Match report

Tiverton Town 0 - 0 Hemel Hempstead

   Saturday 27/03/2010   Southern League Premier Division
Alan Reidy

Steve Book kept his ninth clean sheet in the league as an ever changing Hemel Hempstead made the trip to Ladysmead in what was billed a s a must-win game for both sides. However, neither side managed to win, and Hemel, who had mustered just one clean sheet all season doubled their tally to take home a share of the spoils in what was a remarkably uneventful game. It wasn’t quite as lacking as the match against Cambridge City a fortnight earlier but certainly a close second.

Mike Booth was awarded the official Man of the Match gong but it was his centre back partner Nathan Rudge who ensured Hemel were kept at bay. After thirteen minutes the Tudors were presented with the best chance of the game when Booth dithered and dallied in his own area, sidestepped into space and cleared to the centre of the pitch just twenty yards from goal. Hemel debutante Jamie Hand was quickly played into space and shot past Steve Book only for Rudge to backtrack and clear the ball from just in front of the line.

A few minutes later Colin Marshall might have put Tivvy ahead but was only able to plant an Alex Faux centre back across the face of goal and wide. The opening came from arguably Tiverton’s only fluent move of the game, with Jamie Hatch doing well to release Faux on the left flank, and Alex delivering a dangerous early cross to the far post. But when Marshall’s first time effort skimmed the wrong side of the upright it typified the game as a whole. There was little quality from either team and the most likely way a goal would arrive was from a set piece or a mistake.

After Matthew McEntegart headed wide from ex Watford midfielder Paulo Vernazza’s corner Tivvy were denied a set piece of their own at the other end. Marshall hoofed in a free kick from deep and Tom Gardner went down under pressure from Billy Crowther, only for the referee to wave away the Yellows appeals for a penalty.

Leon Fisher was denied by Book after half and hour and on the stroke of half time the same player shot low and wide, while at the start of the second period Massih Mirzai put an attempt into orbit for the visitors after Book had failed to claim a looping Danny May cross.

May had spent most of the afternoon shanking clearances out of the ground, such was the standard of the game, and the otherwise anonymous Davion Hamilton had one sight at goal but did what all before him had done by missing the target after turning on the edge of the area and creating space.

Vernazza missed the target again, and Joe Bushin finally brought Hemel goalkeeper into action just before the hour but his header was well saved at the post, the Tivvy forward latching onto a Rudge flick after Marshall had delivered another free kick into the danger zone.

And so the game petered out; Book fielded a low and bobbling shot from Hand with 25 minutes still to play and that was just about the sum total of the goalmouth action until Mark Saunders headed wide at the death from a Marshall corner. If one positive can be taken out of the dreary stalemate it is that Tiverton maintain their advantage over Hemel and actually move a point further away from the relegation places. That will be of little consolation to the 201 supporters at Ladysmead who would much rather see an entertaining draw than a bore-draw.


Tiverton Town: Steve Book, Adam Faux, Alex Faux, Mike Booth, Nathan Rudge, Tom Gardner, Jamie Hatch, Colin Marshall, Joe Bushin (Tom Piotrowski 84), Mark Saunders, Liam Head
Booked: Booth 76, Saunders 85, Marshall 88
Sent off: None

Hemel Hempstead Town: Rob Beckwith, Danny May, David Perpetuini, Billy Crowther, Matthew McEntegart, Jamie Hand, Leon Fisher, Paulo Vernazza, Lee Roche (Adam Martin 82), Davion Hamilton (Ryan Blake 68), Massih Mirzai (Leon Soloman 74)
Booked: Fisher 51, Soloman 85
Sent off: None

Attendance: 201


This report ©2010 Alan Reidy