Match report

Tiverton Town 1 - 1 Windsor & Eton

   Saturday 14/08/2010   Southern League Premier Division
Dave Baylis

An uncharacteristic British summer, the glorious beaches of Devon & Cornwall and an overturned caravan somewhere on the M5 all contributed to the surprisingly undersized Tiverton faithful being kept waiting a little longer for the start of the new season when opponents, newly promoted Windsor & Eton, arrived late after being caught up in the motorway mayhem.

After a shortened and somewhat unenthusiastic warm up by the visitors and a small spike in bar sales for the hosts, the game finally kicked off an hour late. However, despite stiff legs and ears still ringing from MP3 players it was Windsor & Eton who made the more incisive start when David Pearce took advantage of some hesitant defending in the Tiverton penalty area only to see his header cleared off the line by a grateful Tom Gardner.

Despite Tiverton playing some neat passing football and controlling possession, to the delight of the majority of the crowd, it was Windsor & Eton who continued to dominate the chances throughout the early stages, with Pearce and Michael Chennells both testing the nerves and gloves of debutant keeper Wright.

Tiverton's patient build up finally resulted in a chance on 25 minutes when Joe Bushin deftly peeled away from his defender at a free kick only to see his miss-hit shot smothered by Preddie.

Moments later, David Steele's dreams of a re-debutant goal were ended by a linesman's flag when he latched onto a Mortimer pull back and tapped in at the near post; the flag hoisted after the ball had been adjudged to have crossed the dead ball line in the build up.

The industrious Mortimer, playing the game of his Tiverton career, finally made the breakthrough in the last minute of the half when he rose well to meet a deep Dean Coppard cross and head the ball past the static Preddie.

Both teams came out attacking in the 2nd half and after some good work down the left the ball found its way to the feet of player/manager Vinnicombe who could only watch as his shot looped harmlessly into the keeper’s hands.

Despite the efforts of the midfield, led by a biting performance from Mark Saunders that belied his age, the visitors continued to pose a threat to the Tiverton goal and Wright saved well after the ball was deflected towards his goal by Gardener following a Chennells shot and substitute Ikenna Ofoche nearly made an immediate impact only to see his effort ruled out for offside.

As the second half progressed, the hardworking Tiverton midfield began to tire. Presented with more time on the ball, Windsor & Eton began to compliment the physical side of their game with some incisive passing. In particular, skilful winger David Pearce became more effective and was unlucky when his shot deflected wide after a good run into the box.

Tiverton still looked dangerous on the break and on another day, hopefully sometime in the near future, Bushin would have done better than to place his shot directly at Preddie after being sent clear through.

With 3 points in sight, Tiverton were finally undone when a long ball from Preddie found an unmarked Pearce on the left flank; the skilful winger then found Chennells who turned the ball and himself into the Tiverton net.

Unlike Tiverton teams of yesteryear, or more specifically last year, the current squad didn't capitulate and led by the departing Colin Marshall mustered up one final effort to restore their lead. Marshall himself drove into the Windsor & Eton half, played a one-two with Mortimer only to be denied by a superbly timed tackle by Woozley.

Despite the disappointment of conceding a late equaliser the team showed a desire and, led by Mortimer, an excellent work ethic. Sponsors' Man of the Match Vinnicombe should have seen enough in the performance to give him encouragement for the rest of what promises to be an interesting season.

Tiverton Town: Chris Wright, Dean Coppard (Ian Sampson 74), Chris Vinnicombe, Liam Ellis, Adam Faux, Tom Gardner, David Steele, Mark Saunders (Colin Marshall 80), Joe Bushin, Adam Mortimer, Alex Faux
Goals: Mortimer 44

Windsor & Eton: Delroy Preddie, Jeff Brown (Ryan Bernard 68), Chris Owens, Justin Clayton, David Woozley, Adam Dickens (Ashleigh James 61), Jake Parsons, Fiston Manuella, Jemel Johnson (Ikenna Ofoche 57), Michael Chennells, David Pearce
Goals: Chennells 89

Attendance: 288

This report ©2010 Dave Baylis