Match report

Tiverton Town 0 - 1 Yeovil Town

   Tuesday 25/01/2000   Friendly
Nigel Davis

On a freezing evening one wondered who were the more foolhardy - the 200 or so spectators or the teams. With nothing at stake it must have crossed people´s minds whether this friendly was a good idea. In the end‚ we were treated to a fast flowing game‚ played hard but in good spirit. It gave Tivvy the opportunity to try Richard Pears at right back‚ Luke Vinnicombe and Stuart Smith in central defence‚ Dominic Richardson in midfield‚ give Geraint Bater a full game and allow Phil Everett and Steve Ovens the chance to renew their acquaintance up front. And‚ in my mind‚ they all proved successful.
Disappointingly‚ Yeovil (in an unfamiliar red and navy strip) fielded just a smattering of first team regulars and that was reflected in the fact that just three hardy followers arrived to unfurl a magnificent YTFC banner.
In a very even game‚ the telling difference was that Yeovil took their chance and‚ once more‚ Tivvy failed to turn theirs into goals. The game was settled as early as the eighth minute‚ James Bent firing past Paul Edwards before the new defensive partnership could settle.Five minutes later‚ Edwards pulled off the save of the game‚ palming Glen Poole´s free kick round for a corner.
Tivvy kept the game interesting with plenty of attacks but Yeovil´s extra know-how in the box with subtle (and some not so) nudges‚ tugs and pullbacks were clever enough to deceive referee Guy Beale and knock our forwards out of their stride. One not so subtle barge into Steve Ovens´ back by Antony Tonkin in the 27th minute was surprisingly interpreted by the ref as a shoulder to shoulder challenge and the appeals for a penalty were waved away. Ten minutes later saw the move of the game‚ with Tivvy stringing together over a dozen pinpoint passes in and around the Glovers´ box ending with a superb cross from Pears which Everett nodded inches over. On the hour‚ Paul Tatterton replaced Stuart Smith and‚ two minutes later‚ Tivvy had a golden opportunity to level after Everett was upended in the box by ´keeper Tim Malessa who‚ in a competitive game‚ may well have walked for an early bath. Up stepped Steve Ovens but his hard-hit penalty saw the ball crash against the underside of the bar and down onto the line before heading back towards Ovens who instinctively followed up to smash it home. The award of an indirect free kick to Yeovil caught out a lot of the crowd before it dawned on them that someone else had to have touched the ball for Ovens´ second bite to be valid.
Martyn Grimshaw came on up front for the final 22 minutes‚ replacing Pears with Dominic Richardson moving to right back and Ovens dropping back to midfield but Yeovil´s defence held firm - despite shuffling it a few times as they took full advantage of the game´s status to use all seven of their subs.

Line up: Paul Edwards‚ Richard Pears (15 Martyn Grimshaw‚ 68m)‚ Neil Saunders‚ Luke Vinnicombe‚ Stuart Smith (16 Paul Tatterton‚ 60m)‚ Pete Conning‚ Kevin Nancekivell‚ Steve Ovens‚ Phil Everett‚ Dominic Richardson‚ Geraint Bater; Sub (not used): Scott Rogers

This report ©2000 Nigel Davis

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