Match report

Tiverton Town 5 - 0 Mangotsfield United

   Tuesday 13/09/2011   Southern League First Division
Alan Reidy

Football supporters, on the whole, are a curiously loyal specimen, and phone-in shows are regularly besieged by calls claiming that a team has far more potential than they are showing. Narrow defeats could easily have been draws, draws could easily have been victories, if only those damn players reached something close to the levels they are capable of, collectively and individually. Such sentiments have been expressed throughout the fragmented start to Tiverton Town’s season, and eventually everything fell into place and Mangotsfield United felt the full force of what Tivvy can be capable of dishing out. The Yellows delivered a near-faultless performance against the high-flying villagers from Bristol, and in the end there was nothing at all flattering about the final 5-0 result. Mangotsfield, it must be said, played their part in the demolition by losing all semblance of skill and ability in a second half nightmare, perhaps despondent having learned of their FA Cup expulsion just a day earlier, but Tivvy were in no mood to show sympathy towards their rivals and were clinical all over the pitch, opening up the Mangos defence at will and greedily filling their boots.

The writing might have been scrawled inside the first minute when Mark Saunders rattled the woodwork with a low shot from just inside the area that had Chris Humphries beaten, but on this occasion Mangotsfield survived, and after Saunders claimed the first yellow card of the game for a late challenge on Geraint Bater the visitors had one of their few chances of the game. However, the recently recalled Chris Wright, who was flawless all evening, flew to his left to save when Gary Colborne met Tom Parrinello’s long free kick, and no sooner had the ‘Field’ players offered one-another their commiserations that they were once again on the back foot. Liam Ellis, who enjoyed a game where he was allowed space to press up from his full-back position, clipped in a deep cross towards the penalty area, the ball was flicked towards the back post, and Michael Nardiello dug the ball from beneath his feet to beat Humphries and send Tiverton on their way.

A minute later Nardiello could and should have doubled his tally when he latched onto a through ball, but his shot was rushed and weak, allowing Humphries to save comfortably. It was a miss, though, that proved not to be decisive as with twenty-seven minutes on the clock Harry Nodwell scored a from a strike for which the Spanish term 'Golazo' was invented. Having swapped possession with Ian Sampson, Nodwell found enough space and time to look up, allow the ball to drop slightly and belt the most unstoppable shot into the top left corner of Humphries’ goal. If Rooney or Gerrard had put that one away they would be talking about it for years to come – most of the 166 fans at Ladysmead won’t be forgetting it in a hurry!

From that stage on Tiverton increased their control of the game and were seldom stretched at the back, with only a very difficult header that fell to Mitchell Page even a slight threat to Wright’s clean sheet. Colborne, meanwhile, had to clear off the line as Tivvy piled on the pressure at the other end of the pitch, and a very impressive spell of attacking football was gallantly, albeit desperately seen out by a visibly shaken Mangotsfield side that had, with their disjointed showing, belied their lofty position in the league standings. There was clear frustration amongst the ranks as they failed to make any impression against the midfield pairing of Saunders and Kevin Hill, and this was borne out as both Dean Griffiths and Matt Groves picked up cautions for clumsily late challenges which left Saunders and Sampson grounded.

For around ten minutes after the change of ends Mangotsfield got the bit between their teeth and gave it a decent go, but Wright made a pair of excellent saves to keep out Groves and then Griffiths, the first chance coming after the referee had diverted the ball inadvertently and Alex Faux was unable to retain possession for the Yellows in midfield. Tivvy rode the storm thanks to Wright’s strong display, and the first in a series of fouls on Nardiello allowed Hill to curl in a superb free kick from twenty-five yards to put the game out of reach of the visitors with more than half and hour still to play.

Thereafter it was as easy as Tiverton could have wished for – the players looked relaxed and confident in the knowledge that a mistake would almost certainly not prove crucial, and the freedom with which the Yellows took the game forward was a sight foreign to anyone that had only started watching the club recently. Nardiello headed Ellis’s free kick onto the crossbar, again with poor Humphries well beaten, and Josh Searle’s placed shot from the edge of the area was unluckily deflected wide by one of his own team-mates. Sampson then volleyed Nodwell’s corner without success, but the fourth goal duly arrived soon afterwards. Humphries, under no pressure, inexplicably passed the ball straight to Nodwell, and although the Mango’s ’keeper half-saved Nodwell’s shot Nardiello was on hand and hungry enough to gobble up the rebound and bulge the net from close range.

There was no change to the pattern of play or the dominance of the Yellows after Mangotsfield made a double substitution, and with ten minutes remaining Tivvy made their only change of the game, introducing new recruit Dan Broadway in place of Nodwell, the midfielder leaving the pitch to a well deserved ovation. Broadway didn’t make any notable impact on a game that was already won, but the sprightly Searle did find time to open his Tivvy account near the end when he raced onto a tardy backpass, jinked around a defender and rammed in a low shot past Danny Greaves, a returning goalkeeper who had replaced the hapless Humphries just a few minutes earlier.


Tiverton Town: Chris Wright, Ian Sampson,Alex Faux, Kevin Hill, Paul Kendall, Tom Gardner, Harry Nodwell (Dan Broadway 82), Mark Saunders, Michael Nardiello, Liam Ellis, Josh Searle
Goals: Nardiello 15, 73, Nodwell 27, Hill, 56, Searle 88
Booked: Saunders 8
Sent off: None

Mangotsfield United: Chris Humphries (Danny Greaves 82), Alex Hoyle, Tom Parrinello, Lee Marshall, Gary Colborne, Tom Billing, Mitchell Page (Daine O’Connor 70), Geraint Bater, Tom Knighton, Matt Groves (Karim Rendall 70), Dean Griffiths
Booked: Griffiths 43, Groves 45, Page 57
Sent off: None

Attendance: 166


This report ©2011 Alan Reidy