Match report

Witheridge 0 - 3 Tiverton Town

   Tuesday 30/09/2008   Devon St Luke's Cup
Alan Reidy

With all due respect there is little to get excited about when it comes to the early stages of the Devon St. Luke’s Bowl, a fact reflected in the low gates each and every season. But in an attempt to make something out of nothing it is worth donning anorak and considering a few things. Firstly, the game with Witheridge was technically an away game being played at home, not the first time we have hosted our hosts in this competition. The most recent occasion was two years ago, when on an equally blustery Devonshire evening Clyst Rovers welcomed Tiverton Town to Ladysmead. That game, which Town won 5-2 saw Paul Wyatt score his first goal for the club, so it was perhaps fitting that he would score again against Withy. Also on the scoresheet for Tiverton 24 months past was Richard Lamacraft, the only time he appeared on the goals scored column of the Tivvy archives. And fitting, once again, that Lamacraft was back at Ladysmead, this time sporting the blue and orange of the ‘home’ side.



There were a number of familiar names in the Witheridge side – Brendan O’Boyle and Liam Raybould were both members of the Tiverton Youth setup in their early years, Aaron Harper- Penman and Fred Kingdom have been involved with the Yellows Under 18s more recently, and of course the immortal and incomparable Phil Everett was in attendance, although restricted to bench warming for the evening as it happened. The Tiverton side was almost less recognisable as Raiff Gwinnett and Paul Jarvis filled the wingback berths, while goalscoring prodigy David Hood was amongst the substitutes.



Wyatt almost had the ball in the net inside fifteen seconds as Phil Walsh and Mark Saunders quickly combined to release the Tiverton striker, but Steve Johns got down well at his near post to save, and with less than five minutes on the clock Mike Booth’s tumble in the area under pressure was waved away. Town were dominant, the wingbacks were being employed more like natural wingers, and Walsh fired over the crossbar as the ‘away’ side piled on the pressure. The onslaught came within a foot or so of paying dividends on eighteen minutes but Nathan Rudge’s snapshot was deflected over the top after Arran Pugh had done well to divert Jarvis’ corner into the danger area.



With the attacking play all at one end of the pitch it was perhaps no surprise that the Tivvy defence were a bit rusty, and when Lee Woodman broke free Jarvis could only upend him in the area, penalty to Witheridge. Steve Ebdy, a prolific striker for Willand Rovers in days past stepped up, side-footed the ball, and cringed in search of a crack in the floor to swallow him up as the ball missed Steve Book’s left post by three yards, and the crossbar by almost as much. It was a truly hideous penalty, one which would make David Beckham proud.



That might have been their moment, but it was gone, and three minutes further on Witheridge were chasing the game as a somewhat clumsy poke at the ball by Walsh deceived Johns. Or maybe that is unfair, it was an audacious lob by Walsh that gave Johns no chance. Either way Tivvy were ahead, and Wyatt doubled the advantage on the half-hour when he beat a flat-footed defence and remained calm in sliding the ball beneath the advancing Johns. Yes, that was deliberate repetition from the previous match report, the goal was virtually identical.



Johns saved neatly from Wyatt just a few minutes later, and Glenn Gould, on for Saunders ten minutes before the interval, watched his powerful long-range teaser handled with care. At the other end Perry Carpenter blazed a free kick over Book and over the bar after Lamacraft had been brought down by Rudge, but there was by now little hope of Withy getting back into the match. Ebdy contrived to miss another glorious chance on the resumption – he was having a horror of a game – and when he finally hit the target the shot was weak and saved with ease. Walsh shot with too much lift for Tiverton, and Johns did marvellously well to react briskly as Booth’s shot took a wicked deflection off half-time sub Tom Knighton. With fifteen to go the game was put beyond any doubt as Knighton poked home Gwinnett’s low cross from the right. Three-nil and just time for Walsh and Harper-Penman to pick up bookings for an off-the-ball altercation, and for Hood to make his Tivvy bow as a replacement for the excellent Wyatt. At the death Adam Clark struck the outside of the post for Witheridge, and that was as close as they came to scoring.



Witheridge: Steve Johns; Dominic Rivens, Liam Raybould, Aaron Harper-Penman, Brendan O’Boyle, Rick Davey, Fred Kingdom (Adam Clarke 79), Perry Carpenter (Matt Snell 59), Steve Ebdy, Lee Woodman, Richard Lamacraft (Jake Crush 67)

Booked: None

Sent Off: None



Tiverton Town: Steve Book; Raiff Gwinnett, Paul Jarvis, Arran Pugh, Nathan Rudge, Tom Gardner, Mike Booth, James Fraser (Tom Knighton 46), Phil Walsh, Mark Saunders (Glenn Gould 35), Paul Wyatt (David Hood 76)

Goals: Walsh 26, Wyatt 29, Knighton 76

Booked: None

Sent Off: None



Attendance: 120

This report ©2008 Alan Reidy






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