Match report

Tiverton Town 1 - 3 Salisbury

   Wednesday 13/10/2010   Southern League Premier Division
Alan Reidy

Tiverton fell to a third home defeat of the league season after slipping behind early in the game against Salisbury City, and ultimately leaving themselves with too much to do in a feisty second half. Title favourites Salisbury were ahead after just three minutes, doubled their lead after nine, and before half time were almost out of sight with a three goal advantage. Kevin Hill reduced the deficit from the spot but by then the result wasn’t in much doubt and the visitors cruised comfortably through a goalless second half to take the points home with them.

Tivvy started well enough and Hill had a slight opening early on but his low shot was gathered in by Salisbury ’keeper Tommy Smith, and off the Whites went down the other end to open the scoring. Former Tiverton player Adam Kelly worked his way to the by-line and his cross looped off Liam Ellis, spun high through the air and dropped down behind Ryan Draper and into the net.

It was a cruel blow, a lucky goal and just what Town didn’t need against a team that probably wouldn’t have to rely on the rub of the green. And if Salisbury’s luck was in question then in the eighth minute the fact was underlined as Jake Reid went down as if there was a sniper atop the clubhouse, conning the referee by kicking his own standing foot and then giving the nearby Tom Gardner a metaphorical wink. Kayne McLaggon did the rest from the spot, belting in his kick high and hard into the top corner, no chance for Draper.

McLaggon was the main threat for Salisbury and only a crucial deflection off Jak Martin ensured he would be stuck on one goal for the evening, while chances came and went for Matt Adelsbury and Charlie Knight, Draper palming the former’s shot behind for a corner, the latter effort finding the side netting.

Five minutes before the break Tiverton were forced to shuffle defensively as Tom Gardner hobbled out of the game with an ankle injury, suffered when his launching foot slipped as he challenged McLaggon in the air. Alex Faux came in as a replacement, Liam Ellis moved inside and the visitors went further ahead on 41 minutes when Kelly played a ball over the top for Knight to run onto and slide past Draper.

There was still time in the first half for Tivvy to indicate they weren’t completely out of it, and Hill twice had efforts that missed the target before finally getting his name on the scoresheet from the spot. If Salisbury’s penalty was dubious then Tiverton’s was in equal measure as Ian Sampson hit the ground as he looked to drift past Chris Giles. This time the home supporters showed no protest and Hill showed no sympathy as he sent Smith the wrong way.

In the second half if was again Salisbury that made the running, having rode a brief wave of Town pressure following the second penalty of the evening. Kelly and player manager Darrell Clarke couldn’t find a way past Draper shortly after the restart, McLaggon was also denied by the glovesman, and later Clarke’s free kick skimmed off the wall and into the safety of Draper’s guard.

With fifteen minutes remaining the game sparked back into life for all the wrong reasons. Faux slid in on Reid, Reid didn’t like it, Reid tried to strangle Faux, Faux didn’t like it. By the time order had been restored 21 of the 22 players were either scuffling and trying to stop the others from scuffling. Draper watched on from his area, Smith ran half the length of the pitch to join the ceremonies, Hill played peacemaker as much as the flying arms and flailing legs would allow, and finally Faux and Reid were both sent packing. Alex, the referee later said, raised his hands. It is difficult reflex action to temper when you can’t breath and some giant chap is sat on top of you with his hands around your neck, so I am told. But getting much sense out of Referee Huxtable, a descendant of Narcissus, is like getting apple juice from an orange.

Adelsbury dipped a shot in from distance once the football had resumed and Draper was up to the task and pushed the ball over the top, Mr. Huxtable, now comforted with the knowledge that he has the power made further use of his coloured pieces of card, and the game faded, spoilt by overofficious refereeing.

Tiverton Town: Ryan Draper, Adam Faux, Liam Ellis, Jamie Hatch, Jak Martin, Tom Gardner (Alex Faux 39), Perry Carpenter (Russell Jee 65), Kevin Hill (David Steele 84), Jamie Densham, Adam Mortimer, Ian Sampson
Goals: Hill 45+1 (pen)
Booked: Martin 57, Carpenter 61, Adam Faux 82
Sent off: Alex Faux 74

Salisbury City: Tommy Smith, Jamie Turley, Ryan Brett, Ben Adelsbury, Brian Dutton, Chris Giles, Adam Kelly, Darrell Clarke, Kayne McLaggon (Bradley Gray 82), Jake Reid, Charlie Knight (Josh Casey 88)
Goals: Ellis 3 (og), McLaggon 9 (pen), Knight 41
Booked: Adelsbury 63
Giles 77, Turley 90+6
Sent off: Reid 74

Attendance: 289

This report ©2010 Alan Reidy