal area, Arran Pugh rose highest, shaking off the attentions of Leighton Burrows, and flicked the ball off his eyebrows further into the danger area. The blue and black defence clambered over one-another, Tom Knighton stealthily nipped in and scrambled the ball between Greaves and Lee Jenkins who was guarding the far post.



In search of a leveller the home side gradually muscled their way into the game, a term used quite literally in fact, but neither Lewis Powell nor Chris Pearce were able to trouble Steve Book in the Tivvy goal unduly, and with the inexperienced home side running out of ideas Pugh came within inches of doubling the Yellows’ lead five minutes before the interval. Unfortunately for the tall defender his header rebounded off the woodwork, not the last time the frame of the goal would save the Seasiders, and the one goal margin was maintained through to the half-time oranges.



If the beginning of the first half was intense then the opening couple of minutes after the change of ends were every bit as lively. Just two minutes after the restart Knighton nodded his second, almost a carbon copy of the first. Another long throw from Hopkinson, another flick on from Pugh, and this time Knighton met the ball with his head before the home defence had time to fall over each other. Two-nil and cruising, or so it should have been, but Josh Brigham had other ideas. Simon Heal curled a free kick into the Tiverton area where Brigham was on hand to not the ball beyond the rooted Book. For a team that are clearly so dangerous with attacking set-pieces this was a disappointing goal to concede, not least as it gave Clevedon hope that they could nick a further goal as the game wore on.



The truth is, as it transpired, that not only could Clevedon not muster another goal, they could barely muster another half-chance. Tiverton were almost resplendent, the tardy passing of two days earlier had been banished, and the belief of pre-season and beyond returned as Tivvy dominated the second half. Clevedon, chasing shadows, became frustrated, and took most of their frustration out of Paul Wyatt, the Tivvy striker eventually succumbing to the kicks and elbows and leaving the pitch with a bloody forehead. Matt Driscoll, shaven headed and thuggish, earned one yellow card and then another, he was out of the game, and with an extra player Tiverton sought to push home their advantage. Hopkinson went close, Knighton went closer, and Greaves had cause to praise the frame of his goal once more. There was no final hurrah, no late onslaught from the home side, and Tiverton made the short trip home with their perfect away record intact.



Clevedon Town: Danny Greaves; Leigh Jenkins, Leighton Burrows, Chris Collins, Matt Driscoll, Craig Loxton, Tom Hooper, Simon Heal, Lewis Powell, Chris Pearce (Hanin Romdhane), Josh Brigham

Goals: Brigham 48

Booked: Driscoll

Sent Off: Driscoll



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

Goals: Knighton 27, 47

Booked: Hopkinson



Attendance: 211

This report ©2008 Alan Reidy






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