Match report

Tiverton Town 3 - 0 Yate Town

   Saturday 19/11/2011   Southern League First Division
Alan Reidy

The Great Big Book of Football Terminology doesn’t explain at which point a revival ends and a run of consistency begins, but Tiverton must be close to that point after picking up a comfortable victory against Yate Town to extend their winning run to four games. Beyond the first quarter of an hour there was little to worry the Yellows other than a poorly struck penalty from Matt Huxley that could have cancelled out Aaron Dawson’s opener, and two well-taken efforts in the second half by Josh Searle secured three points which had seldom looked in much doubt. Tiverton’s line-up was more or less as expected with David Steele returning to midfield in place of Mark Saunders, while Harry Nodwell continued in a deep attacking role as Joe Bushin was given a little longer to fully recover from a twisted ankle sustained at Halesowen.

Familiarity didn’t achieve many benefits early in the game and for much of the first fifteen minutes it was Yate who made the running without ever really threatening to breach the Yellows defence. In fact, despite looking lively in the middle third the visitors managed to muster only one single threatening shot on target all afternoon, a pattern that looked as if it would be reciprocated at the other end of the pitch when Harry Nodwell blazed over from some distance after twenty minutes. By this stage Tivvy had found their feet, ridden what early storm Yate had been able to deliver, and had seen a good penalty shout ignored when Russ Church handled Dawson’s corner; ironically, seconds later, a far less obvious handball offence outside the area was given against Mark Badman which resulted in Kevin Hill curling a free kick well over the top.

As the game took shape the obvious threats from Tiverton came down the flanks, Dawson and Searle often swapping positions in an attempt to unsettle the Yate fullbacks, and with Nodwell able to fill in as play developed there was a considered fluidity about Tiverton’s attacking play. As such, on twenty-four minutes Searle and Dawson found themselves on the same side of the pitch, the former winning a throw-in which was worked to Dawson just beyond the penalty area on the left side of the pitch. Beyond Tom Warren’s challenge skipped the young midfielder, and back inside to leave a second attempted tackle in his wake, Dawson had created his own space, just enough to unleash a powerful curling effort beyond Josh Dempsey and inside the far post to put the hosts ahead.

Six minutes later came perhaps the decisive incident in the game as Yate, in search of an equaliser, moved the ball towards the edge of the area and Tom Gardner poked out a leg to dispossess Huxley. The Tiverton captain was outside the area, the Yate striker inside as he went down under the challenge, and the referee had no hesitation in awarding a spot kick, much to the annoyance of Liam Ellis who was in turn awarded a yellow card for dissent. Huxley took the honours from twelve yards and side-footed his shot to Chris Wright’s right; Wright dived to his right too and would have made the save had the ball been anywhere near the target, but Huxley had haplessly bobbled an awful attempt some way wide of the post.

Matt Groves, briefly a Tiverton player, had a shot from distance that sailed harmlessly over the top but it was, by now, very much against the run of play as Yate struggled to maintain any pressure on the Tivvy defence, and the visitors had Dempsey to thank five minutes before the break when he pulled off a superb flying save to palm over a powerful effort from Nodwell. Otherwise the first half was fractured only by a series of cautions with Hill and Gardner joining Ellis in the referee’s notebook, both for fouls on David Stone, while Yate’s Badman and Scott Thomas also saw yellow as they chopped down Searle and Michael Nardiello respectively.

Tiverton’s increasing superiority as the first half wore on had given the Yellows the belief that a second goal could well open the floodgates, and it didn’t take too long following the restart for the Yellows to double their lead. A long ball through the middle held up slightly on the heavy surface, meaning Dempsey was forced to clear rather than allow the ball to run into his area, but all the goalkeeper was able to do as Nardiello rushed in to put pressure on was to chest the ball forward ten yards. And ten yards in front was exactly where Searle was waiting, and one swing of the right leg later Dempsey was trudging back towards his goal to retrieve the ball from the net, any thoughts of a comeback now expired as the visiting players looked at each other in dejection.

Paul Kendall had a decent opportunity to underline Tivvy’s superiority but headed Dawson’s cross wide of the post, a miss that spared the blushes of Yate left-back Tyrone Mings who had comically conceded a free kick close to the corner after slipping over and onto the ball under only moderate pressure from Steele. But twelve minutes after scoring his first Searle added another as Nardiello quickly swept the ball from the centre to the inside-left channel, finding the little winger unattended as Yate’s defence was pulled out of shape. Searle’s low shot should have been saved by Dempsey but the ball somehow squirmed beneath his body, limping almost apologetically into the net.

For the remaining twenty-five minutes Tiverton were afforded the luxury to play well within themselves. Mark Saunders replaced Hill as minds gradually switched to next weekend’s FA Trophy match against Swindon Supermarine, and towards the end of the match Chris Onoufriou returned to action for the first time in more than two months, taking over from Nodwell. Yate had a few half-chance, two of which fell to Stone. The first, a shot from well outside the area was comfortably saved by Wright, the only time the Tivvy stopper was called into action all day, and the second a glancing header from Adie Adams’ free kick which drifted harmlessly wide. In the final moments a last chance came and went, former Tivvy defender Rob Cousins belting a long-ranger wide.

And that was that, three points which elevated Tiverton up to seventh position in the table, an afternoon negotiated with no further injury concerns, and a comfortable win which will help the Yellows enter the upcoming Trophy game with their confidence at a season’s high.


Tiverton Town: Chris Wright, Liam Ellis, Alex Faux, Kevin Hill (Mark Saunders 71), Paul Kendall, Tom Gardner, Aaron Dawson, David Steele, Michael Nardiello, Harry Nodwell (Chris Onoufriou 84), Josh Searle
Goals: Dawson 24, Searle 53, 65
Booked: Hill 16, Ellis 30, Gardner 32
Sent off: None

Yate Town: Josh Dempsey, Tom Warren, Tyrone Mings, Robin Nicholls, Scott Thomas, Mark Badman, Matt Groves, Adie Adams, David Stone, Matt Huxley (Rob Cousins 64), Russ Church
Booked: Badman 39, Thomas 43, Warren 81
Sent off: None

Attendance: 229


This report ©2011 Alan Reidy