Match report

Tiverton Town 1 - 0 Sholing

   Saturday 27/04/2013   Southern League First Division
Alan Reidy

Sholing had won their last eight matches and in the past month or so scored five goals on two occasions, put seven past Evesham and eight past Bridgwater. In high spirits despite their impending withdrawal from the Southern League, they arrived at Ladysmead as the top scorers in the Division with the individual leading goalscorer amongst the ranks. Lee Wort had notched thirty-two goals in league football this season including a staggering five hat-tricks since the turn of the year. In stark contrast Tiverton had won just once in twenty-seven games and hadn’t found the net in open play for over 400 minutes. But all of that was thrown out of the window as the Yellows defied logic to close their disappointing season on a high note as Josh Searle scored eleven minutes from time to clinch victory.





With Jon Vance having left the building it was a massive boost to welcome back Andy Taylor into the fold, and his inspirational performance in central midfield laid the groundwork for a strong performance across the pitch. Liam Ellis was also back in the side, this time playing on the right side of defence as Josh Concanen switched to the centre and produced a display that left Jamie Ward glowing with admiration. Concanen’s role – to shackle Wort – was carried out almost perfectly, his positional sense, his timing and his discipline ensuring that the Sholing striker had only one sniff of goal all afternoon, a header midway through the first half that went well wide. In fact there was seldom any real threat to the Tivvy goal, manned for the first time by Dan Law, so the young goalkeeper, still a couple of months shy of his eighteenth birthday, was able to keep a clean sheet without often having to extend himself. Five times in the first half Sholing failed to hit the target: A low drilled effort from Barry Mason that flew across the face of goal, a long-range effort from Mike Carter that went both high and wide, Wort’s header which came from a cross delivered by perhaps the visitors’ best player on the day Kevin Brewster, then a few minutes later a massive miss from Dan Mason who somehow lifted the ball over the top from close rance, Barry Mason having delivered perfectly from the right. Finally there was a volley a long way over the top from Jack McCarthy, from another Brewster cross. On the stroke of half time Law was called upon to make a save and did so by pushing away Carter’s drive from the edge of the area.





Tiverton created some decent chances of their own but were unable to convert. A scramble in the area saw the ball bounce around awkwardly leaving Jules Emati-Emati, Kevin Hill and Lewis Tasker all wrong-footed and the crucial moment, and then Emati-Emati nicked the ball from Marc Diaper as the full-back inexplicably ducked underneath a high ball close to the touchline, teed up Michael Nardiello, and he in turn put his shot wide of the post. The best chance of the half came and went when Nardiello robbed Lee Bight, fed Searle and was then agonisingly denied when the return pass was cut out in the nick of time by Brewster (Searle perhaps should have been more selfish and taken a stab at goal himself). There was still time before the break for Nardiello and Emati-Emati to combine, the latter nodding the ball down for Jimmy Hinds to shoot straight at Matt Brown.





All told Tiverton seemed to have a few more ideas in the final third, intricate passing but not overplaying, whereas Sholing were fine at getting the ball out wide but then continuously ran into a yellow wall, hence their shots generally coming from distance, often rushed and off target. That pattern remained in the second half and a fine move involving Emati-Emati, Hinds and Hill led to Taylor hitting a first-time shot which lacked only the venom required and intended, so again Brown was able to save. The Sholing goalkeeper did even better a few minutes later to keep out a Hinds shot that was arrowing towards the bottom corner. Again he saved from Hill, Bright then headed clear having muscled Hill out of the way, and Lewis Tasker came close when his low effort flew just wide of the mark.





Down at the other end the Yellows defence remained firm as they protected Law with composure. A shot from McCarthy sailed a long way over the top and Barry Mason then forced Law to scramble the ball away near the base of his left goalpost. That was as close as they got to finding a goal, with two late chances missing the target, a free kick scooped over by Brewster and a Carter volley that went narrowly the wrong side of the upright.





As the match neared its conclusion so changes were made and Kyle Bassett’s introduction from the bench proved to be a moment of inspiration. His first touch was to take down and bring under control a long ball from deep, his second was to lay the ball off from the edge of the area into the path of Searle. Having briefly switched flanks, Searle had moved off the line on the left and upon receiving Bassett’s pass simply let fly with a curling shot that was taken so early that Brown was unable to prepare sufficiently. The ball looped and dipped with a trajectory so perfect that even had Brown been on his toes it is unlikely he would have got near it. A foot inside the post, a matter of a couple of inches below the crossbar, Searle had scored the only goal of the game, a goal worthy of winning matches far more important than this one.





The summer will be a busy one at Ladysmead but for now and until next August Tivvy supporters can take some comfort in the fact that this team can win games against strong opponents. With a lot of heart and no lack of effort they had done to Sholing what their previous thirteen opponents had been unable to do – beat them!








Tiverton Town: Dan Law, Josh Concanen, Lewis Tasker (Alex Faux 79), Jimmy Hinds, Liam Ellis, Tom Gardner, Josh Searle (Jesse Howe 89), Andy Taylor, Michael Nardiello (Kyle Bassett 79), Kevin Hill, Jules Emati-Emati
Goal: Searle 79
Booked: Taylor 41
Sent off: None





Sholing: Matt Brown, Kevin Brewster, Marc Diaper (Dan Cox 54), Dan Miller (Pete Castle 46), Lee Bright, Tyronne Bowers, Barry Mason, Mike Carter, Lee Wort, Dan Mason, Jack McCarthy (Lewis Fennemore 67)
Booked: None
Sent off: None





Attendance: 273




This report ©2013 Alan Reidy