Match report

Tiverton Town 1 - 1 Paulton Rovers

   Saturday 11/09/2010   FA Cup
Alan Reidy

FA Cup First Qualifying Round

It is a reflection on the capabilities and determination of Paulton Rovers that they were able to stay in touch and then come back strongly in the second half to salvage a draw from a game they should have been out of by the interval. Tiverton Town comprehensively pummelled them in every way imaginable in the opening forty-five minutes but were made to pay the price for not hitting the target more than once, and a breakaway goal ten minutes after the change of ends was ultimately all Rovers needed to force a Monday night replay in North Somerset.

On two occasions early in the game, with the Yellows well and truly on the front foot the score was kept bare by desperate defending that blocked a pair of low shots from Adam Faux, and with the pattern of the game well formed Joe Bushin missed the target by a foot when he nodded Ian Sampson’s deep free kick onto the terrace.

Sampson was without doubt the man of the moment, making his first competitive start for Tiverton having fully recovered from illness and injury, and he was the next to get a sight at Kyle Phillips’ goal when he picked up a throw-in from the right wing, cut inside and past a couple of defenders but then dragged a low left-footed effort meekly wide of the upright.

Bushin then went closer midway through the first half, another header and again off target but this time it was a matter of fractions and with thanks to the crossbar that Phillips wasn’t forced to retreat into his net to retrieve the ball. The chance was typically carved out by Sampson, combining with Liam Ellis on the opposite side of the pitch, and it was the same combination that finally broke the deadlock just after the half-hour mark. Ellis raced away down the left and latched onto a splendid direct pass from Russell Jee, picked his spot and crossed low. Ollie Price had recovered to the near post but could only deflect the cross, bamboozling Phillips in the process, and Sampson slid in to ensure the net bulged as former Tivvy midfielder Ben Cleverly tried to cover. Closer inspection suggested that it was in fact Cleveley that got the final touch, inadvertently ramming the ball into the roof of the net, but regardless of that the outcome was the same and Tiverton led deservedly.

Perhaps Cleverley thought he was still playing in Tivvy yellow for just five minutes later he missed a glaring chance to equalise at the far post when Daine O’Connor’s cross eventually reached him, and both Tom Gardner and Kevin Hill were able to breath a sigh of relief after misjudging the high ball that O’Connor was able to race onto.

Paulton improved dramatically after the break and once Bushin fired wide it was the visitors that began to dominate the game in midfield. O’Connor headed miles wide when meeting Jack Allward’s centre, but made up for this misdemeanour soon afterwards by picking up on a through ball from Chris Lane, getting goalside of Gardner and lifting a delicate lob from the edge of the area that beat Ryan Draper and tied the game.

Tiverton responded well as Liam Ellis fired a low free kick that Phillips held before Sampson – significantly quieter after the break – curled a free kick of his own from a similar position a yard or two too high. But the hosts began to run out of ideas and Paulton once more regained the initiative with Lane bobbling a shot through to Draper and Price firing in a snapshot that the Town ’keeper did well to tip wide for a corner.

In the closing stages Cleverley had an opportunity from just outside the box but his curling and looping free kick refused to curl and loop quite enough, the ball dipping a fraction wide of the mark. And then in added time Draper saved Tiverton and ensured the two sides would have to do it all again when he reacted quickly to dive low to his right and palm away a powerful shot from Rovers substitute Robbie Claridge, with O’Connor putting the follow-up into the advertising hoardings on the outside of Draper’s goal.

Tiverton Town: Ryan Draper, Adam Faux, Alex Faux, Ian Sampson, Liam Ellis, Tom Gardner, Russell Jee (David Steele 79), Mark Saunders (Jamie Hatch 81), Joe Bushin, Adam Mortimer (Jamie Densham 79), Kevin Hill
Goals: Sampson 33
Booked: Sampson 4
Sent off: None

Paulton Rovers: Kyle Phillips, Phil Waters, Jack Allward, Lee Marshall, Ollie Price, Josh Jeffries, Ben Cleverley, Chris Lane (Charlie Rich 90), Matt Cooper (Rob Claridge 70), Dan Cleverley, Daine O’Connor
Goals: O’Connor 57
Booked: Allward 40, Lane 63
Sent off: None

Attendance: 296

This report ©2010 Alan Reidy