Match report

Wealdstone 1 - 2 Tiverton Town

   Saturday 01/11/2008   FA Trophy
Alan Reidy

FA Trophy Second Qualifying Round



Tiverton and Wealdstone had met just twice prior to last weekends match, both times in league football two seasons ago and on both occasions the home side ran out narrow victors. Previously Wealdstone had shared a ground with Northwood but they now had a place to call home having bought out Ruislip Manor’s basic stadium in North West London, a new venue for Tivvy and a new outcome as the Yellows battled against the elements to squeeze past the Isthmian League strugglers and into the hat for the draw for the next round.



The conditions proved tricky to become acclimatised to and initially Tiverton struggled as they began playing down the slope and with the wind behind their backs. Countless through balls were over hit and possession was wasted, while with their noses to the wind Wealdstone enjoyed much more of the ball. However, the hosts were reduced to hopeful efforts from outside the area and only once in the first half was Steve Book beaten, only for Keiron Forbes shot to clip the outside of the goalpost and slip wide for a goal kick.



Tiverton took the lead against the run of play, but at a time when they were just beginning to force parity. With twenty-seven minutes on the clock Bobby Hopkinson opted against a long throw in and lobbed a short one into the feet of James Fraser instead. With nowhere to go Fraser passed back to the thrower and Hopkinson then moved the ball square with a quick pass to Paul Jarvis. What came next was almost predictable – Jarvis turned, breezed outside the first half-hearted challenge and swung his left boot and the ball. A slight deflection took a bit of pace off the shot but also moved the ball slightly to the right as Luke Woods waited on his goal line. Through a crowd of players, Woods was unsighted but threw himself at full stretch only to see the ball creep six inches inside his upright.



Chris O’Leary saw yellow after he illegally stopped Fraser in his tracks, upending the Town midfielder after a surging run had taken play to the edge of the Stones area, but Jarvis lifted the resultant wind-assisted free kick over the top, and a relatively uneventful first half saw little more in the way of genuine goalscoring opportunities at either end of the sodden pitch.



Wealdstone coped more effectively than Tiverton after the change of ends, although they too were forced to temper their passes having watched a flurry of balls slip off the surface down their right flank and go harmlessly behind for goal kicks. But just after the hour mark the home side were level; a sequence of corners had been won and finally David Hicks, who played against Tiverton for Cheshunt last season (and scored and was later dismissed at Ladysmead), swung in a dangerous quadrant kick that clipped Alex Faux’s head and defied Book to nestle into the net at the far post.



And so we were level once more, but for all their possession Wealdstone did little to excite their own supporters and it was Tiverton that created the better chances from there on in. Four minutes after the equaliser Phil Walsh was denied when he met Jarvis’ corner with a powerful downward header only for Hicks to scramble the ball off of the goal line, but the big man was not to be denied his goal, and ultimately Tivvy’s winner with twenty minutes left to play. Mark Saunders, who had played deeper and deeper as the game progressed was able to release Fraser down the right, Fraser skipped into space, looked up and pulled the ball back into the area. Tom Knighton was racing forward in support, too far forward, and the ball went behind him to the edge of the eighteen yard box. But Walsh was deeper and unmarked, took a look at what was in front of him and kept his head to side foot the ball goalwards. Woods, following the ball across had his weight distributed on his right foot, the ball went to his left, and despite his best efforts he wasn’t able to correct his momentum and could only fall in vain as he was beaten for the second time.



A flurry of substitutions from the hosts did little to help them in their search for a second equaliser – they were quick across the ground but had little guile or penetration and Tivvy came within a whisker of sealing the win in the last ten minutes. Jarvis again was the instigator, finding space on the right but his low cross was sliced out for a corner by Alan Massey, who it must be said did well not to turn the ball into his own net. At the death Steve Book, impeccable all afternoon, made the only real save he was forced into all afternoon when a rasping shot from twenty yards from Ryan Ashe was palmed over the crossbar, and Tiverton saw out time to earn a trip to Bishop’s Stortford in the next round of the competition. At the final whistle Martyn Rogers insisted his charges show their appreciation for the travelling supporters, saturated but delighted after a difficult tie.



Wealdstone: Luke Woods; Carl Martin, Lee Chappell, Darren Locke (Nick Salapatas 87), Alan Massey, Ryan Ashe, Kieron Forbes (Ben Clarke 78), Chris O’Leary, Gavin James (Graeme Montgomery 75), Marvin Sordell, Dave Hicks

Goals: Hicks 62

Booked: O’Leary 29

Sent off: None



Tiverton Town: Steve Book; Paul Jarvis, Alex Faux, Matt Villis, Mike Booth, Tom Gardner, James Fraser, Bobby Hopkinson, Phil Walsh, Mark Saunders, Tom Knighton (Nathan Rudge 89)

Goals: Jarvis 27, Walsh 72

Booked: Hopkinson 63

Sent off: None



Attendance: 220

This report ©2008 Alan Reidy






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