Match report

Shortwood United 2 - 2 Tiverton Town

   Tuesday 19/02/2013   Southern League First Division
Alan Reidy

There was something all a bit familiar with Tuesday night’s performance at Shortwood. It has been a regular feature throughout the season that Tiverton are able to dominate possession and territory yet seem to fail when it comes to carving out clear chances, while at the same time looking vulnerable when attacked with pace and directness. This was very much the case as for the greater part of the match at Meadowbank they had Shortwood pinned deep in defensive territory, yet with ten minutes remaining found themselves faced with a two-goal deficit to overturn.

The home side managed to take two of their three chances, the first of which they were unable to convert as Joey Tustain volleyed over the bar from Matt Bennett’s cross from the left. But a couple of minutes later they were ahead, TJ Bohane tripped by Tom Gardner and James Coates obliging from twelve yards, the third penalty Tivvy have conceded in the past five games.

From there it was backs against the wall for United and the defended stoically, particularly when dealing with a string of free kicks chipped, curled and swept into the area by Andy Taylor, an illustration of the pressure that had built increasingly. However, goalkeeper Tom King was never extended beyond his remit, and early in the second half Tivvy’s molehill became a mountain when Luke Gullick played a swift one-two with Tustain before lifting the ball over Chris Wright.

Undeterred by the task ahead (for they had overturned an identical arrear at Sholing two months earlier) the Yellows continued to pile forward, now to such an extent that Shortwood simply couldn’t break with any real threat.

After twenty-five minutes of unbroken scrutiny the red and white blockade finally gave way when a cross from Taylor deflected conveniently for Michael Nardiello to head home from close range. Shortwood’s response was to bring on fresh legs higher up the pitch in an attempt to relieve the pressure by belting the ball forward, but Tivvy had new energy too with Joe Bushin and Jules Emati-Emati off the bench, and it took just four further minutes for the Yellows to find the equaliser, a sweetly struck volley from David Steele beating King and giving Town a deserved share of the points.

Shortwood United: Tom King, Callum Brown, Alton Axton, Mark Pritchett, Ashley Thomas, Tim Haddock, Joey Tustain (Kevin Slack 82), James Coates, Luke Gullick, TJ Bohane (Ross Langworthy 61), Matt Bennett
Goals: Coates 5p, Gullick 56

Tiverton Town: Chris Wright, Josh Concanen, Alex Faux, Russell Jee, Adam Faux (Joe Bushin 63), Tom Gardner, Andy Taylor, David Steele, Michael Nardiello, Dave Pearse (Jules Emati-Emati 71), Josh Searle
Goals: Nardiello 80, Steele 84
Sent off: None

Attendance: 41

This report ©2013 Alan Reidy