The unofficial archives of Tiverton Town Football Club

Tiverton Town 1 - 0 Chesham United

Tuesday 08/11/2011   FA Trophy
Tivvy Archive

If Ian Sampson is soon to leave Ladysmead then he is certainly doing everything he can to go out on a high note, his goal deep into stoppage time giving Tiverton Town the narrowest of FA Trophy victories over Premier Division outfit Chesham United. Over two matches Tivvy led the tie against the Generals for just two minutes, and crucially that advantage was held when Chesham’s best player in the games Shane Gore pumped the ball downfield from a goal kick as the referee brought to an end a pulsating and tense replay in soggy Devon. The peep of Mr. Derrien’s whistle was greeted with huge sighs of relief from the vast majority of the Ladysmead crowd who had witnessed Tiverton defend for all their worth for the best part of the previous forty-five minutes without caving, and the Yellows now have an opportunity to further extend their FA Trophy run as they face off against Swindon Supermarine in a fortnight for the right to earn a potentially lucrative First Round tie.

With Tiverton naming an unchanged line-up and Chesham making just one change from the weekend meeting there was a familiar look to the match, but unlike Saturday’s encounter it was Chesham who opened the stronger, twice going close in the opening fifteen minutes. The first chance fell to James Potton as he robbed Josh Searle in midfield, made headway and fired in a low shot that skimmed off the slick surface and flew just wide of the post, and later Chris Wright made a double-save to deny Dave Fotheringham and then Leon Archer, the second of these stops requiring bravery and lightening reactions as the Chesham marksman was denied at point-blank range.

The visitors had further half-chances in the first half but Tivvy settled and looked increasingly dangerous as the match developed, restricting United to a more direct approach than they would have liked. Simon Thomas tried from all of thirty yards but missed the target by some distance just before the half-hour mark, while five minutes before the interval a long ball from Rob Bartley, returning to the Chesham side having missed the first game through suspension, was picked up on by Archer, but Wright saved again, this time comfortably after Archer had cut inside to shoot from the edge of the area.

Otherwise the first half belonged to Tiverton, and they would have spent the fifteen minute interval wondering whether they had blown their chance as a number of good openings went begging. Gore saved an early shot from Dawson, and after Bartley had thwarted a fine run by Alex Faux down the left Paul Kendall nodded Dawson’s corner just over the crossbar. The best opening for the Yellows came on twenty minutes, Michael Nardiello’s perseverance and bravery seeing the ball ricochet free as Bartley’s clearance was charged down, but with more time than he realised Joe Bushin slammed his shot over, just Gore between the Town striker and glory.

A far less easy chance saw Bushin loop a tricky header towards goal but Gore was able to gather the ball in without the need to move his feet, and then ten minutes before the change of ends the visiting goalkeeper pulled off the save of the match with a stunning flying stop to miraculously claw away Faux’s sweetly driven shot, Gore making up for failing to fully deal with Nardiello’s cross just seconds earlier. The Yellows, unfazed, continued to press forward as they sensed their opponents on the ropes; Mark Saunders emulated Kendall from earlier by narrowly missing the target with a header from Dawson’s corner, and in the final throes of the first half John Kyriacou failed to cut out a diagonal ball which allowed Searle into the channel, but with too much time and too many options the winger placed a weak shot directly at Gore, Bushin screaming and free in the centre of the penalty area.

The second period was in marked contrast to the first as Chesham dominated for extended periods, pinning Tivvy deep inside their own half and playing high up the pitch. Bartley and defensive partner Mark Lambert were stationed on the half way line, often one or the other of them sauntering even further forward to add further presence in the Tiverton half of the field. Kyriacou and Anthony Watson were so far advanced that they were more like wingers than fullbacks, meaning the wide midfielders could drift inside and force the home midfield to remain deep. Ironically this may not have helped the Chesham cause because, for all the time they had on the ball to look for options, once the pass was made into the final third the yellow shirts were working hard to disrupt the flow of the game, and despite enjoying perhaps 70 percent of the possession in the second half Chesham managed just four genuine attempts on Wright’s goal.

The first of these fell to Fotheringham who fired wide from distance, and the next to Potton as he outstripped Kendall but his shot was also off target and wide, Wright not threatened unduly on either occasions, and the pattern was quite clear by now – Tivvy were happy to allow Chesham to play in front of them, happy to sit deep and wait for an opportunity to counter-attack, and happy for Chesham to try the odd speculative shot from far outside the area. Ultimately this is all that United could muster, although Potton failed to deliver for a third time when he saw his curling effort tipped over the bar by a backpedalling Wright, the Tivvy ’keeper making amends for a poor clearance, one of few faults in an otherwise extremely impressive individual display. With six minutes to go Thomas glanced a header wide having met Scott Thomas’s free kick, and that was the sum total of Chesham’s constant pressure – one dangerous shot on target that came about from a Tiverton mistake.

Whilst riding the storm there was always a chance that a quick break up the other end could pay dividends, but Tiverton attacks were few and far between. So much was being cut out by the giant Bartley that getting any kind of foothold in the game was a struggle for the hosts, and such an extended period without the ball was clearly taking its toll as legs tired. In fact it wasn’t until sic minutes before the end of regulation time that Tivvy had anything to get excited about at the Swimming Pool end of the pitch, and the Yellows came within inches of the perfect smash-and-grab only for Kyriacou to make two goal-line clearances within two seconds to thwart Kendall and Nardiello as again Dawson’s delivery from the corner quadrant played havoc with a Chesham defence that looked so solid in open play yet curiously susceptible from set pieces.

And so to added time and one last chance. Nardiello had, on the whole, looked jaded and energy-sapped for much of the second half, but he sucked in one last breath of air to gobble up the ball and run diagonally into space towards the right flank. Dawson offered support and Watson closed down and the Tivvy pair exchanged passes to keep the Chesham left-back at bay, before Liam Ellis arrived at the scene to give a further option. Nardiello, almost lazily, set the ball back and Ellis lifted in a first-time cross towards the penalty spot. Gore would have caught the ball easily had it not been for Bushin’s desperate attempt to latch on, forcing the custodian to punch away under pressure. Gore’s punch was poor, only a few yards forward, and Sampson was able to bring the ball down, get everything under control and shoot into the bottom corner. The clock said 92 minutes and 55 seconds. The referee played a further two minutes which was spent with Tivvy belting the ball forward as far as they could and Chesham bringing it back from whence it came, with futility.

It was entertaining fare, particularly the first half, and massively frustrating for the travelling support as the dominated most of the second half without ever really poking holes in the Tiverton defence. Chesham can now concentrate on their league form as they aim for promotion to the Conference South; Tiverton will host struggling Premier side Swindon Supermarine in the next round with a bank balance three grand fatter and a cup of morale full to overflowing.

Tiverton Town: Chris Wright, Liam Ellis, Alex Faux, Kevin Hill, Paul Kendall, Tom Gardner, Aaron Dawson, Mark Saunders (Ian Sampson 71), Michael Nardiello, Joe Bushin, Josh Searle
Goal: Sampson 90+3
Booked: Faux 31, Searle 89
Sent off: None

Chesham United: Shane Gore, John Kyriacou, Anthony Watson, Mark Lambert, Rob Bartley, Scott Thomas, Dave Fotheringham, Steve Wales, Leon Archer (Paul Robinson 84), Simon Thomas, James Potton (Chris Watters 78)
Booked: Kyriacou 37
Sent off: None

Attendance: 208

This report ©2011 Tivvy Archive