Match report

Bedworth United 0 - 0 Tiverton Town

   Saturday 25/03/2000   Southern League First Division
Nigel Davis

I suppose that this result had been coming. It is strange for me to lack enthusiasm for a game but I just didn´t feel that the portents were good. Even on the way up on the coach‚ the general feeling was that this would be a grind - probably another Bilston. We weren´t wrong. Even the journey was jinxed as we turned left onto the M6‚ soon to be greeted with the sign Welcome to Solihull. This was one place that I thought I had seen the last of for this season. A quick about turn and we were back on the Motorway‚ this time heading (correctly) for Coventry and‚ hence‚ Bedworth.
Bedworth went into this game having lost just three home league encounters this term and their cause was not helped by the missing quartet of Adie Fitzhugh‚ leading scorer Robbie Beard‚ James Richardson and Joao Jordim - all suspended. Desperate to find some consistency up front‚ they are on the verge of securing the signature of striker John Symonds who was on their books in the mid-90s before being sold to Cheltenham Town three years ago for a reputed 6‚000. He then played for Nuneaton Borough before moving to Hinckley and they hope that his former scoring record of 68 goals in just 99 appearances between 1994 and 1997 can continue. He didn´t sign in time for this match - thankfully.
So‚ to the match and‚ let´s be honest‚ Tivvy never got into their stride. And their cause wasn´t helped when they lost Phil Everett and Stuart Smith inside the opening minutes. Phil pulled a hamstring‚ totally out of the blue‚ and hobbled off for treatment in the ninth minute. Having continued with ten men partnership of Ovens and Varley and it didn´t really work as‚ being of similar style‚ they invariably found themselves running the same channels. Then‚ just three minutes after being forced to make the first substitution‚ Stuart Smith rose to glance the ball through to Kevin Nancekivell who‚ unable to control the bouncing ball‚ still succeeded in getting in Tivvy´s first shot of note. Unfortunately‚ Psycho had crumpled into a heap and was helped off the park having sustained a recurrence of a rib injury that he picked up earlier this month. Dave Leonard took his place.
Tivvy forays were few and far between‚ Bedworth looking much the more lively of the two teams‚ and apart from a Steve Ovens´ shot screwed wide in the 31st minute and a header from the same man ten minutes later‚ this time from Dominic Richardson´s cross‚ the travelling hordes had little to shout about.
The second half was barely better. Indeed‚ Bedworth´s diminutive Ian Drewitt came closest with a back header after nine minutes that bounced just wide. A quarter of an hour later a minor kerfuffle in the centre circle led to Bedworth´s Paul Corden and Tivvy´s Pete Conning being yellow-carded.
Really‚ though‚ it was dire. Tivvy rarely strung two passes together and the naive officialdom that saw them being conned time and time again by Bedworth´s tactic of manhandling their opponents before dropping to the ground and being awarded a free kick frustrated both the Tivvy players and the supporters.
This game is probably best forgotten. Thankfully‚ though‚ it wasn´t a carbon copy of the 1-0 defeat at Bilston where a late‚ late goal ruined another trip to the Midlands. But‚ if it hadn´t been for Paul Edwards‚ it might have been. A rising drive from Chris Goodman was‚ thankfully‚ plucked from the air as we entered the 90th minute - and the danger passed.
As the final whistle blew‚ news came through that Hinckley had lost 2-1 at Stourbridge. Maybe we should view Tivvy´s result as a point gained rather than two points lost... However‚ with both Moor Green and Stafford winning‚ this view may not be so charitable.
They said Beware the Ides of March. Well‚ they are long gone and‚ in retrospect‚ this month has been kind to us. But we don´t want the revitalised Stourbridge to make us April Fools next Saturday.
Line up: Edwards‚ Richardson, Saunders, Tatterton, Marker, Conning, Nancekivell, Varley, Everett, Rogers, Smith.
Subs: Ovens (Everett 13),

This report ©2000 Nigel Davis

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