Match report

Tiverton Town 0 - 2 Corby Town

   Saturday 18/04/2009   Southern League Premier Division
Alan Reidy

Tiverton Town’s final home game of the Southern League season ended in disappointment as Corby made the long trip south and held on to their place at the top of the table thanks to a converted penalty in each half. A strangely volatile game saw five yellow cards and a red card, an intense midfield battle, but very few chances created in open play, although the Steelmen certainly had the better of the game and deserved the points.

Yet for all their possession and territorial advantage Corby came up against a yellow wall that held firm and remained composed under early pressure, and it was in fact Tivvy that looked the more likely to break the deadlock. On more than one occasion, as Tiverton thwarted another attack from the visitors, Paul Wyatt was able to break free and stretch his legs, on the first occasion earning a corner that Mark Osborn needed to punch away at full stretch under pressure from his own defenders. A little later Wyatt was again free, but after skipping past Steve Towers and leaving the Corby midfielder spinning in the centre of the park, a final pass to Tom Knighton was delayed long enough to allow the blue shirts to step up and catch Knighton offside.

In between times Leon Mettam found space in the area as Jason Lee nodded down a long hanging cross from Tommy Jaszczun out on the left, but the final shot from no more than ten yards was dragged horribly wide of Steve Book’s upright. It was a glorious opportunity to ease the nerves and save the fingernails of a healthy travelling support, and a miss which might have been had Mettam not had another chance just before the half hour mark.

That opening came from the penalty sport after Jaszczun had cut in from wide and hit the deck under pressure from Paul Jarvis. The Tivvy winger was booked as he protested his innocence, and Mettam kept his nerve to drill the spot kick comprehensively past Book to give Corby the lead.

Jarvis and Bobby Hopkinson had half chances to pull Tiverton level but neither was able to work Osborn, and when the Corby goalkeeper was called to use his hands it was easy pickings to collect a Mark Saunders header. Just before the break Lee shot from a tight angle directly at Book, and did much the same with a powerful volley just after the change of ends.

Saunders looked the hungriest for Tivvy but a string of difficult chances went begging – another shot dealt with by Osborn, another header, this time wide, and a Corby goal that simply could not be breached. Wyatt lobbed a cross that sailed just too high and just too wide, and Hopkinson sent in a shot from distance that troubled the congregation on the terrace rather than the scorekeeper.

As we moved into the closing stages Tivvy were given a lifeline as the powerful Lee was shown a straight red card as he flailed his arms in Nathan Rudge’s face, leaving the Yellows’ skipper with a blood-soiled shirt and minute or two out of the action. But not for the first time the numerical advantage made little difference, and Corby substitute Dean Brennan soon tumbled under pressure from Rudge, earning his side a second penalty of the afternoon. Brennan had replaced Mettam so it was left to Mark Warren to take upon himself spot kick duties. He did, with as much conviction as his team mate an hour earlier. Low and down the middle, two-nil, curtains.

To their credit the Tiverton heads stayed up and the minds stayed focussed. Late pressure on the Corby goal almost resulted in a consolation; Phil Watt hacking clear a dangerous cross from Alex Faux, Jaszczun nicking the ball off the toes of Jarvis, and Hopkinson, with almost the final kick of the game powering a shot that left the frame of the goal shaking for about a week afterwards. For their part Corby were happy, and Joe Francis forced Book to save at the foot of his post following a marauding run from deep. They were happy because they had ensured the title would not be decided until the final day. They were less happy on learning that Farnborough had beaten Swindon Supermaire. They were probably devastated to learn that Kettering had won at home to Wrexham. But they mustn’t be greedy.

Tiverton Town: Steve Book, Paul Jarvis, Mike Booth, Matt Villis, Nathan Rudge, Tom Gardner, Arran Pugh (Alex Faux 65), Bobby Hopkinson, Tom Knighton, Mark Saunders, Paul Wyatt(Damien Connery 80)
Booked: Jarvis 27, Booth 75, Rudge 78
Sent off: None

Corby Town: Mark Osborn; Dean West, Tommy Jaszczun, Phil Watt, Phil Gulliver (Mark Warren 46), Leon Hibbert, Steve Diggin (John Turner 44), Steve Towers, Jason Lee, Leon Mettam (Dean Brennan 75), Joe Francis
Goals: Mettam 28 (pen), Warren 80 (pen)
Booked: Mettam 9, Towers 39
Sent off: Lee 71

Attendance: 372

This report ©2009 Alan Reidy






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