Match report

Tiverton Town 2 - 3 Mangotsfield United

   Tuesday 01/10/2013   Southern League First Division
Alan Reidy

There is seldom much between Tiverton and Mangotsfield on the pitch, and as if to illustrate this fact there has not been more than one goal between the teams in fourteen of the previous sixteen meetings, the exceptions being a 2-0 victory for the Yellows on route to the 2007 League Cup final and that miraculous 5-0 hammering dished upon the Mangos almost exactly two years ago. It was therefore no surprise that, amidst conditions more suited to water polo, it once again was a tight affair. This time – and for the second time in two attempts – Mangotsfield came out on top at Ladysmead, and by and large they were worth it as they displayed a counter-attacking purpose and cutting edge sadly lacking from Town.

Mangotsfield’s form going into the encounter had been topsy-turvy to say the least; Tiverton’s was good but manager John Clarkson again showed himself to be living in the past by selecting the team that finished the previous game (as had happened at Shortwood) rather than the team best equipped to win the current one. Ergo, Jules Emati-Emati and Sam Malsom had to be content with a place on the bench as Adam Kelly and Dan Smith came into the starting line-up, Kelly playing in behind Matt Wright and Smith wide on the left. Nevertheless Tiverton had the better of a goalless first half with Matt Wright twice going close with headers, the first glanced just wide and the second saved by Kevin Sawyer. The Mangos goalkeeper also had to save from Kelly, a task that would have been straightforward on any other day but was full of questions due to the incessancy of the rain which made handling a major test. Shane Krac was unable to bring Sawyer into action as his free kick whizzed narrowly wide of the post, while at the other end Lloyd Irish had to be alert to push Tom Parrinello’s long-ranger around the post and saved and held solidly from Ben Hunt.

Irish was the busier of the two ’keepers early in the second half and saved from Lewis Powell but Sawyer was also tested by Krac, another save where the ball was diverted around the post and out for a corner. All things considered the match was eminently watchable although two quick goals from Mangotsfield would have made even the most ardent Tivvy supporter wonder why they had bothered. Kyle Tooze raced forward down the right on the counter attack, made up ground with the game instantly stretched, and picked out Luke Ballinger to beat Irish and find the bottom corner. And it took less than five minutes for ’Field to double their advantage: Powell’s free kick forced behind, Ballinger’s corner forced in at the far post by Matt Sysum. The lapse from the Yellows was quickly forgotten and Wright headed against the post and was then upended in the box only for penalty appeals to be waved away. But Tivvy were back in the game with a brace from Smith within sixty seconds, a free kick that squeezed through a crowded area and into the net, and then a fine goal which beat Sawyer after the winger had cut in from the left.

Unperturbed, Mangotsfield readied themselves for the finale and the game swung from one end to the other before the decisive strike. Malsom, who had just seen a free kick fly a foot or two off target, lost out to Tooze, and in a repeat of the opening goal Tooze legged it upfield and centred for Ballinger to tuck the ball away from close range. Balliner could have wrapped up his hat-trick but for a brilliant save from Irish in added time, but Mangotsfield by now were home if not particularly dry.

Tiverton Town: Lloyd Irish, Steve Tully, Chris Long, John Heveran, Josh Concanen (Sam Malsom 62), Tom Gardner, Shane Krac, Nick Rudge (Marcus Martin 66), Matt Wright (Paul Wyatt 62), Adam Kelly, Dan Smith
Goals: Smith 78, 79
Booked: Tully 59, Kelly 66, Martin 71
Sent off: None

Mangotsfield United: Kevin Sawyer, Alex Kite, Tom Parrinello, Shaun Lamb, Matt Sysum, Jamie Reid (Charlie Hitchings 87), Kyle Tooze, Ashley Williams, Ben Hunt, Lewis Powell, Luke Ballinger
Goals: Ballinger 54, 86, Sysum 58
Booked: Lamb 35, Sysum 65
Sent off: None

Attendance: 132

This report ©2013 Alan Reidy