Match report

Bemerton Heath Harlequins 0 - 4 Tiverton Town

   Saturday 02/09/2000   FA Cup
Nigel Davis

The first half was a blur - punctuated by trees flashing by‚ having finally managed to negotiate my car away from the car park commonly known as the A303. On arriving at the ground the first impressions were favourable. The set-up looked first class with an excellent club house and playing surface. Bemerton´s start to the season had not been‚ I´m sure‚ quite what they had hoped for‚ gaining just three points from one win. But how often can league form go out the window in cup competitions. What kind of challenge was this well organised club going to put up? Well‚ for all their enthusiasm and hard work‚ they rarely threatened the Tivvy goal‚ but it has to be said that Tivvy were not that well organised and often seemed to make hard work of it. However‚ Jason Rees settled the Tivvy fans´ nerves with the opener after 22 minutes‚ and what a lovely goal it was. A neat passing move that was started by Stuart Smith - initially slightly uncomfortable at right wing back - was taken up by Scott Rogers whose neat one-two with Jason Rees put Jason through to slot neatly home. Then Jason had a hand in the second - a Phil Everett header - five minutes later. Another piece of excellent constructive play which saw a six-pass move this time started by Dave Leonard finish with Phil heading home from Jason Rees´ cross.
Tivvy´s domination continued after the break with only a nifty offside trap (that caught out the lacklustre Richard Pears time and time again) saving them from embarrassment. However‚ the game was elevated to a new level once Steve Ovens had replaced Pears in the 67th minute. His extra pace‚ coupled with his determination to open his account for the season‚ was in evidence from the moment he stepped foot onto the park.
Within three minutes he came close when‚ having ridden a heavy challenge from Stuart Kenna (who came out worse and needed treatment)‚ he scampered into the box before firing the ball just wide. Five minutes later‚ he was through again. This time‚ however‚ home ´keeper Colin Hopkins caught his ankles and sent the wiry striker tumbling. The youthful referee‚ Mr Hayward‚ had no hesitation in awarding a penalty. Strangely‚ Hopkins was allowed to stay on the park to attempt to save it. He didn´t even get a caution.
So‚ the record books will show that‚ once again this season‚ Nick Marker crashed home the spot kick - this time in the 76th minute. I wonder when he last scored in the FA Cup? Whatever‚ he certainly seemed to have a taste for goal because he then spent the next few minutes in Bemerton´s half‚ linking up with the attack!
Before Bemerton could restart the game‚ Pete Conning replaced Scott Rogers and‚ within sixty seconds‚ we were 4-0 up. Steve Ovens´ strength saw him wriggle past his marker to crash home a classic goal and one he was certainly due. Tivvy then brought on new dad Pete Varley for Phil Everett and he was unlucky not to get his name on the scoresheet. But then again‚ so was Bemerton´s Paul Palmer. Firstly he was put through in the 85th minute but ballooned his first time shot then‚ in the fifth minute of injury time‚ a mistake by Jason Rees gave him a gilt-edged chance. Rees uncharacteristically miscued a pass across the face of the Tivvy box (never a good move at the best of times). The ball fell at Palmer´s feet and‚ had it not been for Paul Edwards´ alertness - and he had been a spectator for much of the afternoon - Tivvy´s defence would have been punctured. But‚ with the first clean sheet of the season just seconds away‚ Eddie smothered the shot at the near post at the expense of a corner and the danger had passed.
After the final whistle‚ news filtered through that Bristol Manor Farm had beaten Westbury United 3-1 to give them the right to travel to Ladysmead on Saturday September 16th for the Second Qualifying Round tie. But Tivvy won´t be thinking about them just yet. A certain Hinckley United are the next foes - and they will have a point to prove after last season´s amazing nine goal feast when Tivvy kept their faint chances of promotion alive by scoring seven of them. And Hinckley have home advantage. And they don´t seem to know how to stop scoring goals... 1-0 will do me chaps.

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

Subs: 12. Pete Conning. (Scott Rogers 67), 14. Pete Varley (Phil Everett 77), 15. Steve Ovens (Richard Pears 67), 16. Luke Vinnicombe, 17. Martyn Grimshaw.

1 Colin Hopkins. 2. Paul Kelly 3. Adam Nash. 4. Carl Jones. 5. Jamie Boswell. 6. Rob Lakeman. 7. Stuart Kenna. 8. Paul Palmer. 9. Neil Cole. 10. Brian Green. 11. Paul Spiller. 12. Kevin Davis (for Paul Kelly, 70m). 13. Jason Brice (for Rob Lakeman, 70m). 14. Brendan Summers. 15. Reza Sotoudeh. 16. Paul Clark (g/k).

This report ©2000 Nigel Davis

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