Match report

Tiverton Town 1 - 0 Oxford City

   Saturday 23/01/2010   Southern League Premier Division
Alan Reidy

A solitary Joe Bushin goal was enough for Tiverton Town to take all three points against playoff contenders Oxford City at Ladysmead. Bushin struck with ten minutes remaining for the only goal of the game, and it was just reward for an excellent Yellows performance.

Having not played a league game for six weeks Tiverton had slipped to one off the bottom of the Southern League table, and it was important that Martyn Rogers’ side picked up something from what was always going to be a tricky encounter against very solid opponents.

And Tivvy didn’t disappoint by taking the game to Oxford from the outset, with the early pressure seeing the visitors pinned back in the opening stages. Sam Malsom proved to be a willing runner in attack and almost broke through a resolute Oxford defence in the second minute, but he was dispossessed on the edge of the area, and when the ball broke to Elliott Frear the winger’s cross was too deep.

Tiverton continued to press and a clinical one-touch move involving Tom Gardner and Malsom was thwarted at the last as City goalkeeper Jonathan North quickly raced of his line to smother at the feet of Bushin.

Malsom and Alex Faux both had further chances in a first half that saw Tiverton well in command, but neither could hit the target, and the Yellows were almost made to pay when Josh Emery’s low shot squeezed through a crowded goalmouth only for Steve Book to save smartly.

On the stroke of half time Bushin was once again in the clear, having latched onto a Colin Marshall through ball, but James Clarke was quick to retreat and make a crucial tackle on the Tiverton hotshot just as Bushin was about to pull the trigger.

After the change of ends Book was twice called into action, saving routinely from Lee Steele and then palming over a dipping Steve Davis free kick. And Steele should have done better on the hour mark when Book fumbled on the edge of his area, but Adam Faux was in place to block the Oxford forward’s shot.

The breakthrough finally arrived ten minutes from the end when Frear raced down the left flank and, at the second attempt, crossed high towards the edge of the goal area. Bushin was typically able to find space and powerfully headed past North, leaving the Oxford ’keeper with no chance.

The visitors pressed for a late equaliser but never threatened Book’s goal. A wild shot that sailed over from Mark Janes in added time was as near as they came to drawing level, and Tiverton might have extended their lead late on. Mark Saunders, on as a substitute for Malsom who suffered a nasty clash of heads with Clarke, played a cheeky backheel to release Frear, but Andy Ballard cut out a low cross that seemed destined to allow Bushin a simple tap-in.

Tiverton Town: Steve Book, Jake Wannell (Matt Bye 79), Alex Faux, Adam Faux, Nathan Rudge, Tom Gardner, Jamie Hatch, Colin Marshall, Joe Bushin, Sam Malsom (Mark Saunders 83), Elliott Frear
Goals: Bushin 80
Booked: Rudge 51
Sent off: None

Oxford City: Jonathan North, Andy Ballard, Dave Perpetuini, Dave Savage, James Clarke, Andy Gunn, Steve Davis (Jamie Brooks 85), Josh Emery, Jonathan Douglas (Michael Lyon 63), Lee Steele, Mark Janes
Booked: None
Sent off: None

Attendance 280

This report ©2010 Alan Reidy