Match report

Rocester 0 - 5 Tiverton Town

   Tuesday 10/04/2001   Southern League First Division
Nigel Davis

The long haul to Staffordshire was made all the more depressing by the sight of carcasses ready to be burnt and then coming across further pyres with their accompanying stench. All this within half a dozen miles of the tranquil village of Rocester. It really hit home how widespread is the blight of foot and mouth.
The ominous sign at the entrance to the Rocester pitch stated that‚ due to the softness of the playing surface‚ all warm-ups should take place behind the goals. Fortunately that turned out to be more precautionary than reality as Neil Saunders confimed that the park was quite firm as he jogged off from the pre-match warm-ups.
It didn´t take long for Tivvy to get into their stride. With Phil Everett restored up front to add some height and weight to the attack - a necessary ploy seeing the stature of the home defence - and Dave Toomey starting on the bench‚ it was a warm welcome given to Paul Chenoweth‚ starting his first full game for Tivvy‚ from the hardy faithful amongst the paltry ´crowd´ of 82 that had made the long trip northwards.
Those who were unlucky to have not been able to travel missed a vintage Tivvy display. Steve Ovens was his usual livewire self and created the first opening after just two minutes but the real breakthrough came when Steve Daly planted a free-kick on Phil Everett´s head and he made no mistake from ten yards‚ powering the ball past the bemused John Edensor who has recently taken over the number one position. 1-0 up after just eight minutes.
A minute later‚ Kevin Nancekivell brought out a great save from Edensor and‚ in the next attack‚ Ovens burst through before appearing to be hauled down from the shoulders as he entered the box. Both the referee and the assistant up at the Rocester end were probably unsighted‚ otherwise a penalty would surely have been awarded.
Rocester rarely got the chance to get into any rhythm and it was Tivvy once again who pieced together a fine flowing move which ended with Kevin Nancekivell heading goalwards‚ to be foiled by the acrobatic Edensor who tipped the ball over for a corner. Paul Chenoweth scurried over and planted the ball into the box. As Rocester hared out to try and catch Tivvy offside‚ the ball pinged around the box‚ falling to Phil Everett who knocked the ball into Nicky Marker´s path. "I was going to hit it first time but realised it would be straight at the keeper‚ so I knocked it wide and it went in by the post". Rocester were livid‚ convinced that someone had to be offside but had forgotten that Phil was onside when the ball was played to him and that he then played it BACK into Marker´s path. With no defender on him‚ he had the time to weigh up his shot and it was 2-0 with 19 minutes on the watch.
The miss of the game then fell to Steve Ovens who was clean through on goal but hurried his shot and planted it wide but Tivvy were so in control we knew it wouldn´t be long before the scoreline was extended. That was after 32 minutes and six minutes later another great build-up‚ this time down the right‚ saw Ovens finding Nancekivell for another header which‚ despite the close attention from two home defenders‚ was still on target.
We then had a rare scare up the other end as Chris Rawlinson sped through with Tivvy appealing for offside. This time there was no flag and Paul Edwards had to dash out of the box to crash the ball into Rawlinson‚ it bouncing out of play. Unfortunately‚ his momentum saw him catch the Rocester striker and‚ not only was a free kick awarded‚ but the unnamed referee cautioned him for his troubles.
A few seconds into injury time and Tivvy were 3-0 up. It was Phil Everett‚ by now struggling from a knock to the thigh he had picked up in the early stages of the game‚ who set up Kevin Nancekivell who scored the goal of the game‚ blasting the ball into the top left hand corner of the net. It has been a long time coming for Nance but it was well worth the wait.
The second half started with Dave Toomey taking over from Phil and‚ inside a minute‚ he had jiggled his way into the box before being unceremoniously bundled over in full flight and‚ to everyone´s surprise‚ there was nowhistle. It was one of the few curious decisions made by the officials in what was‚ overall‚ a good performance from the men in black. I particularly liked the ref´s use of advantage which‚ if none gained‚ led to free kicks. It was a very intelligent interpretation of the Laws and assisted both sides in producing flowing football. Then the heavens opened - surprise‚ surprise! We all anxiously prayed that the 70th minute would come and go‚ so ensuring that the result would stand. Fortunately‚ the Romans´ park stood up to the dousing and the greasy surface added to the fun of things.
Dave Toomey saw one blistering shot held by Edensor at the second attempt and‚ along with a diving header‚ could have added his name to the scoresheet given a tad more luck. As it was‚ it was Paul Chenoweth who added the fourth‚ volleying home with his left peg a right-wing cross. Ever so sweet -and he promises to score plenty more.
Pete Conning then came on for Nicky Marker, with Steve Daly dropping into his sweeper role - not a position he particularly favours but one in which he certainly excels. Mind you, I don´t know a position that he doesn´t do well in - especially now that he back to his old silky self.
We didn´t have to wait long for another foray forward. This time is was Toomers who zig-zagged down the right before cutting inside. He laid the ball off to Steve Winter who let rip causing the keeper to parry the ball straight into the path of Steve Ovens. Unfortunately his snap-shot floundered in the mud. But he wasn´t to be denied as, within two minutes (the 72nd minute to be precise) he found the back of the net. This time his shot was slightly topped and the ball bobbled through the defence before skidding over the line. Not the best of finishes but they all count! It was to be his last touch of the ball as he made way for Richard Pears.
With news filtering through from Hinckley that they were beating Mangotsfield 1-0, the evening was turning into a party and, with Evesham´s pitch still too cut up after Saturday´s game, they announced that they had rearranged their game with Shepshed for Thursday night. However, the stuffing may have been knocked out of their season as rumours abound that they have not received the necessary ground grading to allow them to be promoted to the Premier should they finish in the top two. (Interestingly, Rocester were under the impression that only the champions would gain promotion and so were of the mind that they would be playing Tivvy again next season, Hinckley being too far ahead to catch...)
So, an excellent evening´s entertainment finished with Tivvy once again mounting attacks aplenty but the Rocester defence were able to absorb the pressure. However 5-0 sets Easter up nicely. Let´s hope the boys can keep the momentum going.

Line up: 1 Paul Edwards, 2 Steve Winter, 3 Neil Saunders, 4 Paul Tatterton, 5 Nicky Marker, 6 Scott Rogers, 7 Kevin Nancekivell, 8 Steve Ovens, 9 Phil Everett, 10 Steve Daly, 11 Paul Chenoweth.

Subs: 12 Pete Conning (Nicky Marker 68), 14 Richard Pears (Steve Ovens 72), 15 Dave Toomey (Phil Everett half time).

ROCESTER: 1 John Edensor, 2 Paul Ede, 3 Richard Knight, 4 Andy Bostock, 5 Andy Holmes, 6 Mick Ede, 7 Andrew Bourne, 8 Martin Ridley, 9 Emeka Ejiofor, 10 Chris Rawlinson, 11 Richard Owen (captain)
Subs: 12 Neil Sailesman (for Richard Owen, 60m), 14 Matthew Simpson (for Andy Bostock, 60m), 15 Richard Askey (for Emeka Ejiofor, 76m)

This report ©2001 Nigel Davis

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