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Stafford Rangers 2 - 1 Tiverton Town

   Saturday 05/02/2000   Southern League First Division
Nigel Davis

Tivvy battled galantly against a very good and well organised Stafford team‚ but were unable to hold on to there one goal lead. Stafford eventually equalised with fourteen minutes left on the clock and got the inevitable‚ if not a little fortuitous‚ winner five minutes from time.
Tivvy took the lead after only 4 minutes when Phil Everett was on hand at the far post to slot home from Dominic Richardson´s low and fierce across-the-face of goal cross. Before that Tivvy had a good opportunity when Nicky Marker´s unchallenged hearder was comfortably gathered by the Stafford ´keeper. As the first half progressed Stafford began to assert themselves and had three glorious chances to score‚ but failed miserably and it looked as if lady luck was at long last beginning to shine on Tivvy. Both sides were evenly matched. Stafford forced several corners‚ but so did Tivvy who always looked dangerous on the break. Kevin Nancekivell was very unlucky on 30 minutes when his shot was just tipped over and five minutes later Scott Rogers had a good opportunity to score‚ but decided to chip the ball over the defender to Kevin Nancekivell‚ rather than chip the ´keeper‚ who was well off his line. The ball fell just behind Nance who was unable to get fully behind the ball to deliver.
As the first half drew to a close it became increasingly obvious that Tivvy´s lightweight midfield was losing the battle against Stafford´s strong and well organised Nicholas Law and Jason Smith and really the writing was on the wall.
However‚ it was Tivvy who started brightly in the second half. Phil Everett´s superbly weighted cross was met by Kevin Nancekivell whose free header went just over the bar with the goal beckoning. But from then on Stafford´s midfield dominated proceedings enabling them far more possession and with Tivvy forced to play far too deep it was inevitable that eventually Stafford would equalise‚ although Tivvy´s defence coped well with everything that was thrown at them. In the 77th minute Dominic Richardson was dispossessed deep in the Stafford half and the resultant break ended with Steve Jones´ whose run looked to have gone too far‚ but as the ball got to the byeline his cross was too high for Paul Edwards. The ball seemed to hang in the air. It finally dropped for an unmarked Mitchell who re-adjusted to head into an empty net. Stuart Smith came on for Geraint Bater and an excellent pass from him to Kevin Nancekivell found Scott Rogers whose shot was palmed passed the post by the Stafford ´keeper.
Stafford´s winning and killer goal came in the 85th minute‚ and came from nowhere. A cross was fisted out by Paul Edwards and the ball was gathered by Stafford substitute Delwyn Humphreys who laid the ball back for defender Leigh Everitt to deliver a twenty yard shot that went through just about everyone to go in just inside Paul Edwards´ left hand post.
Line up: Edwards‚ Vinnicombe‚ Saunders‚ Tatterton‚ Marker‚ Conning‚ Nancekivell‚ Richardson‚ Everett‚ Rogers‚ Bater.
Subs: Varley (Richardson 82)‚ Smith (Bater 60)‚ Pears.

This report ©2000 Nigel Davis

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