Match report

Tiverton Town 0 - 1 Mangotsfield United

   Thursday 11/04/2013   Southern League First Division
Alan Reidy

After the Lord Mayor’s Show, so to speak, Tiverton’s level of performance tailed off quite alarmingly two days after beating Clevedon, and victory was followed by defeat at the hands of Mangotsfield United, for whom Liam Monelle was the match winner and by some distance the star player of the evening. His goal, a near post header from a corner, was an infuriating one to concede; his all-round play continually asked questions of Tiverton’s defence (and indeed midfield); his performance helped inspire his teammates so that United bossed the majority of the match and refused to allow Tivvy to gain any proper foothold.

There was a degree of questionable decision-making that didn't help the Yellows at times when they found their way into the final third. Sporadically that happened throughout the evening, firstly after ten minutes when Jules Emati-Emati refused to shoot and eventually lost possession, and then when Jon Vance did shoot despite being a long way from goal, the result seeing more action from the steward racing away behind the stands to retrieve the ball rather than from Mangos goalkeeper Kevin Sawyer. There were some truly good chances too: Emati-Emati put a volley not far wide when he met Michael Nardiello’s clever chip into the box, and Sawyer made two good saves to deny Nardiello (the rebound wouldn’t sit at all for Josh Searle) and then from Vance.

By this stage, however, Tivvy were already chasing the game. Monelle put in a long-range effort that Chris Wright saved low to his left, parried, and finally smothered before anyone in a maroon shirt could react, but his second chance was converted as he ran in with perfect timing to meet and convert Tom Parrinello’s near-post corner, a corner that Mangotsfield won rather fortunately when a shot heading a long way wide was inadvertently deflected even wider by a yellow-decked leg. Twice after that opening goal Ryan Bath went reasonably close for the visitors: a header from Adnan Hiroli’s cross was nodded back across the face of goal and wide, then a snapshot brought a decent save from Wright, with Tiverton more switched on and able defend the corner that followed much more effectively than earlier.

The second half saw the two teams exchange blows in almost perfect alternation without either really looking as if they would make a further breakthrough. Mangotsfield, with Monelle on one side and David Stone on the other were always going to be dangerous on the break, and although the latter was rather wasteful with his final ball his ongoing threat did pin back Josh Concanen much more effectively than Clevedon were able to a couple of days earlier. Tivvy’s width – at lest in a penetrative sense – came most significantly from Alex Faux who was as energetic and determined as ever and benefitted at times from some superb passing from Vance. But it was Kevin Hill’s ball out wide that saw Faux cross and Nardiello volley over the top at full stretch for the first real opportunity of the second half. Lee Marshall got a key flick on a Hill cross a little later to nick the ball away from Nardiello, while a corner from Faux eluded everybody when the ball needed just a small touch to level the game, Nardiello and Hill sliding in a fraction too late. Vance put a free kick a few yards wide, Hiroli headed away in the nick of time with Hill lurking, and Tiverton were stumped.

All the while Mangotsfield created openings of their own, and it was only in the last five or six minutes that they played more defensively, happy to hold onto what they had. Monelle put two shots wide, the first by a long way and the next into the side netting, Stone beat his marker but was also unable to hit the target, and Wright saved a close range to keep out Marcus Duharty following a good move down the right involving, inevitably, Monelle along with Bath. Duharty was cautioned when he tried to turn in a cross with his hand Hiroli followed him into the book for a combination of dissent and timewasting, while Emati-Emati picked up Tiverton’s only yellow card when he arrived late on Lee Marshall, who one might have guessed by his shriek had suffered a serious injury, although he was quickly back on his feet without any need for physio-service. The last chance fell to Bath, a surprising snapshot saved by Wright, so Mangotsfield held out to claim all three points and on the whole they deserved them. After so much promise from Tivvy 48 hours earlier the Yellows simply couldn’t get going this time around.

Tiverton Town: Chris Wright, Josh Concanen, Alex Faux, Kevin Hill, Liam Ellis, Tom Gardner, Josh Searle, Jon Vance, Michael Nardiello, Kyle Bassett, Jules Emati-Emati (Tom Tricker 66)
Booked: Emati-Emati 54
Sent off: None

Mangotsfield United: Kevin Sawyer, Adnan Hiroli, Tom Parrinello, Lee Marshall, Ryan Bennett, Jordan Walker, Liam Monelle, Kyle Tooze, Ryan Bath, Marcus Duharty (Paul Banks 89), David Stone
Goal: Monelle 14
Booked: Duharty 71, Hiroli 82
Sent off None

Attendance: 139

This report ©2013 Alan Reidy