Match report

Bristol Manor Farm 1 - 4 Tiverton Town

   Saturday 30/09/2000   FA Cup
Nigel Davis

What a shambles. The general consensus of opinion was that we had witnessed the worst Tivvy Town performance for many a year. It was abysmal and yet the Gods conspired to let us off the hook with a 1-0 win. Things can only get better. So started the match report when we last met Manor Farm a fortnight earlier. Since then things have got better. We experienced a super display at Evesham last Tuesday and then took this replay in our stride.
Much has been said about the murkiness of international clearance - and I´m sure we haven´t heard the last of it. But Saturday´s unexpected enforced replay allowed Martyn Rogers to field a side he probably never intended to. Even Martyn Grimshaw made a cameo appearance near the end.
Tivvy took the game to their hosts whose defence looked out of sorts from the off. Where was the impressive Steve Wright who had excelled at Ladysmead? It certainly looked like they needed his stabilising influence but‚ maybe‚ his performance a fortnight earlier - along with the rest of the Farm side - was exceptional. A clue to that was the entry in the programme whereby the Man of the Match for Farm at Tivvy went to Team Performance.
Boy‚ did they wish that they had seen the last of Tiverton. This game was one where the set pieces ruled. In the third minute‚ Steve Ovens was a whisker away from turning a corner home. Two minutes later‚ a Phil Everett exocet was well parried by fit again ´keeper Tony Court. And the chances kept on piling up - Scott Rogers seeing one shot skim over the bar in one of a dozen skirmishes.
The breakthrough had to come and come it did - with avengence. Three goals inside 13 minutes settled the tie and boosted Tivvy´s confidence for the next round‚ at home to Shortwood United on Tuesday (7.45pm).
Everett was the one to reap his rewards on 25 minutes. Steve Ovens had slipped through on the right‚ leaving his opponent slithering. He cut inside and slid the ball across the face of goal for Phil to pounce and crash the ball home. Two minutes later Everett unleashed another piledriver which Court again took the sting out of‚ but could not control. The ball spun away and‚ ludicrously‚ the ref´s assistant anticipated it going out of play and flagged for a corner when the ball was not even touching the line. No-one wanted the corner‚ as we were about to regain possession‚ but it was duly taken. Court once more elected to punch and this time it did go out for a genuine corner. Over came the ball again and Dominic Richardson met it at the far post‚ nicking it off Nick Marker´s boot to slam in Tivvy´s second on 28 minutes.
Ten minutes later and the game was over as a contest. Pete Conning showed how exquisite he can be with his controlled crosses - and this one was perfectly flighted‚ the ball hanging in the air just enough for Neil Saunders to rise and nod it into the roof of the net.
At the break‚ Martyn Rogers took the unusual option of conducting his half-time talk on the park but‚ whatever he said went awry within three minutes of the restart. A Farm free kick was floated over and‚ uncharacteristically‚ Marker‚ in attempting to clear‚ only managed to place the ball back into the six-yard box where James Edwards was on hand to pounce and slam the ball home.
Tivvy were now forced to defend as Farm scented the faint whiff of a comeback. But six minutes later‚ Tivvy broke and it was Phil Everett who hared onto the ball‚ outstripping all around him. Court steamed out of his box and brought the record-breaking striker crashing to the floor. Strangely‚ the referee (who seemed more concerned in keeping the banter going with players and the crowd) refused to even admonish the culprit‚ let alone dismiss him in accordance with the Laws of the Game. By trying to keep on friendly terms with all and sundry‚ his attempts to be Mr Popular backfired as all he did was lose all respect from one and all.
Needless to say‚ nothing came of the free kick but‚ ten minutes on - in the 65th minute - Phil won another corner. Nick Marker gleefully headed the ball home to restore Tivvy´s three goal advantage. Within 60 seconds‚ Dodge indicated that he was happy to believe that victory was now a certainty by pulling off Ovens and Everett‚ replacing them with Richard Pears and Pete Varley. You could almost sense the windiing down of the team as they failed to muster any worthwhile chances‚ wasting the ball on numerous occasions.
With nine minutes to go‚ Nick Marker headed for the showers having been replaced by Martyn Grimshaw and the pace immediately quickened. It was a most entertainiing final ten minutes but it was soured by an horrendous challenge by Farm´s central defender Mark Young who dished out what looked like blatant retaliation on Grimshaw a couple of minutes following a foul by the Yellows´ assistant manager on one of Young´s teammates. This time the ref did dish out a lecture but no-one took him seriously - which was confirmed by the broad grin on Young´s face as he turned away from the lecture. Before the final whistle‚ Scott Rogers managed to rile Pears by heading the ball just as the striker was about to crash the ball goalwards - but to be fair to Scott‚ Pearsy was on his blind side and never communicated his position to him. Then Neil missed a glorious opportunity to double his tally in the dying seconds‚ apologising profusely to all and sundry gathered behind the goal. So‚ despite the reality that this was a poor Farm performance‚ Tivvy negotiated a potential minefield and can go into Tuesday´s game with much more optimism.
If the original game plumbed the depths of Tivvy´s season‚ they were at least given the chance to set the record straight - and this they certainly did. It is looking more and more that the Evesham game will be considered Tivvy´s watershed as confidence is once more beginning to flow. But let´s not delude ourselves. Good as Evesham looked‚ our victory was the fourth defeat on the trot for the Cotswolders - and they then stumbled at rejuvenated RC Warwick on Saturday‚ again losing 2-1. We have now got to put together a convincing run of victories to prove that we really have turned the corner. I believe we can do it. Time‚ alone‚ will tell.
Don´t forget that the draw for the Third Round Qualifying is being announced on Monday at 10am. Fans Forum will be the first place to see who we may be playing‚ should we beat Shortwood.

Line up: 1. Paul Edwards, 2. Dominic Richardson, 3. Neil Saunders, 4. Paul Tatterton, 5. Nicky Marker,
6. Scott Rogers, 7. Pete Conning, 8. Steve Ovens, 9. Phil Everett, 10. Steve Daly, 11. Dave Leonard,

Subs: 12. Pete Varley (Phil Everett 66), 14. Richard Pears (Steve Ovens 31), 15. Luke Vinnicombe, 16. Martyn Grimshaw (Nicky Marker 81).

BRISTOL MANOR FARM: 1 Tony Court, 2 Simon Monks, 3 Mike Airs (captain), 4 Benji Tricker, 5 Mark Young, 6 Alex Stocker, 7 James Edwards, 8 Tony Beecham, 9 Campbell Bannerman, 10 Mark Cherry, 11 Mark Burnett, 12 Neil Whalen (for Tony Beecham 73), 14 Steve Beecham (for Simon Monks 70), 15 Dave O´Connor.

This report ©2000 Nigel Davis

Please note: The � or ? character in some older reports denotes where an error has occured in translation when the reports were transfered between databases