Match report

Swindon Supermarine 2 - 1 Tiverton Town

   Wednesday 09/12/2009   Southern League Premier Division
Alan Reidy

Sam Malsom scored his first goal since his return to Tiverton Town but it wasn’t enough as Swindon Supermarine consigned the Yellows to a second Southern League defeat in the space of four days. Tivvy were behind as early as the second minute when Steve Cook was left unmarked to head home a right wing cross, Malsom equalised in added time at the end of the first half, but Swindon’s top scorer Joe Harris deflected in the winner close to the end of the game.

After such a poor second half performance on Saturday one might have been forgiven for expecting Tiverton to hit the floor running at Hunts Copse in an attempt to gain some reprisal, but it was in fact the home side that began the quickest and consistently found time and space high up the field. The first meaningful attack allowed the destructive Gary Horgan to whip in an early cross and Cook was in acres of space, yet still had work to do in order to guide his header just inside the far post.

The lead might have been doubled just a couple of minutes later when Nathan Rudge carelessly conceded possession, but Tom Gardner made a crucial tackle after Justyn McKay had slipped a through ball into the path of Cook.

Horgan was soon forced out of the game with a head injury and little by little Tiverton began to assert some authority on proceedings. In a game that was more about getting stuck in rather than playing silky football there was seldom any quality play from either side but the Yellows were rattling into challenges and making life difficult for the home side as the first half wore on. One rare flowing move, with Colin Marshall typically at the heart of it, culminated when Joe Bushin’s cross/shot was saved low down by Matt Bulman, and a more direct approach from Marshall forced the Swindon goalkeeper into a diving save.

The entertainment value, however, was generally low, and it looked as if the change of ends would see Tivvy trailing until Joe Bushin chased a lost cause and pressured Matt Robinson into a mistake. Bushin bustled his way into the area despite being tugged back by his shirt tail, did well to keep his footing and planted a cross that Sam Malsom couldn’t waste.

At the start of the second half Bushin looped a peculiar header onto the post with Bulman beaten but thereafter Tiverton never threatened the Supermarine goal, and the hosts raised their tempo. Tivvy were pinned back almost throughout the final 40 minutes, and although they stood firm in the face of adversity with some stoic defending the pressure was unremitting. Luke Hopper was denied from Steve Book just seconds after Alex Faux had cleared a shot off the line, Kyle Lapham fired wide, and with five minutes remaining Chris Taylor struck a fizzing shot from outside the area that rattled the woodwork.

Tiverton were off the hook and might have felt they had done enough to earn a draw, but three minutes later Mike Booth conceded a free kick in a dangerous position twenty yards from goal. Joe Harris stepped up and although his shot was weak the ball squirmed through the defensive wall, taking a crucial deflection on the way that wrong-footed Book and left the Tivvy custodian grasping at thin air as the net bulged.

There was simply no time for a reply, and if there had been it would have been an injustice as an awfully flat performance didn’t merit the Yellows bringing anything back to Devon with them other than long faces. Swindon didn’t only hold on but held on comfortably, frustrating Tiverton with a two minute spell of keepball deep in Yellows territory and forcing the visitors into a number of fouls with garnered not only free kicks but also a couple of bookings.

Swindon Supermarine: Matt Bulman, Kyle Lapham, Matt Robinson, Gary Horgan (Sean Wood 14), Leigh Henry, Justyn McKay, Ashley Edenborough, Steve Cook, Luke Hopper (Joe Harris 76), Chris Taylor, Nick Stanley
Goals: Cook 2, Harris 88
Booked: Bulman 52, Hopper 69, Edenborough 90
Sent off: None

Tiverton Town: Steve Book, Adam Faux, Alex Faux, Mike Booth, Nathan Rudge, Tom Gardner, Colin Marshall, Sam Malsom (Josh Ford 87), Joe Bushin, Mark Saunders, Elliott Frear (Jamie Hatch 73)
Goals: Malsom 45
Booked: Rudge 30, Bushin 52, Booth 67, Adam Faux 90, Ford 90
Sent off: None

Attendance: 127

This report ©2009 Alan Reidy