Match report

Tiverton Town 0 - 1 Plymouth Argyle

   Saturday 13/07/2013   Friendly
Alan Reidy

A new Chairman, a new manager, a new squad, and even a new summer climate. 33 degrees at Farleigh Meadows just across the river, and it was evidentially a hindrance as Tivvy kicked off their pre-season schedule with a slow-paced yet perfectly watchable wit-pitting against Plymouth Argyle.

Generally the action was confined to the Tiverton half of the pitch but Dan Law had only one save of significance to make as he blocked at the feet of Marvin Morgan. Of more interest perhaps to the locals were the performances of the new boys in Yellow. Starting with a conservative 4-5-1 system left Matt Wright isolated up front so there was seldom anybody close enough to benefit from the good work and powerful presence he offered, and once swept up Argyle were able to advance without trouble towards the half-way line. Alex Gray played on the right but didn’t really get in the game; a similarly anonymous performance came from Nick Rudge who acted as the most advanced of the three central midfielders. But behind Rudge came a very encouraging display from Shane Krac; his range of passing and calmness in possession particularly worthy of note. Marcus Martin did the ugly work in an even deeper position, just ahead of Matt Villis and Josh Heveran, both of whom had their work cut out dealing with the power and pace of Plymouth’s forwards. Heveran played the full game, and on this display alone will be plenty good enough at Southern League level; Villis we already know about from his previous spell at Ladysmead. The other new face to start the game was Chris Long at left-back, who didn’t particularly stand out for any reasons, good or bad.

Wright had the ball in the net long after the flag had gone up for offside, so the opening  – and only – goal of the game was left until a few minutes into the second half, with both teams having made a host of changes. Warren Feeney scored it with a simple tap-in after a move down the right which had left Josh Concanen behind play and forced Law off his line and out of position. Tiverton showed more tactical positivity after the break with Adam Kelly and Sam Malsom playing further forward on the wings (although one could say Malsom acted as a support striker as Josh Searle remained somewhat perched out on the left himself) and Chris Wright now at centre-forward. Adam Carter soon made his first appearance for Tivvy but it was from wide that the greatest threat came; Kelly had one excellent run but the move broke down, and Malsom did likewise when he cut in from the left, was tripped, and then chipped the free kick that followed over the wall and into Jake Cole’s arms. Law made one excellent save late on, and despite the defeat everyone seemed pretty happy with the workout in steaming conditions.

Tiverton have the goalkeeping version of Chris Wright plus fellow ’keeper Paul Hider, full-back Alex Faux and midfielder Stephen Reed to introduce into the team over the next couple of weeks as John Clarkson tries to find the perfect combination for an assault on the league. For now though the signs are promising: in the last few years Tivvy would have been overrun by a Football League side with so much first-team experience.

Tiverton Town: Dan Law, Josh Concanen, Chris Long, John Heveran, Matt Villis, Shane Krac, Marcus Martin, Nick Rudge, Matt Wright, Alex Gray, Josh Searle
Substitutes:  Bobby Hopkinson, Tom Gardner, Bertie Cozic, Chris Wright, Adam Kelly, Sam Malsom, Adam Carter
Plymouth Argyle: Luke McCormick, Durrell Berry, Curtis Nelson, Martin John, Ryan Dickson, Isaac Vassell, Dominic Blizzrd, Conor Hourihane, Ben Purrington, Reuben Reid,  Marvin Morgan
Substitutes:  Jake Cole, Maxime Blanchard, Paul Wotton, Jamie Richards, River Allen, Luke Young, Matt Lecointe, Ryan Lane, Warren Feeney, Tyler Harvey.

Attendance: 441

This report ©2013 Alan Reidy