Match report

Brackley Town 1 - 0 Tiverton Town

   Saturday 13/11/2010   Southern League Premier Division
Alan Reidy

Four defeats on the bounce became five defeats on the bounce as Brackley Town edged a tense encounter between two teams at the wrong end of the table. A goal from Jason Bradley midway through the first half was all that separated the teams at the full time whistle, but Tiverton underlined their need for firepower by failing to find the net despite creating two extremely good chances, one in each half.

The early explorations came mainly from Brackley and predominantly via the outlet of striker-turned-winger Franny Green out on the left. The former Oxford United attacker enjoyed the freedom of the touchline, found himself in good positions on a number of occasions, but his final ball was regularly left wanting. Green is one of those players that uses his left foot only for standing on and thus showed a tendency to cut inside at every opportunity in order to bring the ball onto his favoured right peg, and initially this tactic gained some success and left Liam Ellis struggling to cover. But Green’s shooting wasn’t up to much and twice, having beaten Ellis he sent shots harmlessly onto the wasteland behind the goal.

But as golfer Gary Player once noted “the more I practice the luckier I get?, and with three or four practice runs behind him Green eventually did strike it lucky. Again he was released on the left, again he cut inside, but with Ellis wide by now Green was forced to quickly cross with his left foot. The delivery was scuffed horribly, low and seemingly harmless. But it was a queer enough cross to wrong-foot Tom Gardner who slipped on the very slick surface, and although Gardner did get a toe on the ball it went only a matter of a couple of yards to Bradley. Brackley rode their luck further still as Bradley failed to control the ball, his touch forcing him to turn away from goal, but in turn flummoxing Jordan Trott who had moved across to cover. Once the laws of physics finally took over Bradley was facing the goal, Trott and Gardner were on their backsides and Draper had to quickly race forward in an attempt to narrow the angle, but Bradley regained his composure and leathered a low shot beneath Draper and into the net. It was lucky, very lucky, but only went one more step to highlighting Tiverton’s plight. When the rub of the green is against you it really is against you. Brackley had been on top and deserved their lead, but not like this! Tiverton had been dealt a poor hand, they didn’t deserve it.

The luck wasn’t about to turn. Just sixty second later the Yellows pushed forward and Mark Saunders rifled in a shot that had Brackley ’keeper Billy Turley beaten all ends up. Turley beaten but the goalpost to the rescue, you couldn’t make it up. Ian Sampson gathered up the rebound and quickly crossed to the far post where Adam Mortimer was waiting to plant his shot just wide. What to we need to do to score a goal?

Turley saved comfortably from David Steele near the end of the half, and after the restart the experienced and foul-mouthed stopper excelled to deny Mortimer and then Trott in quick succession, a top-drawer double-save that would be worthy of great applause at a much higher level of football. As it happened there was hardly anyone there to witness it, Brackley’s home gates are awful, Tivvy’s travelling support almost non-existent these days.

From there on in Draper was the busier of the two goalkeepers with his hands, Turley the busier with his gob, but neither would have to retrieve the ball from the net. Green saw a cheeky chip tipped over as Draper backpedalled, and the Tivvy number one did exactly the same to deny Bradley a second goal. He also got across and down sharply to help a teasing Jamie Gould free kick around the post, while Tivvy were forced into chances as Ellis was unable to battle on with a groin strain while Saunders came off the worse in a midfield altercation and hobbled off with a bruised thigh.

The Yellows pressed in search of a late equaliser that never arrived as Sampson moved central and tested Turley with three long range efforts, the first two fielded easily, the second fumbled and finally gathered in at the second attempt. Bradley was replaced to a warm ovation by the sparse home support with a couple of minutes remaining; Tivvy left Northants with a blank and slipped to just one place off the bottom of the league table.

Brackley Town: Billy Turley, Marcus Bignot, Jamie Gould, Joe Magunda, Chris Wilmott, Tom Kemp, Owen Story, Carl Palmer, Anthony Thomas (Alfie Taylor 65), Jason Bradley (Josh Green 88), Francis Green
Goal: Bradley 24
Booked: None
Sent off: None

Tiverton Town: Ryan Draper, Liam Ellis (Adam Faux 59), Jordan Trott, Ian Sampson, Jak Martin, Tom Gardner, David Steele, Perry Carpenter, Adam Mortimer, Mark Saunders (Jamie Densham 65), Kevin Hill
Booked: None
Sent off: None

Attendance: 152

This report ©2010 Alan Reidy