Match report

Tiverton Town 2 - 1 Exeter City

   Tuesday 22/02/2000   Friendly
Nigel Davis

Tivvy´s unbeaten run was extended to five games and the portents are good with the return of Steve Daly‚ Steve Ovens and Dave Leonard‚ the latter making his first appearance since the opening day of the season.

The great thing about these friendlies is the ability to introduce new blood (but don´t mention that to Kevin Nancekivell whose nose gushed forth midway through the second half‚ forcing him to leave the field of play). The starting line-up included Torquay´s Mark Germyn and Ilfracombe´s Kevin Squire‚ with Nick Bowrah (Willand) replacing Dave Leonard at the interval to be followed by team-mate David Steele (son of Hedley) who made his first team debut on 72 minutes‚ having appeared for the long lost reserve side two seasons ago.

The first half was‚ well‚ quiet. The first incident of note occurred in the 42nd minute when Steve Ovens saw his shot blocked by a defender then Dominic Richardson instantly followed up with a vicious left-footed shot that was tipped over the bar by former Taunton custodian‚ Jason Matthews. On the stroke of half-time‚ the Grecians nearly penetrated the Tivvy rearguard when a glancing header by the lively Rob Speakman was neatly gathered by Paul Edwards.

At half-time‚ Exeter made one change‚ replacing Darren Rowbotham with Glen Cronin. Tivvy‚ meanwhile‚ brought on Richard Pears‚ Kevin Nancekivell and Nick Bowrah for Steve Daly‚ Kevin Squire and Dave Leonard. All three had done well - Lensy getting stuck in with a characteristic never-say-die series of tackles‚ Kevin showing some excellent touches coupled with effervescent running and "Arthur" looking cool but‚ no doubt‚ worried about his heavily bandaged knee.

The second half soon exploded with Exeter´s Finland U-21 international‚ Merka Hautala‚ testing Eddie to the full with a shot that was pushed onto the crossbar. It was the warning Tivvy needed and‚ in their next attack (after 52 minutes) Bowrah´s left-footed cross put visiting skipper Rob Dewhurst under pressure and he nodded the ball over and past his own ´keeper to put Tivvy in front. Three minutes later‚ City were level with a glorious shot on the turn by Rob Speakman. Undaunted‚ Tivvy pressed forward and‚ in the 59th minute‚ they restored their lead‚ Kevin Nancekivell beating a static Grecians´ defence to nod the ball home. Five minutes later‚ Pete Conning replaced Neil Saunders‚ soon to be followed by Exeter bringing on Warren Waugh for Hautala. A miskick from Jason Matthews was then intercepted by Richard Pears and‚ with Matthews way off his line‚ he aimed for goal but slightly miscued his long range shot and the ball just went wide. With 19 minutes left on the watch‚ Stephen Kent came on for ex-Chelsea David Lee to precipiate a flurry of substitutions. Within seconds Nance was through the visiting defence again‚ only to see his shot loop over the bar. A minute later‚ David Steele came on for Pete Varley‚ closely followed three minutes later by Exeter replacing Pete Smith with Steve Hensor. In the 77th minute‚ the wounded Nancekivell came off and Kevin Squire made a reappearance. Finally‚ a double Exeter substitution saw Matthews replaced between the sticks by Robert Hallan and Jukka Vanninen make way for Ross Casey.

In the final five minutes‚ Exeter were twice denied by the woodwork as they strove to level the score. First off Steve Hensor found himself unmarked at the far post‚ yet proceeded to blast the ball against that very post. Not to be outdone‚ after 88 minutes‚ Warren Waugh was on hand after Eddie had parried Glen Cronin´s point blank shot - but was also denied by the very same post. I know we were accused of having a wooden defence earlier in the season‚ but this is getting beyond a joke!
So‚ Tivvy survived and did their confidence a power of good with another fine victory. Also, it looks as if the squad could well be bolstered in more ways than one thanks to the returning bods from injury plus the promising crop of triallists on show. And, anyone wondering where Ryan King was this evening, well he was playing the full 90 minutes for his other club, Backwell, against Bristol City in their Somerset Premier Cup tie that City won 1-0.

Apparently, the boy did well.

Tiverton Town: Paul Edwards, Luke Vinnicombe, Neil Saunders (Pete Conning, 64), Stuart Smith, Mark Germyn, Dominic Richardson, Kevin Squire (Kevin Nancekivell, 46 (Kevin Squire, 77), Pete Varley (David Steele, 72), Steve Ovens, Steve Daly (Richard Pears, 46m, Dave Leonard (Nick Bowrah, 46)

This report ©2000 Nigel Davis

Please note: The � or ? character in some older reports denotes where an error has occured in translation when the reports were transfered between databases