Match report

Tiverton Town 2 - 1 Aylesbury United

   Saturday 02/12/2000   FA Trophy
Nigel Davis

Tivvy put in a glowing show in the first half to enter unchartered territory in their rapid rise up the football ladder by securing a place in the last 64 of the FA Umbro Trophy. This win over their Buckinghamshire opponents was‚ however‚ secured at some cost with Jason Rees needing to be substituted in first half injury following a heavy fall and Nick Marker needing stitches to a leg wound a few seconds later - both incidents deemed by the referee to be the result of accidental challenges. It was thanks to man-of-the-match Paul Edwards to keep Tivvy in the hunt for Trophy glory with some fine second half stops as Aylesbury piled on the pressure and we all had to thank Phil Everett and Rob Speakman for beating the visiting keeper‚ James Courtnage‚ who had a fine game. Aylesbury set the cat amongst the pigeons by sprinting into the Tivvy half prior to kick-off and if they thought this would give them a psychological boost it didn´t work. All it achieved was to despatch their travelling band to the opposite end of the ground. The opening goal nearly came as early as the seventh minute when Simon Connell nearly finished off a great Tivvy move with a header that was about to beat Courtnage who saved the day by twisting to tip the ball over for a corner. But Tivvy did get the breakthrough eight minutes later. Scott Rogers was upended by Phil Mason and Jason Rees curled the free-kick into the box. Rob Speakman got the slightest of touches to nod the ball goalwards but Courtnage saved with his left foot. The ball shot out of the area and landed at the feet of Phil Everett and he despatched it goalwards with a perfect strike to make it 1-0 after a quarter of an hour. Everett was lucky to start the game having been knocked unconcious the previous Saturday and still sporting an egg-sized lump on his forehead but he managed to persuade Martyn Rogers of his fitness in a strenuous workout an hour and a half before kick-off and‚ as they say‚ fortune favours the brave. An excellent goal to see Tivvy on their way. Tivvy tried to extend this lead by keeping the pressure on their Ryman Division One visitors and won a couple of quick corners within a few minutes of taking the lead - and Nick Marker was a whisker away from heading home following the second of these corners. After 24 minutes Scott Rogers brought another fine save from Courtnage and‚ three minutes later it looked odds on that Rob Speakman would score as he went through one-on-one on the keeper. However‚ he shot straight at Courtnage who had reacted quickly to narrow the angle. Aylesbury had a rare attack when the lively Ronnie Joe jinked through‚ only to be stopped by a solid tackle from Paul Tatterton in the 32nd minute. Three minutes later‚ Jason Rees fell awkwardly after going up to challenge for a header and needed treatment before being escorted off the park by Dai Morgan. Tivvy played the next two minutes with ten men before the injured Rees returned. Aylesbury then came close to equalising when Joe was fouled wide on the right and it needed a fine save from Paul Edwards to keep them at bay. Tivvy immediately launched another attack and Rob Speakman was fouled as he ran down the left wing. Up stepped Rees to deliver another superb free kick and there was Speakman‚ anticipating well‚ to dive in on his knees and divert the ball home with his head to make it 2-0 after 43 minutes. And Dave Toomey was unfortunate to have a great goal disallowed two minutes later. He wriggled his way through the Ducks´ defence to plant the ball into the net‚ only to be denied by the ref who adjudged that he had controlled the ball with his arm. A third goal then would have surely buried Aylesbury. Two minutes into injury time‚ Jason Rees was replaced by Pete Conning and then‚ at Aylesbury´s next attack‚ Nick Marker picked up a cut knee - apparently from the studs of a visiting forward - and had to make his way to the physio´s room. So‚ for the second time in the first half‚ Tivvy were down to ten men.

The second half saw Aylesbury replace Simon Connell with Danny Honeyball and‚ somewhat belatedly‚ a heavily bandaged Marker also rejoined the fray. As expected‚ Aylesbury piled on the pressure as they sought to get back in the game and‚ just two minutes into the half‚ Joe was denied by Edwards who tipped his shot wide for a corner. In a rare Tivvy attack‚ Stuart Smith sent over a raking cross that Courtnage gathered at full stretch. He then scampered to the edge of the box before despatching a long ball downfield. Steve Callinan was on hand to rifle the ball home as Aylesbury´s recovery began. That was after 53 minutes and both sides were by now finding the going heavy. Four minutes after Aylesbury´s goal‚ Dave Toomey was fouled. Pete Conning´s free kick found Scott Rogers´ head but the ball hit the top of the cross-bar. Having been let off the hook‚ Aylesbury then won a free kick deep into Tivvy´s half. Kieran Gallagher sent in a pearl of a curler that would have beaten many a keeper - but not the ever-alert Edwards who gathered at the second attempt. After 63 minutes Steve Ovens came on for Speakman and his extra pace certainly caused the Ducks problems. Fortunately‚ this time‚ Ovens and Toomey did not cover the same blades of grasss. Instead‚ we got some extra width and‚ in the remaining half an hour‚ Ovens managed to get more shots on target than Speakman had in the whole of his brief Tivvy career. However it was down to Aylesbury sub Darren Grieves who had replaced Booby Highton three minutes earlier. His header after 71 minutes looked a certain goal but he was denied by another Edwards´ flying save. And Joe had a great opportunity to equalise six minutes later - but he toe-poked the ball wide from a narrow angle with Edwards looking to be at his mercy. The final cast of the die came after 83 minutes when Aylesbury brought on their number 15. However‚ according to the team sheet‚ this should have been their substitute goalkeeper‚ David Lovell. But‚ as the player who came off was outfielder Ollie Stanbury‚ it is highly likely that the sub was actually Daniel Gordon. It made no difference. Tivvy hung in to ensure that they joined the likes of Yeovil Town‚ Rushden & Diamonds and holders Kingstonian in the Third Round draw‚ scheduled to take place at 13:55 on Monday at Chelsea. Well‚ that´s what is stated in the FA Competition bulletin. It seems a strange time but‚ whatever‚ we´ll have the draw in full as soon as it is available. The Third Round is due to be played on Saturday January 13 (when we were due to visit Sutton Coldfield) but there is still no news of where the final will be - or when. My money is that it will be at Chelsea on Saturday May 5th. How do I come to that conclusion? Well‚ at the Third Round draw of the Vase, which was made at Aston Villa a couple of weeks ago, it was announced that Villa Park would be the venue for the Vase final - and that it would be played on Sunday May 6th. By having the Vase final on a Sunday, history suggests that the Trophy final will be that same weekend. And, by choosing Stamford Bridge as the venue for the Trophy Third Round draw, you can see why my money is on Chelsea as being the final venue. We shall see. If I´m wrong, I´m going to have to trade in my crystal balls...


Tiverton Town: Paul Edwards, Stuart Smith, Neil Saunders, Paul Tatterton, Nick Marker, Scott Rogers, Jason Rees (Pete Conning 45), Dave Toomey, Phil Everett, Steve Daly, Rob Speakman (Steve Ovens 63)

Aylesbury United: James Courtnage, Tom Hill, Simon Connell (Danny Honeyball 46), Peter Clifford, Bobby Highton (Darren Grieves 68), Scott Honeyball, Kieran Gallagher, Phil Mason, Ronnie Joe, Steve Callinan, Ollie Stanbridge


This report ©2000 Nigel Davis






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