Match report

Bashley 0 - 1 Tiverton Town

   Saturday 20/03/2010   Southern League Premier Division
Alan Reidy

To borrow and overused phrase, it’s a funny old game. Nobody in their right mind would have predicted that Tiverton could travel to the New Forest and beat second-placed Bashley on their own patch, particularly in mind of the previous meeting between the sides earlier in the season which saw Bashley win 5-0 at walking pace.

But such are the vagaries of logic and the equalising ability of a bit of rain that Tiverton nicked a goal and defended superbly to limit their hosts to only a few real chances. Mark Saunders typically was the player to come up trumps; much as he had led the Tivvy revival at Evesham a few weeks ago, Saunders was typically influential in midfield and in place to ram home the only goal of the game when Bash ’keeper David Elm flapped at Colin Marshall’s corner.

For the old man it was the second goal he has scored at Bashley, both in a winning effort, and his fifth goal of the season. More impressive is Tiverton’s record when Saunders has found the net – Wacker has scored 132 goals in 92 separate matches for Tivvy and the Yellows have lost just two of them, curiously both 4-3. So when Elm allowed the ball to slip through his grasp and Mark darted around the back from the edge of the area to belt the ball home Tivvy were as good as nailed on for at least a point.

Town might have won more comfortably had Liam Head taken one of his two chances in the first half. After fifteen minutes the Plymouth loanee latched onto a long ball down the left channel when Bashley’s Jack Smith slipped like Bambi on ice. Elm wobbled out of his area only for Head to push the ball past the advancing custodian, past but too wide. Head caught up with the ball but by the time he sorted himself out and attempted to find the net at the near post Gary Middleton had recovered suitably to deflect the ball behind for a corner.

Head had a further chance ten minutes or so later but this time missed the target by a foot having swivelled on the edge of the area and beaten Elm with his shot. Two chances, two failures to punish a Bashley defence that looked comfortable with the ball but strangely cautious when Tiverton were in possession.

All the while there was a threat at the other end and Steve Book got down well to help Mark Gamble’s shot out for a corner after twenty minutes. The opening was the result of Bashley’s smartest move of the match where Gamble split the defence with his movement and latched on to a splendidly intelligent chipped pass from Chris Knowles.

But apart from that Bashley couldn’t penetrate and their best chances came from set pieces. Chris Ferrett's corners were always a danger but the locals didn’t have their finishing heads on. Matt Parnell headed one such chance wide in the first half, Gamble did likewise early in the second, and with ten minutes remaining Middleton added his name to the list of missed headers, this time from a Ferrett free kick.

Late in the day even Elm himself came forward for a corner but the result was the same, headed somewhere towards the corner flag. Adam Kelly shot high towards New Milton for the hosts, Marshall twice scuffed shots for the visitors, and substitute Dave Town almost struck it lucky in added time when his sliced cross dipped beneath the bar and forced Book to palm it away.

Bashley: David Elm, Jack Smith (David Town 64), Chris Ferrett, Gary Middleton, Matt Parnell, Chris Knowles (Chris Mason 38), Adam Kelly, Dave Allen, Max Cream (Joe Maxwell 67), Mark Gamble, Charlie Knight
Booked: None
Sent off: None

Tiverton Town: Steve Book, Adam Faux, Colin Marshall (Jake Wannell 88), Mike Booth, Nathan Rudge, Tom Gardner, Jamie Hatch, Liam Head (Richard Pears 77), Joe Bushin, Mark Saunders, Alex Faux
Goals: Saunders 58
Booked: None
Sent off: None

Attendance: 277

This report ©2010 Alan Reidy