Match report

Tiverton Town 6 - 1 Solihull Borough

   Saturday 04/03/2000   Southern League First Division
Nigel Davis

Shell-shocked Solihull were stunned by Tivvy´s six-shooters as they slumped to their heaviest Southern League defeat. And this was a Borough side that always looked dangerous going forward‚ playing some neat football - and had already beaten Tivvy 2-1 earlier in the season.
Just eight minutes were on the watch when Pete Varley was clattered from behind by Nigel Brown. Fortunately for Tivvy the ball had already been played forward to Kevin Nancekivell and‚ with the ref playing advantage‚ Tivvy´s leading scorer this season unselfishly crossed to the unmarked Phil Everett who made no mistake from six yards for him to add to his record-breaking tally. More importantly it was his sixth goal in his last seventh appearance and underlined the theory that‚ when Teach´ leads the forward line‚ Tivvy invariably win. Incidentally‚ Brown was quite rightly booked whilst Varley received lengthy treatment.
Two minutes later‚ team-mate Joe Dowling followed him into the ref´s notebook for the type of challenge more often seen committed by Stuart Smith. With no lack of lead in his pencil‚ the ref booked Scott Rogers on 23 minutes for encroachment as he needlessly attempted to block a quickly-taken Solihull free kick.
Borough were‚ by now‚ looking ever increasingly dangerous and‚ on 26 minutes‚ levelled the score when Neil Beagan executed a perfect overhead kick to divert the ball past Paul Edwards. But their joy was shortlived as Tivvy bounced back immediately and‚ seconds later‚ restored their lead. A strong run through the defence by Everett was halted just inside the box and‚ with the ball squirming behind him‚ he had the presence of mind - and skill - to back-heel the ball to Scott Rogers who slipped it past two defenders and ´keeper Richard Anstiss.
The game´s tempo was furious and‚ inevitably‚ there were some mistimed challenges - one of which saw Nancekivell pick up a rare booking after 31 minutes. But it didn´t knock him off his stride as‚ two minutes later he made it 3-1. And he really couldn´t have asked for an easier opportunity. Pete Varley had surged down the right. His shot beat the advancing Anstiss but‚ just as the ball was about to the cross the line‚ a Solihull defender hacked it away - only to see it hit Anstiss and rebound goalwards. Kevin Nancekivell pounced to poke the ball home from one inch - or was it two?!?
Come the second half‚ it was no surprise to see the visitors take the game to Tivvy. Earlier in the season‚ we might have wobbled but not now and‚ having soaked up the pressure - which included a great move after 48 minutes ending with Dowling spooning the ball over the bar - Tivvy hit back with gusto.
Like the first half‚ it took just eight minutes for Tivvy to score. Pete Conning slipped a delightful ball through to Everett and he diverted it inside the defence for Pete Varley to run onto and fire the ball home. 4-1 and‚ to be honest‚ it was Tivvy´s first dangerous move of the half.
Borough tried to change their luck by shuffling their pack‚ bringing on Craig Whitfield for Matt Johal after 57 minutes and Jamie Campbell for Dowling ten minutes later. Tivvy responded by introducing Dave Leonard for Stuart Smith a minute later for his first competitive Ladysmead appearance since the opening day of the season when he was carried off in the Stafford game. His arrival lifted the faithful and the fervour increased ten minutes on when the heavily-strapped Steve Daly returned from a two-month absence closely followed‚ three minutes later‚ by Steve Ovens who took over from the excellent Everett.
Yours truly wondered how long it would be before Ovens also scored. The answer was swift. Just two minutes! Dominic Richardson‚ favoured at right back for this game over Luke Vinnicombe‚ pumped a long ball for Varley to chase. He outstripped the defence and‚ despite there being an excellent chance for him to double his tally‚ he unselfishly crossed to Steve Ovens who‚ in acres of space‚ crashed the ball home.
This sent the on-song Gold Army into believing that they were back in the Screwfix League as the scoreline bore resemblance to victories of yore. And there was more to come because‚ within 60 seconds‚ Tivvy had hit Solihull for six. Ovens unnerved Anstiss who had come to the edge of his box to gather the ball and‚ with defenders around him‚ he fumbled leaving it for Ovens to nip past him and pull the ball back for Kevin Nancekivell who had a slightly harder tap-in to his first half effort.
This result will‚ hopefully‚ send shivers around the Western Division and, with Hinckley again dropping points, Tivvy are chipping away at the leaders. This victory not only consolidated their fourth position but, more importantly, boosted their goal difference which could be the deciding factor come May 6th.
Line up: Edwards, Richardson, Saunders, Tatterton, Marker, Conning, Nancekivell, Varley, Everett, Rogers, Smith.
Subs: Leonard (Smith 68), Daly (Conning 78), Ovens (Everett 81).

This report ©2000 Nigel Davis

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