Match report

Tiverton Town 2 - 2 Solihull Borough

   Saturday 19/08/2000   Southern League First Division
Nigel Davis

Let´s give these tea leaves a stir. Ah. The mist is clearing. I see a side playing at Ladysmead on a sunny Saturday in August. It´s the first day of the season and they go two goals down‚ only to be pegged back to 2-2 by a side looking lethal going forward. Give those leaves another stir. I see them nine months later and that side that came back from the dead have won the Western Division by a mile. Yes‚ Stafford Rangers turned it round from being 2-0 down at Tivvy and used it as the launch pad for promotion...Now‚ let´s turn the clock on to the first day of this season. Solihull Borough ride their luck in the first half as Tivvy pen them back in their own box - but show how dangerous they are on the break‚ taking a two goal lead. But Tivvy have other ideas and turn their attacking superiority into goals from Phil Everett and Richard Pears to take a share of the spoils. Will history now repeat itself??? Solihull‚ viewed by those in the know as being a force this season‚ came with a transparent game plan. Slow the game down by fair means or foul. Get Dodge wound up. Hope that the ref will lose a few minutes and pray that these tactics will stop a repeat of last season´s 6-1 pummelling. Well it worked a treat‚ but they gained few fans for their dubious tactics.
For Tivvy‚ the talk of Kevin Nancekivell moving onwards and upwards followed by the stunning signing of ex-Exeter City star Jason Rees plus the news that Neil Saunders was not in the squad kept the patter on the terraces going at full pelt. And the same could be said of the way Tivvy hared out of the trap at 14:58pm. It was not an auspicious day for portly referee Steve Cook whose antics with the watch riled many of the 738 spectators. He couldn´t even get the kick-off time right! Plenty of goalmouth action then ensued - all in the Borough box and goalkeeper Richard Anstiss had to be at his best to keep Tivvy at bay. After 15 minutes he pulled off a double save - first from Dave Leonard and then Phil Everett. From the ensuing corner‚ Nicky Marker´s header hit a post with Anstiss stranded.
Two minutes later‚ Richard Pears burst through‚ kept his shot hard and low‚ but steered it just wide. Midway through the half Tivvy had another corner after Pears had seen his shot tipped over and this time Stuart Smith´s goalbound header was headed off the line by Nigel Brown.
By now‚ Solihull´s tactics were well in evidence. Players going down off the ball‚ demanding attention. The trainer ambling on. Taking free kicks from the wrong place‚ so prompting the ref to order retakes. The keeper taking ages to take goalkicks. All eating up seconds that‚ more likely than not‚ wouldn´t be added on. And so it proved...
A rare foray forward by Borough showed that they had the pace to upset Tivvy´s reshuffled defence and‚ on 29 minutes‚ Chris Smith headed wide in their first really dangerous move. Two minutes later and Brett Healey takes a free kick from just outside the box. It pierced the fragile Tivvy wall and Paul Edwards had to hurl himself across goal to save. Then‚ seconds later in their next move‚ Smith burst through and was upended in the box by captain-for-the-day Nick Marker. Brown made no mistake from the spot and Solihull took the lead. After 43 minutes Tivvy had another scare when Borough broke quickly after Dominic Richardson had unfortunately trodden on the ball. Edwards smothered Paul Pippard´s shot before the ball was bundled away for a corner from which skipper Ian Mitchell received the ball 30 yards out and smashed it home leaving Edwards - and the rest of the Tivvy defence - for dead. A marvellous strike. 2-0 to the visitors.
So the game crept in to injury time - and there should have been at least five minutes to be added. Two minutes in and the impressive Jason Rees curled in a free kick from the right wing‚ Nick Marker touched the ball goalwards and‚ despite Anstiss getting a hand to it‚ he could not prevent Phil Everett crashing the ball home from all of six inches to make it 2-1.
At the half-time whistle‚ Dodge probably did not endear himself to the ref as he accompanied him to the dressing room in agitated conversation‚ no doubt berating him for the ludicrous blatant timewasting tactics from the Brummies.
So to part two. Two minutes into the second half‚ Tivvy were astonished that Mr Cook ignored their penalty appeals after Andy Penny bundled Phil Everett over in the box as they both rose to meet a corner. Seven minutes later we saw a pearler of a move which was finished with a Steve Daly outswinger that just curled too much and into the side netting. But Tivvy were buzzing. However‚ Penny had a glorious chance to make it 3-1 but his header was powder-puff and he glanced the ball wide. The 57th minute saw the first substitution‚ Gary Knight replacing Guy Russell. Five minutes later and Tivvy were level. A superb reverse turn and swerve by Pears that bamboozled Penny gave the striker the space he needed and he completed his pirouette with a shot that beat Anstiss for pace to make it 2-2.
With the replacement of Daly with Kevin Nancekivell and Steve Ovens for Everett hopes were high that the winner was nigh. But it was not to be and‚ even though Tivvy kept up the pressure (so much so that Nick Amos was booked for a 78th minute foul on Scott Rogers)‚ they could not find their way through. With just 55 seconds added onto a half that saw at least three minutes of time lost due to injuries‚ one wonders if the ref had thoughts of his half-time chat with Dodge in mind. Never mind. Those tea leaves still look good.

Line up: 1. Paul Edwards‚ 2. Dominic Richardson‚ 3. Stuart Smith‚ 4. Paul Tatterton‚ 5. Nick Marker‚ 6. Scott Rogers‚
7. Jason Rees‚ 8. Richard Pears‚ 9. Phil Everett‚ 10. Steve Daly‚ 11. Dave Leonard,

Subs: 12. Steve Ovens (Phil Everett 77), 14. Kevin Nancekivell (Steve Daly 77), 15. Pete Conning.

SOLIHULL BOROUGH: 1 Richard Antiss, 2 Russell Dodd, 3 Ian Mitchell (captain), 4 Nick Amos, 5 Andy Penny, 6 Guy Russell, 7 Brett Healey, 8 Chris Smith, 9 Paul Pippard, 10 David Hart, 11 Nigel Brown, 12 Craig Woodfield, 14 Andy Lovelock (for Nigel Brown, 68m), 15 Gary Knight (for Guy Russell, 57m).

This report ©2000 Nigel Davis






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