Match report

Tiverton Town 1 - 4 Paulton Rovers

   Tuesday 04/12/2012   Southern League Cup
Alan Reidy

"Clubs must start a tie with at least seven players who have commenced at least one of the previous two League games"

Tiverton manager Mark Saunders underlined his lack of appreciation for the Southern League Cup rulebook by starting the tie against Paulton Rovers with just four qualifying players. It may well have been a game he and the club wanted to win, but not at the expense of forcing players to play despite being injured, or instead of other squad members who had patiently bided their time on the bench, or without having the option of making some serious changes to the selection after two defeats on the trot. Tiverton will receive a fine for breaking the rules, and that fine will almost certainly be less that it would have cost the club to travel to Frome or Shortwood or anywhere else in the next round had the Yellows won the game. C’est la vie!

The game itself promised to be entertaining until Paulton ruined the spectacle like the spoilsports that they are by scoring three times in a spell of just over twenty minutes. Rovers had started well but Tivvy came back at them without really looking all that menacing, although Kyle Phillips did fumble a shot behind from Lewis Tasker. Tasker then followed up this shot with two corners and then a cross from open play, all of which failed to beat the first man, and Paulton quickly raced upfield and somehow contrived to keep the ball out of the net with three shots, all saved by Chris Wright.

However, with fourteen minutes on the clock the visitors edged ahead when Wright scampered out to meet a long ball from Scott Brice, stopped in his tracks like a five-a-side goalkeeper who was confined to his area, and was promptly lobbed by Brandon Barnes. One could have been two soon afterwards when Nick McCootie broke free but this time Wright made a strong save, and the next action of note saw Jules Emati-Emati booked for a late challenge on Stuart Tovey.

Two further goals before the break all but wrapped up the tie and meant Tiverton could save money on busses and player expenses in the next round. Barnes cut the ball back for Joe Vyner to stroke in the second, and Ben Osman converted from the spot following a foul by Adam Faux on McCootie, the aftermath of which saw Faux shown a straight red card.

With little to play for in the second half – even pride had gone out of the window by now – there was little action after the restart other than further cautions for Osman and then Russell Jee, and an injury to Harry Nodwell which saw him carried off, his evening over just before the rain began to lash down. Owen Howe replaced Nodwell and almost got in behind Tovey, was forced to cut back inside, and then pulled a shot into the side netting, and David Steele met a Tasker corner with a powerful header which came within a whisker of pulling a goal back.

The last ten minutes saw the pitch become increasingly difficult as it cut up and was pounded by the ever-increasing tempo of the rain, and Dave Pearse went close with a long range shot, and then Paulton counter attacked when Brice headed away an Andy Taylor free kick, and Vyner set up Barnes to make it four-nil. It meant that an added time consolation strike by Emati-Emati wasn’t met with any celebrations, and Tiverton – three defeats in three games – can now try and regain their focus on league matters.

Tiverton Town: Chris Wright, Josh Concanen, Lewis Tasker, Russell Jee, Paul Kendall, Adam Faux, Andy Taylor, Harry Nodwell (Owen Howe 66), Dave Pearse, Jules Emati-Emati, David Steele
Goal: Emati-Emati 90+2
Booked: Emati-Emati 22, Kendall 38, Jee 76
Sent off: Faux 38

Paulton Rovers: Kyle Phillips, Stuart Tovey, Charlie Rich, Stuart Pearson, Scott Brice, Ben Osman, Craig Loxton (Josh Jeffries 77), Jamie Vincent (Dan Cottle 82), Nick McCootie (James Billing 58), Joe Vyner, Brandon Barnes
Goals: Barnes 14, 88, Vyner 27, Osman 39p
Booked: Osman 67
Sent off: None

Attendance: 87

This report ©2012 Alan Reidy