Match report

Weston-super-Mare 0 - 1 Tiverton Town

   Tuesday 21/03/2000   Southern League First Division
Nigel Davis

This game was not for purists. On a pig of a pitch‚ beneath gloomy lights‚ Tivvy dug deep in a rough and tumble affair to maintain their winning streak. They are certainly the team in form and this was their seventh straight Dr Martens victory. If the rest of the league aren´t quaking in their boots‚ they ought to be. With the psychological advantage of a three point lead over Moor Green - and an extra one over Hinckley - Tivvy also have the advantage of a gentler final furlong. It seems strange that this was the only midweek encounter in the Western Division. Hinckley still have eleven games to play and‚ although there are still seven Saturdays before the end of the season‚ it is not unheard of for torrential rain to cause postponements in April. Tivvy are in a much better position - just eight games to go. Better the points in the bag than games in hand... And who is to say that Stafford can´t be caught???
Once again it was Kevin Nancekivell whose name appeared on the scoresheet and he was unlucky not to open his tally after ten minutes‚ his looping header dropping just wide. But he made no mistake three minutes later when Steve Ovens and he played head tennis with the home defence‚ the final ball looping over the stranded Michael Kearns. All credit to the diminutive Ovens who outjumped his towering counterpart - not for the first‚ or last‚ time.
The first signs of Weston´s aggression came in the 21st minute when centre forward Simon Tyler tangled with Nicky Marker‚ earning himself a yellow card for his troubles. With a passing game pretty impossible on a park that wouldn´t have looked out of place in 1914/18 nomansland‚ Weston continued to hurtle the ball downfield. Was this damage limitation or did they really think that Dominic Richardson‚ Nicky Marker‚ Paul Tatterton and Neil Saunders would be caught on the hop? Paul Edwards harldy touched the ball in the first period.
Eight minutes into the second half‚ though‚ Edwards pulled off a great point blank save‚ parrying the ball at full stretch. This set up a quick counter-attack and Ovens´ long range shot beat Kearns but just curled wide. Two minutes later he tested Kearns again. This time the keeper turned the ball away but straight to Kevin Nancekivell whose return was inches away from goal.
In the 59th minute‚ the worst incident of the game was missed by the referee but not by one of his assistants who spotted Tyler aiming a head butt at Tatterton. Following consultation with his assistant‚ Keith Stroud dismissed the perpetrator - but it didn´t seem to tone down Weston´s game where wrestling was more in evidence than football.
A strange booking then occured six minutes later. On the edge of the six yard box‚ Nancekivell‚ surrounded by Weston defenders‚ twisted and turned then had his ankles clipped and he was over. Urged on by one vociferous member of the home team‚ the referee booked Nance! Tempers were now boiling and it was no surprise that Weston picked up another booking‚ Lee Rogers kicking Stuart Smith in the back rather than the ball. This‚ just a few minutes after they had tustled in the middle of the park.
The biggest crowd to have attended Weston this season then had to endure nearly ten minutes of added time before the majority celebrated the final whistle. Next stop - Bedworth.
Line up: Edwards‚ Richardson‚ Saunders‚ Tatterton‚ Marker‚ Conning‚ Nancekivell‚ Ovens‚ Everett‚ Rogers‚ Smith.
Subs: (not used) Varley‚ Vinnicombe‚ Leonard.

This report ©2000 Nigel Davis

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