Match report

Tiverton Town 3 - 1 Biggleswade Town

   Thursday 19/04/2018   Southern League Premier Division
Simon Ellis

For a first ever visit to Ladysmead, Biggleswade will not have fond memories of it. Delayed in arriving by the break down of their coach, for whatever reason no delay to kick-off which meant no time to warm up and to rub salt in, a three one defeat to mull over on the long journey home. The Yellows, however, will have been delighted with the way their final home mid-week match of the season went. Two goals to the good at the interval, thanks to eventual Man of the Match Tom Bath`s fifteenth and sixteenth league goals for the season, which were eventually added to by a Jamie Short strike twenty minutes from time before a second successive clean sheet was denied them four minutes from time, Jack Bowen scoring the visitors their consolation from the penalty spot after Mammola was penalised.

The lack of depth in the Yellows squad was laid bare for all to see prior to kick-off with defenders Nick Hurst and Owen Irish missing (injured) and Ben Mammola only available later on in proceedings due to work commitments, there was a brief substitute appearance for youngster Brad Kelly and even the appearance of former captain Rob Norrish while the visitors squad bore little resemblance in personnel to those who had comprehensively beaten the Yellows four-nil last December. Whilst the Yellows would have had a sense of  `vengeance` prior to kick-off, had the margin of victory been any greater than it was, it would have been harsh on the plucky youthful visitors, who played decent football at times but either failed to capitalise on the chances they created or, as Dorchester Town had two nights before, found keeper Liam Armstrong again in fine form.

Creating chances has not really been a problem for Tivvy at home this season, but from time to time they have suffered as a result of not converting them in matches. It only took twelve minutes to ensure there would be no repeat of Tuesdays profligacy in front of goal though, when Bath accurately volleyed home a Callum Hall cross from close range, after Levi Landricombe had sent the young full back away down the left and one became two before half an hour had been played, this time Price released Short down the right and the latters pull back was again drilled home by Bath while at the other end Armstrong had to be at his most alert to keep out Buchanan and Burnett from reducing the arrears before the latter shot just wide moments before the interval.

Again, Armstrong maintained the two-goal advantage at the start of the second period, diving full stretch to keep out an acrobatic Buchanan effort before Waders keeper Patrick Sinfield needed two bites of the cherry to claim a Levi Landricombe free kick before Tivvy added their third goal of the evening twenty minutes from time. Hall`s ball forward released Landricombe, although slightly over hit which forced Landricombe wide. His clever back heel, however, fooled two Biggleswade defenders and found Short in all kinds of space and his powerful shot was too hot to handle for Sinfield at his near post and the young keeper could only help it in to the back of the net. The visitors claimed their consolation four minutes from time after a Mammola push was clear for all to see and Waders substitute Jack Bowen squeezed home the resulting spot kick despite Armstrong guessing correctly which way the young forward would go and only an offside flag against Burnett prevented the visitors from scoring again in stoppage time.



This report ©2018 Simon Ellis

Tiverton Town 3 - 1 Biggleswade Town

   Thursday 19/04/2018   Southern League Premier Division
Alan Reidy

Tiverton Town have been running with a threadbare squad for a good few weeks now, and for their penultimate home match of the season they were not even able to name Twitter hero George Rogers amongst the substitutes.  With Nick Hurst once again on the treatment table, it meant the bench was made up of just one regular first-team player, Ben Mammola, with spaces amongst the substitutes for Bradley Kelly and Rob Norrish.  Had their been more to play for one would suspect a more concerted effort to bulk out the squad would have been made, but Tivvy will finish somewhere outside of the playoffs and in the top half of the table, and that is plenty good enough for a first season back amongst the Southern League elite, so the squad – and the match itself – had a distinct feel of moderate apathy.

That is not to say that there was a lack of entertainment in spells.  Tivvy were in control for the majority of the game and played some decent stuff in fits and starts.  Tom Bath registered twice in the first half to close in on the 20-goal mark, and Jamie Short’s strike midway through the second half went a long way to avenging the 4-0 humbling Tivvy received when they had visited Biggleswade earlier in the season.

Bath’s opener was unquestionably a thing of beauty: Levi Landricombe’s ball wide saw Callum Hall scamper forward, and a first time-cross was met with a first-time volley by the Yellows’ number 7.  It was fast and clinical, with Biggleswade’s defence always behind play, and a finish which epitomised Bath’s growing stature within the team.

It is worth noting that the meagre Tivvy squad is playing into the hands of a few players that may otherwise be relegated to the sub’s bench.  Bath is one-such and has willingly taken up a deeper berth in midfield without detriment to his thirst for goals.  His second of the evening was not dissimilar to the opener, but finished with more need for accuracy, this time to round off a move down the right which saw Short deliver the telling ball from close to the by-line.  The result was the same: side-footed into the bottom corner, leaving Waders goalkeeper Patrick Sinfield with no chance.

All the while, as Bath did his thing and put Tivvy in control, it was a different experience for Levi.  Despite a strong all-round display, Landricombe was a touch more than profligate in front of goal, seeing eleven attempts failing to register throughout the course of the evening.  His usually oh so reliable free kick taking deserted him, his striking of the ball from the edge of the area was awry, and it seemed the harder he tried the less effective he became.  The idiom that form is temporary but class is permanent may yet ring true, but this was undeniably not one of Levi’s finest evenings.

Liam Brooks and Nathan Hicks both had sighters for the visitors but they were always second best, and Tiverton’s control of the game was underlined when Short rammed home a third from a tight angle on 70 minutes, with Sinfield only helping the ball into the net when he perhaps should have done better.

Down at the other end, as the game generally petered out towards complete ennui in the second half, Liam Armstrong had a few opportunities to test out his gloves, and stood firm, most notably by palming over an acrobatic shot from Robbie Buchanan.  There was little more Armstrong could have done as Biggleswade pulled one back from the penalty spot through Hicks a few minutes before the end, although the young goalkeeper got half a palm on the spot kick when diving low to his right.

Tiverton travel to Redditch and then Kettering over the next five days before rounding out the season at Ladysmead with a home game against their old friends of Banbury United.  Whatever happens in those three matches, the season must be considered a massive success, and each and every player that has pulled on the yellow jersey this season should be proud of their contribution to the cause.


Tiverton Town: Liam Armstrong, Jamie Short, Callum Hall, Jamie Price, Michael Landricombe, Tom Gardner (Ben Mammola 70), Tom Bath (Bradley Kelly 76), Jared Lewington, Jordan Rogers, Levi Landricombe, Scott Rogers (Rob Norrish 46)
Goals: Tom Bath 12, 27, Jamie Short 70

Biggleswade Town: Patrick Sinfield, Taishan Griffiths, Lucas Perry, Sam Paton, Nathan Hicks, Reece Fielding, Robbie Buchanan, Robbie Parker, Tony Burnett (Jack Bowen), Liam Brookes (George Bailey), Luca Stratham-Allison
Goal: Hicks 86p

Attendance: 126


This report ©2018 Alan Reidy