Match report

Tiverton Town 4 - 0 Gresley Rovers

   Thursday 12/04/2001   Southern League First Division
Nigel Davis

Gresley Rovers certainly struggled to raise a full-strength team for their long trip south and will surely be made of sterner stuff come Saturday week when we make the return trip.
Despite naming four goalkeepers in their squad‚ it was a new name that took over the number one slot - but one that was familiar to Tivvy travellers. He was Mark Shiels who had played for Redditch when we lost 2-1 up there earlier this season. With five other name changes to the programme‚ it was somewhat surprising to see that player/manager John McGinlay didn´t don his boots once more.
Tivvy started the game as if their lives depended on the result and got a welcome early breakthrough. Steve Daly took a free-kick and with Nicky Marker causing confusion in the box‚ the ball eventually found Steve Winter at the far post and he was able to bundle the ball over the line in the fifth minute.
A robust challenge from Carl Middleton on Steve Ovens seven minutes later was somewhat harshly treated with a caution but they were certainly finding the twin onslaught of Ovens and Dave Toomey difficult to contend with. Paul Chenoweth started his first home game for Tivvy following his impressive full debut 48 hours earlier in the 5-0 demolition of Rocester but was caught by a flying boot as he scampered down the left wing. Treatment from Dai could not patch him up enough and‚ despite giving it a try for ten minutes‚ he had to hobble off to be replaced by Phil Everett on the half hour. Seeing the knock that Phil picked up at Rocester which forced his early retirement from the game‚ it was a surprise how quickly he had healed. Let´s hope that Chenoweth is similarly able to recover. He´d be gutted to miss out on playing against his old side on Saturday.
Within three minutes of Phil´s arrival‚ Dave Toomey zipped into the box before being knocked off his stride‚ the referee awarding Tivvy a penalty. Up stepped Nicky Marker and he cooly stroked the ball home although there was so much encroachment (from both sides) it would not have surprised me had Mr Gooding not ordered the spot kick to be retaken. He didn´t and this 34th minute goal stood.
Throughout the first half I couldn´t help be impressed by the skill and cool approach to the game of Gresley´s number 8‚ Mark Peters. He had a fine game and if there are a few more like him waiting to take us on up in Derbyshire come the 21st‚ we could be in trouble.
But we shall hope that they are not of the same ilk as Mark Dennis whose crunching challenge on Steve Daly in first half injury time left the talented midfield writhing in agony and earnt the Gresley lad a booking.
The second half started with Tivvy turning up the heat and Scott Rogers saw a blistering shot tipped over for a corner. There was no way that Tivvy were going to let Gresley off the hook.
It was to be unlucky thirteen for Gresley because the half reached that minute when the twin exocets known as Ovens and Toomey broke through on the edge of the Gresley box. Shiels did his best to narrow the angle with Ovens in possession but there was distraction from Toomer´s run to the far post and it was enough for Steve to toe-poke the ball over the diving keeper to make it 3-0.
It was difficult to remember when Paul Edwards had been called into action‚ so strong were Tivvy defensively. Even when Nicky Marker was rested‚ to be replaced by Pete Conning‚ and Steve Daly slipped back into his sweeper´s role‚ there was no way through for Rovers.
The introduction of Richard Pears for man-of-the-match Steve Ovens with a quarter of an hour or so to go added fresh legs up front and two minutes later Tivvy came within a coat of paint of making it 4-0. Dave Toomey´s mesmerising run down the right in which he looked to have lost the ball in two tackles - but the velcro was obviously still doing its stuff - ended when he found Kevin Nancekivell on the edge of the six-yard box. Despite there being three defenders around him‚ he still found time and space to turn and hammer the ball goalwards. It beat Shiels but hit the underside of the bar and no-one was able to tap home the rebound.
Tivvy were not to be denied a fourth‚ though. Pete Conning found himself up front on the left wing and took the ball just inside the box before beating Shiels with a powerful shot just as the game crept into injury time.
With the news that Evesham had won 1-0 at home to Shepshed (despite some irk who had answered their phone ten minutes from the end of the game informing me that they were 3-1 up!)‚ it all makes for an exciting week ahead. The next three games will be the ones to sort the men from the boys. Gloucester will be no pushovers as they hope to continue their goalscoring feats but try and stem the tide of goals that they have conceded recently. According to local sources‚ their defence is awful at the moment. So we could be in for a goal feast - at both ends - on Saturday.
But the crunch comes on Easter Monday with the tricky visit to Mangotsfield - a ground where we have traditionally struggled to play to our potential. That is followed by the visit of Evesham whose promotion push has floundered with the news (albeit still at rumour stage) that their ground is not good enough for Premier football.
It´s going to be tough‚ but I know that the likes of Dave Leonard and other fringe players are relishing the thought of turning out for Tivvy to help them through this fixture crisis.

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 Dave Toomey‚ 10 Steve Daly‚ 11 Paul Chenoweth.

Subs: 12 Pete Conning (Nicky Marker 67)‚ 14 Phil Everett (Paul Chenoweth 30)‚ 15 Richard Pears (Steve Ovens 76).

GRESLEY ROVERS: 1 Mark Shiels‚ 2 Jamie Roberts‚ 3 David Kearns‚ 4 Mark Dennis‚ 5 Matt Warren‚ 6 Carl Middleton‚ 7 Richard Wardle (captain)‚ 8 Mark Peters‚ 9 Simon Bedward‚ 10 Paul Grant‚ 11 Chris Bradman
Subs: 12 Steve Coates (for Mark Dennis‚ 66m), 14 Simon Tucker (for Paul Grant, 71m), 15 Neil Broadhurst (for Chris Bradman, 66m)

REFEREE: Mike Gooding (Bristol)

This report ©2001 Nigel Davis

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