Match report

RC Warwick 0 - 0 Tiverton Town

   Sunday 22/04/2001   Southern League First Division
Nigel Davis

There wasn´t much to report at Sunday´s dreary game at RC Warwick except that a point may make all the difference come the season´s end - especially as Cirencester held Mangotsfield to a draw two hours later too (2-2 it was - toooo much toooo believe!).
But the vagaries of the officials nearly put a spanner in the works. One assistant wanted to put his flag up for offside purely at random. On numerous occasions Steve Ovens was offside yet no flag appeared and then‚ at other times‚ the flag was raised with no offender around. And‚ yes‚ I am perfectly aware of the difficulties of judging ´active play´ - but this was not the issue. Nance even got the ball in the net eleven minutes into the second half but was foiled by the flag. It was the exception that proved the rule as this was the rare occasion when the decision was correct...
And then‚ deep into injury time‚ RC were awarded a free kick in front of goal - when there was no foul. Fortunately‚ skipper Darren Weston´s curling shot hit the cross-bar having eluded the Tivvy wall. That really would have been cruel if they had scored then.
The pitch was so dire that Steve Winter needed treatment at the end of the first half‚ having twisted his leg in a hole. Heavy strapping allowed him to continue.
The arrival of Dave Toomey - on for Scott Rogers after 61 minutes - nearly provided the breakthrough but his shot 15 minutes later was the width of a ball away from going in‚ he having drawn the giant Craig Dutton out of his goal.
On the downside‚ Scott was booked for a challenge on Owen Lovelock (surely a name that Shakespeare would have loved to have used). So late was the contact that it will be lucky to arrive before the end of the season... Sixty seconds later Steve Winter was also booked‚ he for dissent after the referee continued his impersonation of a Sunday League official annoyed that he had to work at lunchtime and who had just awarded RC a corner when it was their man who had knocked the ball out of play.
One other miscreant was RC´s Mark Hodson (very dodgy challenge on Ovo) but the mystery has to be how Kevin Elson (the RC 2) escaped. The number of times he ankle-tapped Phil Everett beggared belief‚ yet he was never penalised for these offences.
One quizzical (never used that word before!) factor had to be the reluctance of Dodge to use a squad system. I know that Dave Leonard had been whisked up for the game following Tatt´s injury but it was strange that Pete Conning was not given a start‚ especially considering the impact he had made in the corresponding game last season when we won 4-0‚ PC being creator of three and scorer of one.
But‚ there lies the rub. And who can argue with Dodge‚ who has consistently been the architect supreme for many many years now? Yet these are challenging times and‚ with so many tired legs‚ he could have been forgiven if he had speculated to accumulate. However‚ with only one more scheduled ´two in two days´ - the latter being against basement side Paget‚ don´t expect there to be a change of plan or any hint of squad rotation. Anyway‚ what do I know about footie??!!??
Oh - and man-of-the-match (for me) was the tireless Weston. you can see why he is skipper. Although Paul Edwards was a very close second for crucial saves when on his back (ninth minute)‚ from Chris Goodman (75 minutes) and‚ in the 88th minute‚ he also foiled Paul Eden.

Line up: 1 Paul Edwards‚ 2 Steve Winter‚ 3 Neil Saunders‚ 4 Dave Leonard‚ 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 (Steve Daly 79)‚ 14 Stuart Smith (Neil Saunders 79)‚ 15 Dave Toomey (Scott Rogers 61).

RC WARWICK: 1 Craig Dutton‚ 2 Kevin Elvin‚ 3 David Travis‚ 4 Colin Wells‚ 5 Mark Hodson‚ 6 Chris Goodman‚ 7 Justin Wiseman, 8 Darren Weston (captain), 9 Kim Green, 10 Paul Eden, 11 Owen Lovelock.
Subs: 12 Tom Sidwell, 14 Ryo Shigaki, 15 Lee Grant

Referee: S Flanagan (Wednesfield)

This report ©2001 Nigel Davis

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