The unofficial archives of Tiverton Town Football Club

Tiverton Town 0 - 1 Bridlington Town

Saturday 08/05/1993   FA Vase

Tiverton Town's dreams of bringing the F.A. Vase back home ended after 64 enthralling minutes at Wembley when Bridlington grabbed the only goal of the game, and with it the trophy.

Tivvy Manager Martyn Rogers lead his heroes out to a rapturous reception at 2.45pm and so fulfilled one of his own dreams. The roar from the Tivvy fans - about 6,000 out of 9,061 in attendenace - got even louder when they lined up to be presented to Tom Finney, who was to later present the trophy.

The formalities over, the match began. Tivvy were on the attack right away and when top scorer Kevin Smith went up for a cross after just three minutes there were rather hopeful appeals for a penalty from the Tivvy supporters. Instead, Tivvy won a corner which came to nothing.

Tiverton were supposedly the underdogs but there were no early signs of this as they pressed forward, looking composed and very definite about their play.

Striker Phil Everett broke down the left and was bundled over, but the resulting free kick was easily cleared by a competent Bridlington defence. Bridlington didn't really threaten the Tivvy area during the early stages, but pacey strikers Alan Radford and Graham Jones looked dangerous.

Ten minutes had gone when Tivvy's Steve Daly found himself in a bit of space on the edge of the area but his effort was high and wide. It was down to Kevin Smith to get the first shot on goal after 15 minutes. He struck a good shot from the edge of the box but Bridlington keeper Ian Taylor had no difficulty in dealing with it.

Bridlington then came more into the game and caused some problems for the Tivvy defence, where captain Hedley Steele was already showing his vast experience. After 17 minutes Tivvy keeper Ian Nott came for a cross he had little chance of getting. The ball dropped, but a poke at goal went wide. Two minutes later at the other end Tivvy's Mark Short brought the Bridlington keeper into action. Short met a cross perfectly and his powerful header had Taylor at full stretch to pull off a good diving catch.

It was end-to-end stuff at this stage with Tivvy losing some of the early control they had. After 22 minutes Ian Nott was called on to be at his best when Jones powered in a shot from 20 yards. Nott did well and diving to his left plucked the ball out of the air. Nott then needed treatment after being injured while climbing for the ball in a crowded penalty area and it wasn't long before he was called into real action, saving from close range and then seeing Jason Smith clearing off the line. Back at the other end Smith put Everett clear but his cross was hit behind for a corner.

Right at the end of 45 minutes Bridlington found the net and it looked like they had gone in front. Radford shot against the post and in the scramble that followed the ball fell to Jones who tapped it over the line. He then took off for a scoring celebration over the advertising boards and on to the surrounding track but his joy was short lived as referee Robbie Hart from Darlington ruled out the goal for offside against Radford.

Then with the half in injury time Daly crossed for Mark Short at the far post from a free kick. Short climbed well but was unable to get right over the ball and his header went high and wide. Martyn Rogers must have had a few special words with his men during the interval because right from the restart Tivvy took the game to Bridlington and within minutes were well on top - dominating proceedings for the next 15 minutes. Within 2 minutes Everett was put clear but his low left footed effort went just wide, and within a minute another break by the strilker saw him caught before he could make the best of it. From the resulting corner Smith headed towards the goal but it was scrambled clear. Thirteen minutes into the half smith went on a jinking run which came to nothing and then Everett had a diving header well saved.

With Tivvy pushing so well forward it was inevitable that slight gaps would appear from time to time at the back and Steele and his defensive colleagues had to make one or two timely tackles. Things still seemed to be going Tivvy's way when it suddenly all went wrong and the trophy was gone. Radford collected the ball just in the Tivvy half and somehow gained a yard on Jason Smith. As the Bridlington man cut in towards goal, Smith could not make up the deficit and with other defenders unable to get near him he struck the ball goalward. Tivvy's Lee Annunziatta dashed back but with Nott beaten after narrowing the angle he was unable to stop the ball from going into the net.

Peter Rogers replaced Steve Hynds for the last part of the game and Matthew Scott took the place of Mark Short as Tivvy continued to push forward, hopeful that new legs would make the difference and take the final into extra time.

Everett, Smith and Daly combined in a good move which eventually saw the ball go over and there were loud appeals from the Tivvy fans for a penalty when Scott went over in the box but it was never a spot kick. Peter Rogers was all over the place at this stage and was giving Tivvy a little extra width. The Bridlington Box was under seige but the ball would not go in.

As time ran out Nott took hinself to the halfway line to try and pen the Bridlington men back and Steele called on the fans for one last resounding chorus in an attempt to spur the players on.

But it was too late. The Vase was on it's way to Bridlington.

Tiverton Town: Ian Nott, Jason Smith, Neil Saunders, Mark Saunders, Mark Short (Matthew Scott), Hedley Steele, Lee Annunziata, Kevin Smith, Phil Everett, Steve Daly, Steve Hynds (Peter Rogers)

This report ©1993 Unknown