Match report

Tiverton Town 1 - 1 Brackley Town

   Saturday 06/02/2010   Southern League Premier Division
Alan Reidy

Saturday, 6th February 2010 was supposed to be a day of celebration and communal back slapping. With a build-up of more than eighteen years the least that could have been expected from our visitors was that they would take things easily and hand Martyn Rogers a celebratory three points on his special day. But Brackley didn’t read the script, or if they did they certainly showed no sense of wanting to join in the party. Josh Green saw to it that honours were even on the day that Rogers commemorated a mighty thousand games in charge of Tiverton Town, and the Saints defender also took it upon himself to rub in the loss of two points in the worst possible way, by heading home an equaliser more than five minutes into stoppage time.

“Such is life?. The last words of Aussie maverick and all-round bad guy Ned Kelly. Rogers might have been muttering something similar beneath his breath when the referee finally blew his whistle for the final time that afternoon, but the reality of the match would have soon brushed over the momentum of the occasion. By reaching such a milestone a manager must have some ability to look back and judge a match on balance. Rogers would have been all too aware that Tiverton taking a point against Brackley was as much as his side deserved on the balance of play. For all their hard work, endeavour and determined play on the back foot it was undoubtedly Brackley that were the better side. They had more shots, more possession and more quality from front to back. But they didn’t have the killer instinct. Tiverton had one effort on target and scored.

That is the way it is with Tivvy lately; be hard to break down and try and nick a goal if the chance presents itself. It isn’t endearing to the masses, nor even to the regular supporters, and Tiverton’s league position would suggest it isn’t exactly effective either. But the ploy has meant that the goals against column belies the lowly league position, while at the same time the goals scored statistic is amongst the very worst in the Division.

Ben Mackey had the first chance of any note in a game that would have failed to enthuse even the most ardent and optimistic of viewers, but the Brackley top scorer saw his shot deflect off Nathan Rudge and through to Steve Book. Joe Magunda shot over as the visitors continues to make the running, and the ever-impressive Tom Winters was thwarted by a combination of Alex Faux and Tom Gardner. And then the counter-strike. One chance, one goal. Colin Marshall floated in a free kick from a relatively innocuous position, Joe Bushin rose highest and nodded the ball on, and Paul Walker’s net bulged.

Magunda headed a corner over the top, Mark Rawle was denied by Steve Book, the Tivvy ’keeper saving expertly with one hand, and the second half gradually petered out into a battle of the midfields. On the one occasion that Tivvy broke Adam Mortimer placed a shot wide of Walker’s left upright when he should have done better, and Gardner sent a shot well over following another Marshall free kick.

Magunda recreated his earlier effort by heading high from a corner kick, and Book did superbly to force away Jamie Gould’s cracking shot from an acute angle. But with time ticking up beyond 90 rather down towards 90 the equaliser finally came. Amid late pressure Magunda finally put the ball where he intended, from wide on the right plum onto Green’s forehead. Marshall tried to score direct from the kick-off but failed, time was up, Tiverton stole a draw from the jaws of victory when anything would have been a bonus on the balance of play throughout the afternoon.

Tiverton Town: Steve Book, Adam Faux, Alex Faux, Mike Booth, Nathan Rudge (Jake Wannell, 79), Tom Gardner, Jamie Hatch, Colin Marshall, Joe Bushin, Adam Mortimer (Mark Saunders, 86), Elliott Frear (Lee Collier, 90)
Goals: Bushin 31
Booked: Rudge 9

Brackley: Paul Walker, Simon Travis, Jamie Gould, Jamie Kearns (Dominic Langdon, 74), Chris Willmott, Josh Green, Owen Story, Joe Magunda, Mark Rawle, Ben Mackey (Ollie Burgess, 74), Tom Winters
Goals: Green 90
Booked: Mackey 9, Winters 67, Rawle 89

Attendance: 533

This report ©2010 Alan Reidy