Match report

Tiverton Town 0 - 2 Swindon Supermarine

   Saturday 09/03/2013   Southern League First Division
Alan Reidy

Tiverton’s troubles continued with a home defeat against Swindon Supermarine, and it was more comfortable for the visitors than the scoreline might suggest. Had they taken any number of very good chances, particularly in a first half they controlled completely, then Tivvy could have been beaten long before the sun dipped below the horizon. As it was it required a second goal eight minutes from time for Supermarine to finally seal the victory, and that fact only disguised how significantly better they were throughout the match.

The main characteristic of the game was not, however, the fine football played by Swindon, nor even yet another string of excellent saved pulled off by Chris Wright that allowed Tivvy a fighting chance deep into the afternoon, but rather the cynical nature of the game, and how the away side managed to draw the Yellows into rising to the bait. Every team has been guilty of dirty tricks on the blind side of the match officials at one time or another and Tivvy aren’t any different – Paul Kendall was far from a saint, Nathan Rudge was a master of mind games, and Nicky Marker took things to a level not previously seen at Ladysmead while he was at the club, so it would be hypocritical to cry too hard when looking at the behavious of a couple of Swindon players, notably Kyle Lapham and Dave Bampton. Nevertheless they were on the offensive from the start with their pushing and pulling, their sly elbows, shirt-pulling and nibbles at ankles, and eventually Town’s players had simply had enough and responded in a far less subtle manner by giving away a large number of free kicks for fouls often borne from frustration.

It meant the game degenerated into an unpleasant affair which was a big shame because Swindon can certainly play, and Josh Parsons is arguably the most exciting player in the league at present. Parsons was in the thick of the action early on when he saw a weak penalty saved by Chris Wright after Alex Faux (or maybe it was Josh Concanen?) was penalised for handball when blocking Lapham’s cross, and inside the first fifteen minutes Parsons went close again with a thunderous drive that clattered the underside of the crossbar, bounced down on the goal line and finally away from danger.

Another Parsons shot went across the face of goal and wide, while his buddy up front Ashley Edenborough brought a reflex save from Wright before Chris Taylor eventually opened the scoring with a curling left-footed shot from well outside the area which sneaked in low down and inches inside the post, leaving Wright with little chance.

By that stage Tiverton had already had their one and only effort on goal, and they almost struck it lucks as Kent Kauppinen allowed Joe Bushin’s header to slip through his gloves on a very slick surface, but he was able to recover before Michael Nardiello could respond to a danger that he hadn’t expected to manifest itself.

Towards the end of the first half Tivvy’s patience was running out and Josh Searle became the first player to have his name taken when he tripped Craig Curtis, a foul that resulted in Cutris leaving the action soon afterwards with what appeared to be a twisted knee suffered due to his awkward landing rather than the foul itself.

Nardiello, the primary target for Supermarine’s underhand tactics, was the next to crack and his yellow card was received without any debate when he slid through and took out Bampton in what was undeniably a revenge attack. Bampton clattered into the perimeter wall to add injury to the insult and that left him hobbling around for a good while afterwards; one might say he had it coming, and indeed he did, but it still wasn’t nice to see Nardiello act in such a way.

After a brief cooling-off period the action got back underway and finally Tivvy mustered a decent attack only for Bushin’s pass to be met without conviction by Josh Searle, so Kauppinen was not really troubled in making a low save. And once Parsons had shot poorly allowing Wright to save things began to hot up again with Bushin taking a leaf out of Nardiello’s book and pushing Bampton into the wall again, meaning Town led 3-0 on cautions.

Kevin Hill nodded a long Andy Taylor free kick straight at Kauppinen and that was to be Taylors final contribution as he was replaced by Jules Emati-Emati and Tivvy switched to a much more attacking 3-4-3 formation. However, there was not much change in the pattern of the game with Swindon still in control and Ben Whitehead should have done better than to blast the ball into the side netting having been teed up nicely by Edenborough.

Alex Faux added his name to the ever-increasing list in the referee’s notebook when he slid through Edenborough, and Swindon spurned yet another good chance as Whitehead’s cross found Edenborough and Edenborough couldn’t find the target with a free header.

A further attacking change saw Harry Nodwell on in place of Adam Faux who had been unceremoniously wrestled to the ground by Taylor, an offence that somehow went unpunished, and again there was no significant addition attacking threat from the home side. Indeed Supermarine continued to have the better of things and Edenborough finally gave the visitor’s some breathing space when he found the net at the second time of asking, his initial shot saved superbly by Wright.

The final few minutes saw Swindon sit back and protect their lead, so it proved to be the best forward-moving sequence of the game for Tiverton. But the Yellows were unable to take any of the three chances they forged with Emati-Emati and then Nardiello both shooting just wide in carbon-copy efforts, and then two minutes from the end Bushin headed over a Nardiello cross. Thus the fruitless run continues …


Tiverton Town: Chris Wright, Josh Concanen, Alex Faux, Kevin Hill, Adam Faux (Harry Nodwell 77), David Steele, Andy Taylor (Jules Emati-Emati 62), Russell Jee, Michael Nardiello, Joe Bushin, Josh Searle
Booked: Searle 31, Nardiello 39, Bushin 54, Alex Faux 72
Sent off: None

Swindon Supermarine: Kent Kauppinen, Kyle Lapham, Jon Steedman, Craig Curtis (Danny Allen 36), Dave Bampton, Chris Taylor, Jamie Prictor (Jordan Roberts 62), Rob Dean, Ashley Edenborough (Josh Fowler 85), Josh Parsons, Ben Whitehead
Goals: Taylor 28, Edenborough 82
Booked: Steedman 75, Roberts 84
Sent off: None

Attendance: 141


This report ©2013 Alan Reidy