Match report

Solihull Borough 0 - 1 Tiverton Town

   Thursday 26/04/2001   Southern League First Division
Nigel Davis

It seems quite remarkable that‚ despite the ever burgeoning injury list which saw Stuart Smith ruled out due to a bruised foot‚ plus the confirmation that Paul Tatterton´s season is unfortunately over‚ that Tivvy can still pick up maximum points at tricky away games.
The further loss of firstly Paul Chenoweth and then Scott Rogers threatened to swing the balance of the game Solihull´s way and‚ take it from me‚ Solihull are no pushover. Despite a recent wobble caused‚ no doubt‚ by their own fixture backlog‚ their home league record has been remarkable. Prior to losing against Hinckley last Saturday‚ they were last defeated in a home league tie way back on September 9 when Rocester came away with a 5-3 victory.
And the injury list could have been worse because Steve Daly was kicked in the head by a high boot from Brian Gray in the 41st minute. Apart from a cut above the eye‚ his biggest problem was the sand and mud flicked into his eye from Gray´s studs. It was touch and go whether he could get the grit removed from his eye at half time and Pearsy was called into the dressing room as aprecaution.
As it happened Arfur was OK.
Chen´s replacement‚ Dave Toomey‚ came closest to drawing blood with a 40th minute shot which was arrowing its way towards goal when the ball was stopped by the hand of the follicly challenged four - Craig Dutton - with the referee well placed. Apparently Borough´s manager‚ David Busst‚ commented "It was only one hand...".
And it was Scott´s replacement‚ Pete Conning‚ who masterfully sprayed the ball around from set pieces and was the provider of the crucial free kick into the box after 75 minutes that saw Nicky Marker nod the ball home past the transfixed Brendan Murphy. The challenge on Kevin Nancekivell that led to the telling free kick was committed by skipper Russell Dodds‚ already in the book for scything down ´Farmer´ in the 39th minute - ironically the pre-cursor to Toomey´s illegally thwarted exocet.
And it was Toomey again‚ deep into the second half‚ who hit a sensational shot on the run that whisked wide when net-bulging was on the agenda. A second goal then would really have soothed the minds of the Tivvy fans but "It bobbled in the air. I really wanted it to go in but I knew that it wasn´t going to be my day." As to the penalty incident‚ he commented "I hit it too well. If I had miskicked it then it would probably have been a goal."
Dave Leonard had made the long trip from Plymouth and relished the challenge‚ taking up a central defensive role. "I´ve been at Tivvy for ten years and nothing would please me more than to see us get promotion. If I can help in any way I will." He was absolutely right to adjust his priorities mid-season and‚ having sorted out everything domestically‚ he relishes being part of the run-in. Let´s hope we do see more of this greatman.
The whole team played their part defensively and‚ nailbiting though it was for the bulk of the 121 attending (´80 came from Tiverton´ reckoned one of the Redditch officials‚ who confided to me later that he was rooting for Tiverton to win promotion‚ if only for the fact that they wouldn´t have to make such a long trip next season...). And with Redditch entertaining Mangotsfield on Sunday‚ plus Solihull travelling to Cossham Street Saturday and playing the return at Damson Parkway 76 or so hours later‚ there was plenty of jocular banter from the Midlanders with regards to financial incentives for our Gloucestershire rivals to be beaten.
With the team in ebullient mood at the final whistle - again a cup final winning atmosphere reverberated around the ground - they are determined to ensure that the final three home league games will reap maximum points. There was even talk of gaining promotion on Thursday up at Sutton Coldfield Town.
There is still a mountain to climb - but it is more Snowdon now than Everest. And‚ if promotion is achieved‚ it will be on the back of a remarkable sequence of results which has seen Tivvy play 15 games since theWorksop defeat at the end of February. In that time they have won 7 out of 7 at home‚ scoring 28 and conceding 4. Away from Ladysmead they have played 8‚ winning 4 and drawing 2 with goals scored being 13‚ conceding 8. If they can continue this amazing home form over the next three games‚ it will really put the pressure on Mangotsfield and Bilston. ´Just´ five more wins guarantees promotion.

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 (Scott Rogers 49), 14 Dave Toomey (Paul Chenoweth 33), 15 Richard Pears (Steve Ovens 85).

SOLIHULL BOROUGH: 1 Brendan Murphy, 2 Russell Dodds (captain), 3 Andy Penny, 4 Craig Dutton, 5 Nick Amos, 6 Gary Knight, 7 Simon Hollis, 8 Chris Smith, 9 Brian Gray, 10 Chris Pearce, 11 Paul Pippard
Subs:- 12 Phil Rowe (for Chris Pearce, half time), 14 Michael Hollis, 15 Steven Cross

Referee: Ian Scarr

This report ©2001 Nigel Davis






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