Match report

Hinckley United 3 - 1 Tiverton Town

   Saturday 09/09/2000   Southern League First Division
Nigel Davis

Hinckley were more than happy to exact their revenge in a game they rather flatteringly hailed as the game of the season. There wasn´t‚ it has to be said‚ a huge difference in the two sides. Hinckley were clearly up for this one‚ but for a 10 minute spell of Hinckley pressure in the first half‚ in which Tivvy surprisingly took the lead through Scott Rogers‚ the two sides were reasonably evenly matched. The second half saw Tivvy start the brighter and with Tivvy looking to be on top Hinckley scored an equaliser‚ and an excellent goal it was. This fired Hinckley‚ and believing they could now go on and win it‚ stepped up the pressure and pace and shortly adfterwards took the lead. The third goal was unfortunate to say the least. Poor Scott Rogers‚ under no pressure‚ passed the ball straight to the unmarked Jamie Lenton who‚ from 20 yards‚ ´passed´ the ball brilliantly past the outstretched arms of Paul Edwards to fly into the top right hand corner.
Expectations were high within both sets of supporters. Hinckley had recently found their scoring boots with 20 goals in their last three matches and the Tivvy faithfull were ´confident´ that we could emulate last season´s encounter at our place. The more cautious among us knew that it was not going to be like that‚ and that this game was going to be very tight indeed. The even more cautious among us realised that Tivvy are still in a period of transition whilst we get used to not having Nance in the side‚ as with him gone Tivvy are lacking penetration up front. Richard Pears is not yet living up to the promise shown in the pre-season friendlies and allied to that‚ his partnership with Phil Everett is not working in that they are too similar in style.
Anyway‚ with that out of the way‚ to the game.
The opening exchanges were very much even as both sides tried to unlock each others defences. There were very few scoring opportunities throughout the fist half. The first real opportunity for Tivvy fell to Scott Rogers who‚ on 17 minutes‚ put the ball just wide. Paul Edwards´ kick found Phil Everett who flicked the ball on to Richard Pears whose first touch set up Scott for his shot. The first of Hinckley´s two chances of the half came on 31 minutes when Andy Lucus beat both Paul Tatterton and Nicky Marker only to shoot straight at Paul Edwards and then 5 minutes later Andy Lucus again caused trouble when he was allowed to get his cross in from wide out on the flank only to see the efforts of his hard work wasted as the ball deceived everyone‚ including Hinckley´s Jamie Lenton‚ who should have side footed it in.
Hinckley were enjoying a ten minute spell of pressure when against the run of play Scott Rogers picked up the ball from about thirty yards out‚ beat three Hinckley defenders‚ cued himself up at shot left footed and although Wayne Starkey the Hinckley ´keeper got down to it‚ he couldn´t stop the ball flying up into the top right hand corner of the net.
The second half started with Tivvy looking very comfortable and in control. They began to use the ball well and looked to be asking all the questions. Then‚ after11 minutes and against the run of play‚ Hinckley got their equaliser. Paul Hunter´s cross from the wing found Jamie Lenton whose excellent first time volley from the edge of the box beat the outstretched Paul Edwards. Hinckley only had to wait another six minutes for the goal that gave them the lead and it was Andy Lucas - causing trouble throughout the afternoon - who received the ball out on the left wing after Jason Rees lost possession. Lucas proceeded to beat both Neil Saunders and Paul Tatterton to slot the ball from a very acute angle between Paul Edwards and the near post. Tivvy then had an opportunity to level things when Dave Leonard found Richard Pears‚ but Richard´s ball into the box was not his best effort. Phil Everett gathered the ball back‚ crossed it back into the box but Scott miscued his effort to Steve Daly and the chance was lost. Referee Steve Dorr stopped play after Dave Leonard was fouled on the Hinckley D. The resultant free kick did not make it past the wall.
Richard Pears was taken off and replaced by Steve Ovens who‚ for whatever reason‚ seemed to attract the attention of the referee on numerous occasions for infringements that were not worthy of a whistle. This upset the rythmn of the game at what was a crucial time for Tivvy. Eventually Steve was booked for an alleged elbow as he challenged for the ball. It was a 50-50 challenge and looked innocent enough‚ but the Ref saw fit to book him for it.
On 74 minutes Pete Conning and Pete Varley came on for Stuart Smith and Phil Everett as Tivvy searched for the equaliser. Pete Varley began to make things happen and there was a sense that Tivvy might just steal an equaliser. Then‚ with just six minutes left‚ Scott Rogers made an uncharacterist error when he brilliantly chested down a Hinckley cross in the box‚ but his ´unusual´ clearance found an unmarked Jamie Lenton who squared up and passed the ball into the top right hand corner from about 20 yards - game over. Well not quite - Tivvy had a chance to make it 3 - 2 when a lovely ball in from Paul Tatterton was met by Pete Varley´s head but the ball went just wide - game over.
It is still early days post Nance‚ but a pattern is developing in that the partnership up front of Phil Everett and Richard Pears appears not to be working. They are too similar in style‚ lacking pace and penetration and too often with their their back to goal. Perhaps it is time to revert back to the partnership of old when Phil and Pete Varley were so effective or give Steve Ovens the chance to settle in and really stake his claim. I can´t help thinking that Scott and Dales would be more effective if they were to swap roles. Scott has pace and Dales looked more comfortable when playing a more deep role. Anyway‚ what do I know. It´s all food for thought - what do you think - if you have any thoughts‚ stick ´em in the fans forum.

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. (Stuart Smith 74), 14. Pete Varley (Phil Everett 74), 15. Steve Ovens (Richard Pears 65).

This report ©2000 Nigel Davis

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