Match report

Stourbridge 0 - 0 Tiverton Town

   Saturday 09/10/2010   Southern League Premier Division
Alan Reidy

Sometimes you get a game where it is extremely difficult to nominate a man of the match, and Tiverton’s visit to Stourbridge was one such match. In fact the most influential thing during the ninety hard-fought minutes was the right goalpost at the clubhouse end of the pitch. The trusty piece of metalwork saved Stourbridge in the first half and then levelled the playing field by getting in the way to deny the hosts shortly after the break.

Otherwise there was little goalmouth action with home goalkeeper Lewis Solly making just one save of any note and thus matching the efforts of Tiverton’s Ryan Draper at the other end of the pitch. There was enough running to keep the ball boys occupied, however, as a number of shots sailed high or wide or both, and of course the quirky Athletics Ground that Stourbridge call home isn’t actually an athletics ground at all but a cricket ground, and with one open side it meant that the little flash jacketed charges were called upon to make chase and stop the odd boundary or two.

Such is the lack of inspiration that the Glassboys home gives rise to that on each visit I am compelled to check the cricket scoreboard upon arrival, just on the off chance that there might be an indication as to what we are about to receive. Last year the scoreboard read “74-3? but Stourbridge didn’t score 74 and Tiverton didn’t score 3. This time around the cricket club had taken away their numbers; perhaps a foresight of the Tivvy starting line-up, for Chris Vinnicombe had taken away the numbers of several players and fielded a team that was as unpredictable as it was determined. In came Perry Carpenter to the heart of midfield for only his second start of the season, Jamie Densham began the game up front on his own and Mark Saunders made his first appearance since the defeat at Paulton in the FA Cup almost a month earlier. Russell Jee replaced David Steele, Alex Faux was left out with Liam Ellis filling in at left back and Kevin Hill was pushed wide with Jamie Hatch starting for the first time since Tivvy were ‘relegated’ at Bedford last April.

Side from the very different look of the Tiverton team there was little to enthuse about, and although Draper saved well from Ben Billingham after ten minutes neither side showed much penetration. Our friend the goal post ensured the scores remained level on sixteen minutes when Jee’s free kick found a path through the goal area only for Densham to bobble the ball a few inches too far leftwards, and at the other end Linden Dovey curled a long range effort just wide of the mark.

It was five minutes into the second half that the very same post rescued Tiverton and it was the lively Billingham who was denied, his drive from midfield purposeful, his left-footed shot struck sweetly but the curl on his attempt fractionally lacking, and Draper, who was well beaten, was relieved as he crouched on one knee as the ball rebounded out to the Tiverton right back area.

Hill sent a tricky chance over the top following a free kick from the right from Jee, and another Jee free kick was the closest either side came thereafter to breaking a stalemate that was just about cast in stone. It came with fifteen minutes left to play, Hill lined it up and Jee struck a low shot that deflected slightly off the base of the defensive wall, sending Solly one way and the ball the other. For Solly it wasn’t catastrophic as the deflection was slight enough that he was able to thrust out a hand, rebound the ball from glove to knee and back to glove, and eventually away to his right.

In the final ten minutes Stourbridge pressed forward, the introduction of Aaron Drake on the right wing giving the hosts more impetus, but both he and Ryan Rowe wasted shots that sent the children scampering in recovery, and Draper saved from Sam Rock close to the end in a rare Stourbridge move that incorporated more than two successful passes.

And that was that, Tivvy’s first goalless draw of the season and a welcome point on the road.

Stourbridge: Lewis Solly, Sam Rock, Dave Plinston (Aaron Drake 63), Paul McCone, Ryan Mahon (Drew Canavan 74), Nathan Bennett, Paul Lloyd, Leon Broadhurst, Ryan Rowe, Ben Billingham, Lynden Dovey (Daryl Jones 87)
Booked: Rock 61
Sent off: None

Tiverton Town: Ryan Draper, Adam Faux, Liam Ellis, Jamie Hatch, Jak Martin, Tom Gardner, Perry Carpenter, Russell Jee (David Steele 83), Jamie Densham (Adam Mortimer 72), Mark Saunders, Kevin Hill (Ian Sampson 72)
Booked: Jee 56, Densham 59, Carpenter 66
Sent off: None

Attendance: 424

This report ©2010 Alan Reidy