Match report

Tiverton Town 1 - 2 Plymouth Argyle

   Tuesday 11/07/2017   Testimonial
Alan Reidy

Phil Everett had one. Martyn Rogers had two.  And now Tom Gardner can add his name to a rather short list of Tiverton Town players honoured by the granting of a testimonial match.  Tom exceeded 500 appearances for the Yellows last season, and in a 12-year stay (albeit punctuated by a few months at Truro) he has proven himself to be loyal and reliable as the club has tumulted down and back up again.  One of Tom’s finest traits is his humility, and there were few fanfares as Plymouth Argyle visited Ladysmead to help honour the defender’s contribution to the cause: the standard guard of honour allowed Gardner to make his entrance onto the pitch, but there were no silly penalties in the last minute of the game, no outfield players going in goal, and by and large the match was one with a pre-season rather than testimonial feel.  Indeed, Gardner himself only played the first half, and Argyle came from behind to win 2-1.

Tivvy’s squad was primarily the one which will see them through the summer, with the addition of former players James Mudge and James Richards the notable additions.  Ollie Knowles was given his first run out in Town yellow in a combative midfield role, while there were also unofficial debuts for Liam Gregory and Jordan Rogers.  The latter opened the scoring inside ten minutes by dispatching a penalty after he went down under a challenge from Oscar Threlkeld, and the Pligrims equalised through Antoni Sarcevic shortly before the break.

A decent account had been given by Tiverton, particularly Rogers, Michael Landricombe, and Nick Hurst, but there was seldom an opportunity to continue impressing in a disjointed second half.  Both teams made the customary reshuffles which fragmented the match, and Argyle dominated the second half, pinning Tivvy deep and swiftly rejecting any embryonic counter attacking moves.  Nathan Blissett scored the decisive goal with a neat flick ten minutes from the end in a match that ultimately droned on all too incessantly along with the rhythmic-lacking and uninspiring beat of the drum, brought to the ground presumably to help ramp up the atmosphere, but serving only to stall any vocal support from the terraces.

As far as an initial pre-season run out goes it was a decent exercise, and the players would have appreciated the opportunity to stretch their legs for the first time ahead of the new season.  Despite Plymouth being too strong for the Yellows Tivvy are good enough to put in a solid season, and with further fine-tuning ahead of the competitive opener in early August there are reasons to be cheerful.  Some of the trialists involved this evening will be on their way elsewhere soon enough, but we can be sure that one man will be at the club throughout the season, however it pans out. Even though lymout won the match it was Tom Gardner’s night.

This report ©2017 Alan Reidy