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Mangotsfield United 2 - 0 Tiverton Town

   Monday 16/04/2001   Southern League First Division
Nigel Davis

The lesson to be learnt from this bruising encounter is that‚ if you want to mix it‚ be careful and suss out the officials. Mangotsfield pushed them to their limit but didn´t go the extra mile. Tivvy‚ in the shape of Stuart Smith‚ had no self-control and paid the price with two yellow cards in the first half leading to his dismissal after 41 minutes. It seems that‚ despite being talked to prior to the game‚ Smith was psyched up and all he could see was a red mist. Surely the time has come for him to be omitted from the big games as he is becoming a liability to himself and the club. There are no problems in the majority of matches but he seems unable to take a cool‚ calm‚ collected approach to the red-hot clashes.
Paul Chenoweth needed time to recover from his injury picked up last week. Although he was named on the bench‚ it would have been foolish to throw him into the fray too early. With Dave Toomey still recovering from a knock picked up at Rocester‚ it was imperative that Phil Everett started up front - so he too was unable to fill the left wing-back role. Hence Smith´s inclusion.
Unsurprisingly‚ Smith was booked in the opening minutes - as were Mangotsfield´s Scott Hendy and Dave Elsey‚ the latter for a scuffle with Steve Winter that looked to some as Elsey had thrown a couple of punches although it was described afterwards as ´handbags´. But it was surprising that he stayed on the park following a further incident in the second half - more of that later. The other miscreant‚ also in the first half‚ was Scott Rogers whose rash challenge on Jon Crowley in the 28th minute was totally unnecessary.
The pitch was‚ curiously‚ bone hard and‚ unfortunately‚ very cut up. Consequently there was little of the passing game on show. Both sides resorted to hacking the ball high and long at every opportunity and Mangostfield´s tigerish tactics meant that little time was afforded Tivvy when they were on the ball. And the tactics worked because they became the only side to ensure that they kept a clean sheet against Tivvy this season. Sutton Coldfield Town are the only other side who can claim this honour‚ the two clubs still yet to meet this season.
By the time that Smith was trudging towards the dressing room‚ Tivvy had fallen behind following a somewhat dubious free kick awarded just inside their half. But it should have been dealt with as it was meat and drink to Paul Edwards. He probably thought so as well because‚ as is his wont‚ he glanced right to see who he could throw the ball to. In that instant‚ the wind caught the ball‚ which is more than can be said for Eddie. He only succeeded in flapping at it and‚ as the ball plummeted to earth‚ it was unfortunate that it appeared to make contact with Neil Saunders´ knee‚ falling invitingly for Scott Hendy to lash it home. That was after 34 minutes and it was virtually the first shot on target.
The second half was all Tivvy and it was amazing to realise that they did it with ten men - but there was no way through despite some dubious challenges by John Crowley in and out of the box.
And‚ of course‚ that other offence by Dave Elsey on Steve Winter after 64 minutes whereby he grabbed hold of Winter´s shirtsleeve‚ ripping it off. Referee Dean Miller saw it and‚ grinning‚ ordered Elsey to pick it up and hand it to Winter who‚ by now‚ was 40 yards away‚ preparing to take a throw-in. If shirt-ripping is not a bookable offence‚ I don´t know what is - and that would have been his second of the game and given Tivvy a chance.
Mangotsfield‚ on their rare forays forward‚ always looked the more dangerous and it needed excellent defending to keep them at bay‚ the best of which came from a double save by Paul Edwards to deny Nick Brooks in the 88th minute.
But it was not to be and‚ as the game crept into the fourth minute of injury time‚ Mangotsfield broke away with Darren Edwards running onto a through ball to chip it over his namesake Paul to make it 2-0. This was just a couple of minutes after Keviun Nancekivell was inches away from an equaliser following a superb cross by Richard Pears‚ on a few minutes earlier for Phil Everett.
This result, put into perspective, was not as drastic as it seemed because Tivvy still have promotion in their own hands. This was because Hinckley had defeated Mangotsfield last week - and Evesham had slipped up at Redditch whilst playing Solihull Borough on Monday evening, but they cannot afford to drop any more points and that is a tough enough task when you are playing twice a week. Playing four/five times a week and it will need a Herculean effort. A draw against Evesham would mean that Mangotsfield would also have to drop points. The team that seems to hold the key to promotion is Solihull Borough who, according to my records, still have to play Tivvy, Hinckley and Evesham once and Mangotsfield twice.
Indeed, they are very much in the promotion hunt themselves - but are similarly shackled by the compressed run-in to the end of the season.

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 Stuart Smith.

Subs: 12 Pete Conning (Scott Rogers 79), 14 Richard Pears (Phil Everett 85), 15 Paul Chenoweth.

MANGOTSFIELD UNITED: 1 Paul Thompson, 2 Scott Hendy, 3 Danny Hallett, 4 Mark Smith, 5 Dave Elsey, 6 Gareth Loyden, 7 Dean Pendry, 8 Jon Crowley, 9 Darren Edwards, 10 Rob Claridge, 11 Nick Brooks (captain)
Subs: 12 Lee Barlass (for Danny Hallett, 57m), 14 Adam Sims, 15 Hadleigh Winter

This report ©2001 Nigel Davis

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