Match report

Tiverton Town 0 - 1 Sholing

   Saturday 07/04/2012   Southern League First Division
Alan Reidy

Tiverton’s playoff hopes were all but extinguished as they fell to defeat at home to Sholing, a sixth home loss of the season which, at the end of the season, many will cite as the primary reason a finish in the middle region of the table was achieved rather than anything better. Lee Wort’s goal also means that the three highest attendances at Ladysmead have witnessed 1-0 defeats for the Yellows, an unfortunate situation as Tivvy look to entice the crowds back.

With Josh Concanen not fully fit after picking up an injury at Didcot Harry Nodwell filled in at right back while Kevin Hill continued on the opposite side of the defensive line, a tactic that worked excellently seven days ago but needed to be addressed half way through the game against Sholing. Otherwise the team was as expected and Tiverton nearly took the lead after barely a minute when Josh Searle crossed after Andy Taylor’s free kick had been deflected out to the right wing, but Paul Kendall’s spectacular overhead kick sailed over by a foot or two.

Tivvy looked bright enough but it was Sholing who drew first blood. Kendall was only able to half clear a long thro-in from Mike Carter and Wort expertly volleyed on the turn, leaving Chris Wright flat-footed as the ball found the bottom corner of the net. And that was the goalscoring complete with Sholing showing very little urgency and Tivvy failing to extend the visitors’ defence despite seeing plenty of the ball in deep positions.

Hill ballooned a shot from the edge of the area as the ball refused to sit nicely after Lee Bright had nodded a Taylor cross away, and the closest the Yellows came to an equaliser was after half an hour as Jules Emati-Emati bustled his way past Carter but put his shot a fraction wide of the post, a frustrating miss as Taylor had made up ground and was waiting unattended in a better position.
The second half was punctuated by busy refereeing and a series of niggly fouls from both teams, and Tiverton struggled to create anything in the final third as Bright and Dave Marden controlled defensive matters for Sholing. In fact it was the visitors who seemed the more likely to trouble the scorekeepers on the rare occasions when they were able to play the ball forward with imagination rather than launching long balls into the corners for anyone with a particular desire to give chase. The impressively eager Byron Mason almost lucked into a flukey goal as his cross hit the inside of the post and Wright mercifully batted the ball away from danger as it rebounded into the goalmouth, and the Tivvy goalkeeper kept his team’s hopes alive with an excellent double save to deny first Wort and then Mason, with substitute Barry Mason eventually shooting wide with a third attempt.

Sholing were able to control the game in the closing stages despite Tiverton’s substitutions gradually accentuating their attacking intent. Alex Faux had replaced Russell Jee at half time, Joe Bushin came on for Andy Taylor midway through the second half, and David Steele took over from Nodwell, all of which saw Tiverton morph from a 4-4-2 formation to 4-3-3 and then finally to 3-4-3, but despite a greater presence higher up the field there was no way through. Aside from Emati-Emati who doggedly chased just about everything, and Wright with his few saves the game passed by too many of the Tivvy players, and there were few complaints about the final scoreline.

Tiverton Town: Chris Wright, Harry Nodwell (David Steele 77), Russell Jee (Alex Faux 46), Kevin Hill, Paul Kendall, Tom Gardner, Andy Taylor (Joe Bushin 65), Danny Clay, Michael Nardiello, Jules Emati-Emati, Josh Searle
Booked: Searle 35, Kendall 90+1
Sent off: None

Sholing: Mike Hookway, Mike Carter, Marc Diaper (Kevin Brewster 90+6), Dave Marden, Lee Bright, Tyronne Bowers (Lewis Fennemore 82), Marvin McLean, Byron Mason, Kevin Gibbens, Lee Wort, Mick Watts (Barry Mason 67)
Goal: Wort 7
Booked: Byron Mason 20, Carter 85, Hookway 87
Sent off: None

Attendance: 297

This report ©2012 Alan Reidy