Match report

Moor Green 1 - 1 Tiverton Town

   Tuesday 15/02/2000   Southern League First Division
Nigel Davis

The opening third of this game was so nondescript that there was nothing much to mention apart from the fact that it was obvious that The Moors had been tipped off that Kevin Nancekivell and Phil Everett were the men to watch‚ mark‚ shirt tug‚ haul back etc etc. Then‚ in the 29th minute‚ Tivvy broke through with a superb one-touch move involving‚ amongst others‚ Scott Rogers‚ Phil Everett and Kevin Nancekivell that completely carved open the home defence. Unfortunately‚ the man who had started the move‚ Scott Rogers‚ missed the perfect opportunity to put Tivvy ahead‚ his shot flying across the face of goal and wide. However‚ considering the greasy conditions‚ it was brilliant that Tivvy had managed to engineer such an opening. Within seconds‚ Phil Everett was also in with a chance but‚ stretching to volley home‚ he needed an extra couple of inches to make perfect contact and‚ instead‚ the ball cannoned away.

Seven minutes from the break‚ Stuart 'Psycho' Smith once more transgressed and picked up yet another yellow card for a poor tackle. It surely cannot be long before he misses a bundle of games for his misdemeanours. And it proved doubly costly as‚ from the resultant free kick‚ Paul Edwards blocked what looked like a certain goal‚ only for the ball to be returned into the path of Mark Shepherd who made no mistake from close range to break the deadlock.

Deep into injury time‚ Moors won the first corner of the game and‚ once more‚ Edwards was called upon to save‚ this time plucking the ball out of the air from Steve Round´s lofted shot.

If the first half had seen Tivvy subdued‚ the same could not be said of the second 45. From the off it was a seige‚ Tivvy winning three corners inside the first couple of minutes‚ and we were in for a vintage half from the Ambers. First Everett and Nicky Marker both came close to equalising and then there was a deft back-heel from Everett that let in Nancekivell who dallied just an extra nano-second‚ so allowing his marker to clear. Everett was clearly a handful and it was no surprise when Matt Smith clattered him to the ground to equalise the bookings for Smiths.

We then had a lull‚ punctuated only by a Pete Varley header‚ well covered by ´keeper Jim Arnold (apparently no relation to the former Kidderminster/Stafford custodian of old)‚ and the Moors making two substitutions. Unfortunately for yours truly‚ the one sub they failed to make was to bring on one of the all time Non-League greats‚ Kim Casey - a prolific goalscorer in his time with Kidderminster.

So‚ into the final‚ hectic‚ quarter of an hour. Fistly‚ in the 75th minute‚ Everett unleashed a wonder shot from outside the box‚ bettered only by a diving punch away by Arnold at the expense of a corner. It was taken short almost as a one-two and then swung back over to Nicky Marker who dinked in a great cross that flew over Nancekivell´s left shoulder for him to run onto. He jinked between two defenders and shot. This time Arnold took the sting out of the ball but succeeded in diverting it towards the far post. Phil Everett steamed in and, having seen his initial shot blocked on the line, he made no mistake with his second bite of the cherry and a good half of the 248 spectators rose as one to salute the equaliser. It was well worth the wait.

With the introduction of debutant Ryan King, newly signed from Backwell, to replace the flagging Pete Varley who had never seemed to have recovered from a first half knock, we were treated to a quick burst of "The Ryan Sleeps Tonight" and a few hollors of "Come on Simba" as the wags amongst the Gold Army acknowledged the newcomer to the ranks. Unfortunately he saw little of the ball but, what we did see was encouraging and he was involved in the move that almost saw Tivvy snatch the points, Kevin Nancekivell´s diving header beating Arnold but, alas, also the far post.

Tivvy look to be getting back to vintage form and, certainly in the second half, rarely put a foot wrong. When errors did occur, there was enough guts and determination from fellow team members to snuff out any danger. It was a dream to behold.

With Stafford stuffing Shepshed 3-0 and Blakenall despatching Racing Club Warwick by the same scoreline, Tivvy managed to move up from seventh to fifth and have surely added another small dent to Moor Green´s hopes of promotion whilst showing themselves that, maybe, there is still an outside chance that they might snatch a top two position. The teams around them will have to drop an awful lot of points for this to happen but I doubt if Moor Green will be relishing the thought of the return encounter scheduled for Ladysmead on April 15 and, with Tivvy still having to play five games against teams from the leading pack, it is very much in their own hands to prove they have turned the corner.

The next test is on Saturday at one of those sides, Sutton Coldfield Town. They may currently lie in ninth slot (after tonight´s games) but they are just two points behind Tivvy. Indeed, it is so tight at the top that four teams have the same number of points as Tivvy and one or two more slip-ups could see the Ambers tumble to mid-table. It is a fine dividing line, that between success and failure...

Tiverton Town: Paul Edwards, Dominic Richardson, Neil Saunders, Paul Tatterton, Nicky Marker, Pete Conning, Kevin Nancekivell, Scott Rogers, Peter Varley (Ryan King 81), Phil Everett, Stuart Smith.
Goal: Everett 76

Attendance: 246

This report ©2000 Nigel Davis

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