Match report

Tiverton Town 1 - 2 Cirencester Town

   Saturday 23/02/2013   Southern League First Division
Alan Reidy

Hedley Steele was more bemused than annoyed after the game. How can the same bunch of lads that played so well four days earlier – performed with confidence and belief, passed with accuracy and purpose, attacked with variety and verve – how can those lads then put on such a poor show today? The fact is that the team went from one of their best performances of the year (even if the result didn’t reflect this) to one of their worst. We are all bemused.

The thing about the game against Cirencester is that individually there weren’t any truly horrible performances; it’s just that the product of the whole was so much less than the sum of the parts. That was in part down to the visitors cancelling Tiverton out as much as Tiverton cancelled them out, so for the first forty-five minutes there was almost nothing to get excited about. It was all a bit bogged down and the game lacked shape and pace with very few moments to warm the spectators on a chilly afternoon.

As far as shooting chances went there was a Russell Jee drive from thirty yards the missed just high and just wide that came after Josh Searle had seen a volley blocked from an Andy Taylor delivery. It then took until just before the half-hour mark before Cirencester’s Shane Bumphrey took the ball around Chris Wright only for the Tivvy goalkeeper to recover and save once Bumphrey had drifted to a very acute angle, and that opening came as a result of a horribly sliced clearance by Tom Gardner rather than good build-up play.  And on the stroke of half time Michael Nardiello also had a shot blocked as he was picked out by David Steele, with Searle hammering the rebound well over the crossbar.

Otherwise the game had little to enthuse a small crowd – Aiden Bennett sprinted past Gardner on the left but was denied an effort on goal as Steele tracked back well to make a sliding challenge, a fine cross by Dave Pearse was nicked away crucially by Chris Thompson with Nardiello poised at the far post, and Brad Hooper poked a shot into the side netting when he should have done better. So poor was the fare that the referee had seen enough and brought the first half to a close thirteen seconds before the regulation forty-five minutes had elapsed.

There was marginally more to get excited about after the change of ends but still it wasn’t a particularly good game. Nardiello had three chances to give Tiverton the lead as the Yellows initially looked the more likely and able. Firstly he shot straight at Glyn Garner in the Cirencester goal as Gardner headed down a cross from the right delivered by Josh Concanen, and two minutes later a dribble from deep ended with tired legs and a weak shot straight at Garner. The best of the three came midway through the second half when Nardiello latched onto a long headed clearance from Gardner, squirmed his way beyond the defenders and placed his shot past Garner and a foot past the outside of the post.

All the while Cirencester were gradually improving but Wright remained solid, taking a number of high crosses well, and then saving at point-blank range from Bennett after a corner kick brought about a scramble in the box. Then, just three minutes after Nardiello’s crucial miss the Centurions took the lead. Ellis Dunton moved the ball forward, Ben Wells, a little magician of a player at this level of football continued the advance and finally Sam Collier scuffed a shot under Wright and just over the line.

By this stage Pearse had been replaced by Joe Bushin, who had immediately shown his hunger by winning headers where Cirencester had previously been dominant, and generally making a nuisance of himself. But he saw less and less action as the visitors began to dominate, and Sam Packer should have added to their advantage but shot wide from close range following another mêlée in the area. However, Bushin regained parity for Tivvy with six minutes left to play as it became Cirencester’s turn to make a hash of clearing their lines. Nardiello crossed low from the left, Leigh Henry sliced his clearance and the ball flew high into the air, Garner then flapped and the wildly spinning ball as he tried to catch and it eventually fell to Tiverton’s top scorer to belt into the bottom corner.

Suddenly there was a feeling that we might be able to nick this one. Despite having had backs to the wall for the past twenty minutes Tivvy were level and surely had the momentum. But that wasn’t to be and Cirencester scored again with what was the next and final attack of the game. Scott Griffin started the move as he found Bennett, and with the Tiverton defence all over the place Bennett took the easy and sensible option of rolling the ball across goal for the easiest of tap-ins for Packer. And thus it ended with Cirencester worthy of the win on the basis that they were less bad than Tiverton.


Tiverton Town: Chris Wright, Josh Concanen, Alex Faux (Lewis Tasker 80), Russell Jee, Adam Faux, Tom Gardner, Andy Taylor, David Steele (Jules Emati-Emati 80), Michael Nardiello, Dave Pearse (Joe Bushin 56), Josh Searle
Goal: Bushin 84
Booked: None
Sent off: None

Cirencester Town: Glyn Garner, Shayne Anson, Ellis Dunton, Chris Thompson, Leigh Henry, James Mortimer-Jones, Brad Hooper, Ben Wells, Sam Collier (Scott Griffin 72), Aiden Bennett, Shane Bumphrey (Sam Packer 69)
Goals: Collier 70, Packer 88
Booked: Henry 90+1
Sent off: None

Attendance: 151


This report ©2013 Alan Reidy