Match report

Tiverton Town 1 - 0 RC Warwick

   Saturday 15/01/2000   Southern League First Division
Nigel Davis

Racing Club Warwick opted for damage limitation on their first visit to Ladysmead but ultimately could not keep Tivvy at bay in a fabulous display of flowing foraging by the Ambers. This win‚ after which Tivvy reached half-time in their maiden Dr Martens League campaign‚ saw them consolidate fourth slot and keep up the pressure on Hinckley United‚ Stafford Rangers and Moor Green - the latter having bigger fish to fry thanks to the lure of Wembley via the FA Trophy. In front of a bumper crowd of 703 - swelled by members of the Saunders family including Neil´s newest soccer weenie‚ four day old Oliver (surely a candidate for the youngest ever Tivvy supporter???)‚ it was a case of backs to the wall for the visiting Racers who opted for playing with a packed defence‚ leaving the talented - and vociferous - Simon Windsor as lone striker. And it nearly paid off as he twice came close to adding to his 17 goals in the opening ten minutes. Fortunately Paul Edwards was again in fine form‚ firstly in conjunction with Scott Rogers and then‚ minutes later‚ on his own.
After repelling the marauders the spotlight turned to the Devco end where wave after wave of attacks caused hearts to flutter in the Warwick defence‚ as well as in the crowd. If it wasn´t goalkeeper Warren Ayres - or a seemingly dancing goal frame that appeared to move inches out of the way of shots and headers - then it was fellow Tivvy forwards who blocked goalbound efforts. It really did seem as if the visitors´ goal was leading a charmed life.
Even an alert referee´s assistant‚ who had spotted that the ball had crept out for a goalkick‚ spoiled the fun as Pete Varley slotted home. But it was he who had the last laugh in the 41st minute. Steve Ovens‚ playing in an unaccustomed right back role‚ combined well with Pete Conning and his inch perfect cross picked out Varley in a crowded six-yard box and‚ despite Ayres getting a touch‚ his header had enough legs to bounce over the line. After the break it was more of the same with Tivvy upping the ante but finding that there was no further way through. Even the introduction after 77 minutes of Richard Pears failed to turn attacks into goals as he suffered similar bad luck to his team-mates. The reason for his arrival was to replace Dominic Richardson who split open his forehead whilst mistaking Warwick´s Stuart Hepburn´s head for the ball. His injury‚ which required eleven stitches‚ added to Tivvy´s woes and‚ with the news that Pete Conning is unavailable on Tuesday due to work commitments‚ it is difficult to see how Tivvy can find enough players for the trip to Evesham. Hopefully Hedley Steele will be able to make another guest appearance and Stuart Smith´s thigh will have improved enough for him to be a genuine candidate to play. (Despite being named as sub on Saturday‚ he was in no condition to take the field). Whatever side Tivvy take up to the Cotswolds‚ they are sure to score - as well as concede - judging by the previous two encounters with Evesham this season that has already seen five goals for and seven against. I wonder what price you would get for a 0-0 draw?

Line up: Edwards‚ Ovens‚ Saunders‚ Tatterton‚ Marker‚ Conning‚ Nancekivell‚ Varley‚ Everett‚ Rogers‚ Richardson.
Subs: Pears (Richardson 77)‚ Smith‚ Grimshaw.

This report ©2000 Nigel Davis

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