Match report

Banbury United 0 - 3 Tiverton Town

   Saturday 21/03/2009   Southern League Premier Division
Alan Reidy

Tiverton Town change character almost as often as Jon Gardner changes clubs, and the adage that a week is a long time in football was etched deeply into the sensibilities of the hardy group that braved Oxfordshire for a second time in four days. The Yellows completed a full circle of performances and a full house of results with what can only be described as a routine victory against Banbury United at Spencer Stadium, and like the game at Oxford City the 3-0 final score could easily have been a few more if urgency was required.

Gardner, who has turned out for four teams this season, and been on the books and on the bench of another had a short afternoon, succumbing to injury just 35 minutes into the game, and he was replaced by David Stone, the same David Stone that came off the bench a few weeks ago for Rugby Town and terrorised the Tivvy defence. But by the time Stone was in the action the game had already been put beyond a remarkably mediocre Banbury team thanks to a brace of goals from Paul Jarvis.

The Town winger was back on the right flank for the first time in a while, back to the position where he does his most productive work, and back to his goalscoring best. By the time Jarvis netted his first, Tiverton, and Jamie Mudge, had already had one sighter deflected for a corner. The breakthrough came in the ninth minute as Mark Saunders nodded the ball into space in the area; Jarvis latched on, shot directly at Joe Murrell, and then happily rammed the rebound into an unguarded net after the Puritan’s glovesman had completed his initial task.

United had only one shot on target all afternoon and that came a couple of minutes further into the game as Gardner swept a free kick from twenty-five yards around the wall. Steve Book was on hand to gather but made hard work of it, fumbled, and relied on the Yellows’ defence to finally clear the threat amid appeals from the home supporters for hand ball. From there on it was all Tivvy, and Jarvis reacted quickest as Mudge played a sweet ball over the defence, but with the ball sitting up awkwardly, and Murrell well positioned Jarvis could only lift the ball over the ’keeper and over the crossbar.

But Jarvis wasn’t to be denied when, on twenty-seven minutes he moved onto a flick from debutant James MacMartin and cleverly nodded the ball over Murrell. Tivvy were in command, two goals to the good, and Stone’s introduction gave the home side some impetus but they never really looked like getting back into the game. If a goal was to come the chances were than hotshot Nicky Gordon would have some part to play, but he saw a ball nicked off his toes by Adam Faux at the far post, and then met Stone’s cross from the left but could do nothing other than redirect the powerful centre two yards over the bar.

Jarvis missed out on an unlikely hat-trick when he pulled a shot wide with Mudge well placed in support, and it was therefore down to Mudge himself to wrap things up twenty minutes before the end. MacMartin had been replaced by another debutant and another Under 18s player Damien Connery, and the 17 year old belied his lack of experience to work a defence splitting pass that Mudge read and fired past the over-exposed Murrell. That was plenty, and Tivvy stifled the game from there on, seeing out time with little fuss and even less frolics.

It was the first time Town had won a league game and kept a clean sheet since 18th November, a 2-0 win against Banbury United. And it was done without the absent Mike Booth, the injured Matt Villis, Glenn Gould, Paul Wyatt and Danny O'Brien, and without the Dorchester bound Phil Walsh. The former Bath City and Newport County striker marked his début for the Dorset side with 90 minutes in a losing 3-0 effort...


Banbury United: Joe Murrell, Aaron Stringfellow, Ollie Stanbridge, David Buckwell, Luke Bennett, George Redknap, Lewis Travers (Scott Bridges 46), Jon Gardner (David Stone 35), Howard Forinton, Nicky Gordon, Richard Groves
Booked: Bennett 90
Sent off: None

Tiverton Town: Steve Book, Paul Jarvis, Alex Faux, Adam Faux, Nathan Rudge, Tom Gardner, Arran Pugh, Bobby Hopkinson, James MacMartin (Damien Connery 62), Mark Saunders, Jamie Mudge
Goals: Jarvis: 9, 27, Mudge 72
Booked: Hopkinson 62
Sent off: None

Attendance: 308


This report ©2009 Alan Reidy






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