Match report

Abingdon United 0 - 2 Tiverton Town

   Saturday 01/10/2011   Southern League First Division
Alan Reidy

Tiverton’s recent improvement in form continued with a comfortable victory in the very first meeting with Abingdon United. In the sweltering Oxfordshire sunshine it was no surprise that the tempo of the game was relatively low, but it was the Whites of Tivvy that had more success than the Yellows of Abingdon when it came to exploiting space, and for almost the entire first half Town were well on top, underlined by Michael Nardiello’s opening goal. Abingdon were able to press forward after the break but Tiverton’s defence was solid, and Joe Bushin sealed the points with a header five minutes from time.

Tiverton made two changes from the home victory against Stourport with Kevin Hill and Liam Ellis both returning from suspension and displacing Ian Sampson and David Steele in the starting line-up. The system remained the same which allowed Aaron Dawson to take up a place in the attacking quarters of midfield, and he linked up well with Harry Nodwell early on to earn Tivvy’s first corner, from which Mark Saunders volleyed over James Foster’s crossbar.

Town did well to retain possession and make United chase shadows and wear themselves out, and on nineteen minutes the breakthrough finally came as Nodwell clipped a smart pass that dissected the Abingdon defence and Nardiello latched onto the ball before placing his shot into the bottom corner of the net.

The home side soon created their best chance of the game, one of very few openings that they were able to carve all afternoon, but Adam Doyle could only fire his spectacular volley a few feet wide having been set up by early substitute Tom Austin, and shortly afterwards Saunders should have doubled Tiverton’s advantage but was undone by a teasing bobble after Ellis had delivered a low cross into the area.

There were chances for Dawson and Nardiello before the interval that weren’t taken, while the Tivvy defence had little to concern themselves with other than sweeping up long balls and feeding the ball forward into midfield for the creative element of the Town team to start over.

For fifteen minutes after the change of ends there was little change to the pattern of play, with Tivvy retaining their dominance but failing to add to their lead. Paul Kendall came close when he headed Nodwell’s corner just wide and Nodwell himself scuffed a shot following fine work from Josh Searle on the left wing.

Inevitably Abingdon eventually upped the pace and their increased urgency saw them pin Tiverton back for a period of twenty minutes, and Chris Wright was finally called into action to save low down when Sam Collier turned inside the area and got his shot away. But that was the only save the Tiverton ’keeper had to make and for all their possession and territory Abingdon were unable to find a way to break down the Town defence, with Tom Gardner and Paul Kendall both in excellent form.

United made a double change which added to their attacking options, and Tivvy responded by introducing the fresh legs of Bushin in a move that saw Nardiello drop deeper, and then, ten minutes from the end Russell Jee stepped off the bench to make his first appearance of the season in place of Searle.. But it was another substitute, Ian Sampson, on for the tiring Saunders, who finally broke Abingdon’s resilience when he looped in an early cross after Ellis had released the winger down the right, and Bushin was unmarked at the far post to guide his header past Foster.

In one last attack Stuart Young headed wide for the home side, but the result was seldom in doubt as Tiverton had controlled the game and seldom looked susceptible even when Abingdon tried to work their way back into contention throughout the second half.

Abingdon United: James Foster, Michael Buck, Steve Davis, Ricky Allaway (Tom Austin 10), Luke Carnell, Adam Doyle (Adam Kingsbeer 67), Ben McReady, Matthew Biddle, Sam Collier, Carl Evans (Stuart Young 67), Curtis Angell
Booked: None
Sent off: None

Tiverton Town: Chris Wright, Aaron Dawson, Liam Ellis, Kevin Hill, Paul Kendall, Tom Gardner, Josh Searle (Russell Jee 79), Mark Saunders (Ian Sampson 64), Michael Nardiello, Harry Nodwell (Joe Bushin 75), Alex Faux
Goals: Nardiello 19, Bushin 86
Booked: None
Sent off: None

Attendance 75

This report ©2011 Alan Reidy