Match report

Paulton Rovers 2 - 0 Tiverton Town

   Monday 13/09/2010   FA Cup
Alan Reidy

FA Cup First Qualifying Round Replay

Tiverton and Paulton met two days later and for the fourth time in fourteen months now with the knowledge that the victors of this FA Cup replay would have an eminently winnable tie in the next round at home to either Cirencester Town or Didcot Town. Without doubt it was Paulton that went into the game with the tag of favourites having beaten Tivvy at Winterfield Road at the same stage of the FA Cup competition last season. As well as the drawn game two days earlier at Ladysmead the other match-up between the teams came in a pre-season match in Somerset in the summer of 2009, that time the Yellows coming out on top 2-0. But the FA Cup takes no note of history, shows no favours to higher ranked teams (heated balls is a theory for conspirers) and shows no mercy to sides that turn up and fail to perform.

And that is just what happened with Tiverton – as much of a no-show as could have been feared, a host of individual poor performances against a well drilled Paulton side that had a game plan, stuck to it and exploited their own strengths as much as they did Tivvy’s weaknesses. While on Saturday it was Tiverton’s right-sided midfielder Ian Sampson that enjoyed the freedom of the park and the rub of the green, the replay saw his opposite number Ben Lacey deliver a performance he could only have dreamt about as he ran riot down the wing, stretched the Yellows’ defence this way and that, and eventually got the assist that his classy performance deserved.

Tiverton made one change from the first game with David Steele returning to the heart of the midfield in place of the unavailable Russell Jee, but the shuffle had little positive effect and it was two of Paulton’s three new men that made the difference, pacy Lacey and the returning Robbie Claridge who was now fully recovered from injury and fit enough to start.

Claridge had a chance after quarter of an hour that was drilled low through a crowded area and Ryan Draper save with his legs, and five minutes later the same player looped a header almost casually towards the far post that seemed to be dropping into the net until Tom Gardner hooked it off the line.

But barely a minute later Claridge finally got his goal when he pounced on a loose ball in the area after Draper had managed only to parry Lacey’s cross back into the dangerous zone, the simplest of tap-ins and a lead that Rovers never looked in danger of relinquishing.

Indeed they soon doubled their advantage when Gardner was caught pondering when looking to play the ball out of defence and Daine O’Conner stole possession. The ball found its way to Ben Cleverley, back to O’Connor and again Draper saved the first shot but couldn’t hold, leaving Claridge open to blast the ball into the net again.

Tiverton were deflated if not flat but did manage to create a little more in the second half. Joe Bushin forced Kyle Phillips to tip a header wide and the Rovers goalkeeper saved superbly from Mark Saunders after Liam Ellis’ initial shot was skewed into the veteran’s path.

Things almost went from bad to worse for the Yellows when Draper was adjudged to have tripped O’Connor in the box, his protests leading to a caution and his foul leading to a penalty. Claridge, with his sights on a hat-trick took the responsibility and probably wished he hadn’t when his poor kick from the spot was saved and held at the second attempt, but it was a let off for Tiverton only insomuch that the margin of defeat wasn’t greater.

Chris Lane saw an effort deflected wide when a goal looked odds on fifteen minutes from time, and in added time, with the game just about up Saunders’ second chance of the match – a header from Kevin Hill’s cross from the left – deflected of the head of a defender and bounced safely into the steady gloves of Phillips. Paulton secured a home tie that they will fancy winning as they embark on another FA Cup journey; Tiverton were left to lick their wounds and wonder.

Paulton Rovers: Kyle Phillips, Phil Waters, Jack Allward (Charlie Rich 26), Alex Ball, Ollie Price, Daine O’Connor, Ben Cleverley, Chris Lane (Danny Wring 81), Rob Claridge (Joe Bradley 90), Dan Cleverley, Ben Lacey
Goals: Claridge 23, 29
Booked:
Sent off: None

Tiverton Town: Ryan Draper, Adam Faux, Alex Faux, Ian Sampson, Liam Ellis, Tom Gardner, David Steele (Jak Martin 61), Mark Saunders, Joe Bushin (Jamie Densham 68), Adam Mortimer (Jamie Hatch 75), Kevin Hill
Booked: Sampson 17, Alex Faux 50, Bushin 58
Sent off: None

Attendance: 299




This report ©2010 Alan Reidy