Match report

Truro City 2 - 0 Tiverton Town

   Monday 31/08/2009   Southern League Premier Division
Alan Reidy

One of Tiverton’s problems over the past few seasons has been their inability to string together an extended sequence of positive results. It was eighteen months to the day since the Yellows had last won three league games on the trot, and almost a year since the last run of three league games without defeat. Truro provided the opposition as Tivvy looked to rewrite the latter of these records, but despite a stoic display of powerful defending the Cornish side eventually prevailed with a couple of goals in the final quarter of the match.

There was no questioning the movement and skill of Truro, who have proved for several years now that money does indeed buy success if not love. Les Afful skipped and jinked and danced around and Matt Villis shadowed him wherever he went while strike partner Andy Watkins was even more fleet of foot, hence the more mobile Mike Booth tracking him around the top third of the pitch. But while City’s movement was sweet and their passing crisp, wayward shots in front of goal that caught on the stiff breeze flew towards the city centre meant that there was nothing to bother the scorers in the first half.

Shots went either high or wide from, in order, Afful, Andy Taylor, Watkins, Danny Clay and finally Jake Ash. These efforts weren’t even close; they were as wild as the beast that doesn’t exist a few miles up the road. Book was forced into one stop, from Taylor’s free kick, and on the stroke of half time another, this time from Martin Watts. Nathan Rudge excelled to bravely block Joe Broad’s low shot after the annoyingly impressive Watkins had made one of his many forays down the right wing, and at the other end Dave Wilkinson gathered in low attempts from Mark Saunders and Dave Morrissey. Tiverton came within a lucky deflection of shocking their hosts after thirty-eight minutes but both Morrissey and Tom Gardner had shots blocked in desperation and eventually the Yellows had to settle for a corner won by Adam Faux.

Afful was thwarted by Book at the start of the second half, but the turning point in the game came with twenty-five minutes still to play when Mike Booth, already walking a fine line after an early yellow card, tripped Watkins and was given his marching orders. For a while Tivvy held their own despite the numerical disadvantage, but Book had to be on top form to make a stunning double save from Afful and then Watkins.

The numbers game caught up finally when Afful’s shot was blocked by Faux – with the arm. The resulting penalty was squeezed in low to Book’s left by Barry McConnell, and that was curtains for Tiverton. Another save denied Watts but the Truro winger finally got his name on the scoresheet seven minutes from the end. Book’s one blunder in the game proved costly as he tried to dribble out of defence and around Watkins following a through ball from Afful that was overhit. Watkins won the battle and his cross allowed Watts the easiest of finishes.

There was no more in the tank as far as Tivvy were concerned and a number of reshuffles saw Mark Saunders up front and then on the bench, Mike Humphreys and Craig Veal added to the mix and only a snap-volley from Ben Cleverley that went a foot over the crossbar to show for their efforts. Truro, on the other hand, could have further extended their lead but for a shocker of a header from substitute Lewis Edwards at the far post, and a beastly free kick from Taylor that Book palmed over the top.

Truro City: Dave Wilkinson, Barry McConnell, Graeme Power, Jake Ash, Santos Gaia, Joe Broad, Andy Taylor, Danny Clay (Marcus Martin 83), Les Afful (Lewis Edwards 83), Andy Watkins, Martin Watts
Goals: McConnell 74, Watts 83
Booked: None
Sent off: None

Tiverton Town: Steve Book, Adam Faux, Mike Booth, Matt Villis, Nathan Rudge, Tom Gardner (Alex Faux 78), Jamie Hatch (Mike Humphreys 83), Ben Cleverley, Dave Morrissey, Mark Saunders (Craig Veal 83), Dean Griffiths
Booked: Booth 15, Griffiths 20, Hatch 30, Booth 66
Sent off: Booth 66

This report ©2009 Alan Reidy