Match report

Tiverton Town 1 - 2 Cirencester Town

   Saturday 17/08/2013   Southern League First Division
Alan Reidy

Tiverton’s tag as joint-favourites for the title was soundly ridiculed as they opened up the new season with a lame performance of very low quality, resulting in a 2-1 defeat which barely did justice to the gulf in class between them and visiting Cirencester Town. So from high expectations and unbounded optimism Tivvy’s supporters were brought violently back down to earth and left to contemplate whether the next nine months would be all that different from any other recent campaign. But to bang on about Town’s shortcomings would be of great disservice to Cirencester who delivered a fine performance high in technique and understanding, and they were worthy winners regardless of the inept outfit they faced.





In slippery conditions on a Ladysmead pitch peppered with rain throughout the morning Cirencester kicked off and promptly hammered the ball out for a throw-in but that was one of very few passes that went astray from the away side, and just three minutes in the ever-threatening Steve Davies had the first sight of goal and wasn’t far away as his shot skidded across the face of goal and just a few feet wide of the post. Unperturbed, Ciren continued to press on and were rewarded for their positivity soon afterwards. A mix-up between Josh Concanen and Matt Villis eventually forced Jonathan Viscosi into a clearance that was rushed to the point where the Canadian goalkeeper could only slice the ball twenty yards upfield, and it was returned sharply to the edge of the box for Lee Smith to open the scoring.





The goal acted as a wake-up call for Tiverton and the Yellows gradually forced their way forward, with Stephen Reed shooting wide following good work on the right from Concanen. And just five minutes after falling behind it was back to parity as Tivvy unlocked the Cirencester defence with their only clinical move of the game. Chris Wright spread the ball wide, Concanen’s cross was teasing, and with Adam Carter lurking the unfortunate Chris Holland diverted the ball into his own net, leaving Glyn Garner wrong-footed and with no chance of making the save.





Concanen was having an eventful afternoon, a key player in goals at both ends of the pitch, and it was his corner that led to the next chance, a Carter header that Garner tipped over the crossbar. Despite the slow start, by this stage there remained genuine hope and the fires of belief had yet to be extinguished; Tiverton were marginally on top. Reed curled in a free kick which neither Concanen or Shane Krac were able to fully capitalise on, and when the ball eventually settled and Krac was able to loop the ball across goal Garner was just tall enough to push the ball away from Villis at the far post. Encouraging, but that chance, after eighteen minutes, signalled the end of Tiverton’s forward pressure bar a brief rally in the second half. Through until half-time it was almost all Cirencester, Lee Smith the perennial threat, and although he was denied a second goal thanks to a fine flying save from Viscosi he needed to wait just a few more seconds as Davies’s corner was hammered goalwards from the edge of the area by Smith, the ball finding a way through the packed goalmouth and into the net.





Reed went close on a rare Tiverton foray into enemy territory – very close in fact – but his shot from Villis’s set rolled just a matter of inches wide of Garner’s left upright, and at the other end Smith went even closer as his effort from thirty yards had Viscosi beaten all ends up and cannoned off the inside if the post before eventually being hacked away from danger. There were no further goalscoring opportunities in the first half, and Tiverton – aside from a strong ten-minute spell – were being comprehensively outclassed in all areas. Davies and Smith were the obvious threats that Tivvy struggled to deal with, and also worthy of note was Shayne Anson’s constant driving forward on the right which had seen Chris Long endure a torrid enough time to have his afternoon cut short at the break.





Long wasn’t the only casualty of the first half as Dan Smith was also removed from the action. Reed dropped into the left-back slot and immediately lost all ability to pass to his teammates, while Bertie Cozic and Sam Malsom joined the fray. The changes did little to temper Cirencester’s enthusiasm, however, and when Carter carelessly conceded possession Davies broke, fed Smith, and Viscosi was relieved to see the final shot slide just wide of the mark. There followed two chances for Tiverton, a low effort lacking decisiveness from Krac and then a snapshot volley from Malsom that went well over when he really should have hit the target.





Again though, Tivvy were unable to maintain any consistent threat going forward, not helped by wayward passing and an increasing reliability on knocking it long in the hope that Carter could forge something out of nothing. Cirencester, on the other hand, looked assured, kept the ball well and made the Yellows chase around haplessly. Leigh Henry saw a powerful drive deflected over the crossbar, Holland almost made amends for his earlier mistake but couldn’t beat Viscosi when the ball finally fell at his feet to bring to an end a comical game of ping-pong in the penalty area, and Sam Collier almost struck it lucky with a low shot from outside the box that Tivvy’s goalkeeper fumbled around the post.





With Tiverton seldom carrying much of a threat the game petered out somewhat and the referee finally found his yellow card (not that anything hitherto had warranted a caution). Davies was the first recipient, booked for wrestling Cozic to the ground after the game had been halted for a free kick, and he was joined in the book by Krac following a late and crude sliding challenge which left Joe Shepherd hobbling around for the next fifteen minutes. Late on Cozic was also shown the yellow card as he exacted revenge on Davies, and there was a final effort on goal apiece: a soft volley from Carter that went safely through to Garner, and for Cirencester on the counter attack from substitute Aiden Bennett, Viscosi making a good save which spared Reed’s blushes after he had misjudged the flight of the ball and allowed Smith to break away.








Tiverton Town: Jonathan Viscosi, Steve Tully, Chris Long (Bertie Cozic 46), Stephen Reed, Matt Villis, Tom Gardner, Josh Concanen, Shane Krac, Adam Carter, Chris Wright (Matt Wright 65), Dan Smith (Sam Malsom 46)
Goal: Holland 12og
Booked: Krac 75, Cozic 90+1
Sent off: None





Cirencester Town: Glyn Garner, Shayne Anson, Ellis Dunton, James Mortimer-Jones, Chris Holland, Leigh Henry, Joe Shepherd (Brad Hooper 90+1), Matt Liddiard, Sam Collier (Aiden Bennett 74), Steve Davies, Lee Smith
Goals: Smith 7, 25
Booked: Davies 70
Sent off: None





Attendance: 271




This report ©2013 Alan Reidy