Match report

Tiverton Town 1 - 2 Chippenham Town

   Monday 13/04/2009   Southern League Premier Division
Alan Reidy

Tiverton Town’s penultimate home league match of the season on Easter Monday was a chance to avenge the defeat Chippenham had handed out in January at Hardenhuish Park. Bobby Hopkinson was suitably recovered from the dead leg he picked up at Bedford, but Mark Saunders dropped his weary legs to the bench as Adam Faux joined the starting eleven. This allowed Paul Jarvis to play further forward in midfield, but otherwise Tiverton were unchanged. Tom Gardner retained his place on the left of the defence, while Arran Pugh, who has been falling to pieces at the seams in recent weeks, continued in midfield.

A typically frantic opening to the game, as matches against Chippenham inevitably are, could have seen a glut of goals, but instead it was yellow cards that were being dished out to all and sundry. Nathan Rudge was booked for an innocuous or perhaps foolhardy looking foul on David Pratt, and Matt Villis added his name to the referee’s notebook two minutes later. By the time Faux joined his defensive partners in the ever-increasing list Mr. Amery was collecting Chippenham had nosed ahead. Sean Seavill chipped in a free kick from out on the visitors’ right wing, and unmarked Ross Adams was able to direct a header past Steve Book to give the Bluebirds a fourteenth minute lead.

Already at this early stage there had been chances at both ends; for Tivvy Tom Knighton had seen an effort deflect off James Martin and wide of the post, and Pratt had skied a chance when well placed for Chippenham. And the action, although not fluent and attractive, kept coming, with Sean Lamb misdirecting a header beyond the reach of his own goalkeeper, but fortunately for him a yard outside the post. Soon afterwards Gardner also failed to work Chris Snoddy between the Chippenham sticks, his grass-cutter of a shot trickling off target and being fielded easily.

Just past the half-hour mark Tiverton were back on level terms thanks to the determined running of Paul Wyatt. Down the right he went, and then inside and into the penalty area. Wyatt aimed for the by-line but as he was about to pull back a cross Lamb came in and bundled the Tivvy player over. There was no hesitation by the referee to award the spot kick, but in truth there were many times that the referee didn’t think before acting! Knighton continued his impressive recent goalscoring streak by belting the penalty down the middle as Snoddy dived out of the way, and parity had been restored.

The scores were level but just two minutes after the restart the teams weren’t as Samuel Allison foolishly struck out at Bobby Hopkinson after Chippenham had won a free kick. It was an action that was neither violent nor malicious, but rules are rules; Allison raised his hands into Hopkinson’s face and simply had to go. The free kick that the Bluebirds had won was eventually taken, again by Seavill, and a protracted game of pinball ensued inside the Tivvy area. Several shots were blocked, Pratt rattled the crossbar, and with Tiverton struggling to clear it was eventually Adams that was in place to fire a low shot into the bottom corner. Ahead again, but Chippenham had an hour to hang on with ten men.

Pratt and Faux exchanged shots as the goalkeepers at either end were drawn into action, and shortly after the restart Snoddy collected well after Pugh and Gardner had contrived to free Jarvis on the left. Pugh also headed off target but despite their numerical advantage Tivvy were struggling to stamp their authority on the game. Indeed, Chippenham might have extended their lead only for Book to stand up well and save from Luke Gullick, and then breath a huge sigh of relief as an apparent trip on Pratt went unpunished.

Seavill shot wide as Chippenham made a mockery of Tiverton’s extra man, and when Mike Booth slipped in possession Book again saved superbly from Seavill, and Martin’s follow-up effort was weak and wasted. A weak shot at the other end, from substitute Damien Connery, bore no goal and little concern for Snoddy, and Gullick came to his custodian’s rescue and headed away after Snoddy had flapped at a Jarvis cross. But if truth be told the most concern for Snoddy in the second half was a head injury that happily proved less serious that it could have been, as he and Pugh collided when looking to meet a high cross from the left. Pugh was left stunned but was able to pick himself up; Snoddy required lengthy treatment and a bandage around the head.

A frantic finale never materialised, but Gullick received a caution for a foul on Jarvis that was barely a free kick let alone a yellow card. Games between Tiverton and Chippenham are often intense and this one was no different. It was just a shame that Mr. Amery was under the impression that the fans had come to see him rather than the two teams. Chippenham were worthy of their win; the referee was worthy of Wessex League football next season if there is any justice in the world.

Tiverton Town: Steve Book, Adam Faux (Mark Saunders 63), Mike Booth, Matt Villis, Nathan Rudge, Tom Gardner (Damien Connery 69), Arran Pugh, Bobby Hopkinson, Tom Knighton, Paul Jarvis, Paul Wyatt
Goals: Knighton 32
Booked: Rudge 12, Villis 14, Faux 16
Sent off: None

Chippenham Town: Chris Snoddy; Ross Adams, Kevin Halliday, James Martin, Steve Casey, Sean Lamb, Scott Lye, Luke Gullick, David Pratt, Sean Seavill (Lewis Powell 84), Samuel Allison
Goals: Adams 14, 34
Booked: Adams 67, Gullick 90
Sent off: Allison 33

Attendance: 301

This report ©2009 Alan Reidy






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