Match report

King's Lynn 1 - 1 Tiverton Town

   Saturday 30/04/2005   Southern League Premier Division
John Reidy

We used to say
That come the day
We'd all be making songs
Or finding better words
These ideas never lasted long -- Fairport Convention,  Meet on the Ledge.

As has become almost traditional‚ I once again end my season's reports with a song‚ both in my heart and on the page. It has proved to be a useful way to combine the two constants in my life‚ or at least my life for the last 50 years. The birth of my interest in football coinciding almost exactly with the discovery of music. Both have survived the intervening half century where other pastimes and influences have come and gone‚ some more quickly than others. All the way‚ though‚ there was football and music. The earliest days of clandestine visits to watch Headington United at the Manor‚ when my parents thought I was being looked after by my sister at the Saturday afternoon matinee in the local flea pit of a cinema - The Moulin Rouge‚ no less - matched my first 'favourite songs' heard on the radio. Children's favourites with 'Uncle Mac' on the Light Programme on a Saturday morning and Two Way Family Favourites (Remember‚ "It´s twelve o'clock in London and one o'clock in Germany‚ time for..."?) of a Sunday lunch time on the same wavelength (1500 metres LW) soon had me singing along to The Ballad of Davy Crockett and Robin Hood‚ Robin Hood‚ riding through the glen... or even the abysmal Max "I wanna tell you a story" Bygraves crooning on about the romance between a blue toothbrush and its pink compatriot in some place called Gilly-gilly-osum-pecka-catsa-nella-bokem by the Sea. But my tastes in music changed‚ ("Thank God", do I hear you mutter?). And so too did the fortunes of the football teams I took an interest in. Headington United metamorphosed into Oxford United and had their moments of glory and their times of desperate failure. When I could no longer travel to see the U's‚ I adopted Tivvy as the cheap alternative. The Ambers were a not particularly impressive Western League First Division team... threatening to become promotion candidates but by no means certain of it. But the habit continued and became an addiction. Most of the seasons in the intervening years have turned out to have had their moments of glory‚ few have brought dismal failure. Last season was bad; this one‚ too‚ ending gloryless - if slightly better. But here I was, hoping that the last day marathon to King's Lynn would at least see the term finish with reason for me to have the traditional season ending song in my heart.

It was with hopes as high as the Himalayas‚ optimism as tall as the Alps‚ but realistic confidence only as hilly as the Chilterns that the Devon contingent meandered cross-country to Norfolk. The fat lady was clearing her throat but there was still a tough battle before she would be able to sing her tune. And for once I was late. Piling out of the car the game was clearly underway and there was action! A loud roar; heart sinking‚ and then lifting again as it faded. The sound had indicated a home effort but that belittled the voracity of the travelling support‚ as a glimpse through the double gates of the ambulance entrance showed that it was the Yellows retreating after a near miss. Enquiries were to later reveal that Tivvy had started brightly and that Jamie Mudge had gone close. Down the length of the rear of the main stand to the sole remaining open turnstile - another roar‚ louder and more prolonged; definitely a goal this time. That sinking feeling again. Then the announcement over the tannoy: "Tiverton´s first goal scored by Steve Winter". Better late than never I had arrived‚ just in time to see the home team restart the match from the centre spot. Quick words with the fans at that end of the ground brought about the general consensus that Tiverton had started brightly‚ looked up for it and had had a couple of early chances‚ although the goal came from nowhere. A speculative ball into the area was only half cleared as far as Winter‚ whose own description was as good as any: " brought it down with my chest onto my knee and then volleyed it. It all seemed to happen in slow motion but I took a little glance and tried to get it over the 'keeper. Those kind of efforts usually hit the corner flag!"
If the goal lifted Tivvy's hopes then it also raised Lynn's determination to rain on their parade. Despite nosing in front the visitors were not allowed to settle into any rhythm as the Linnets turned up their own wick. With Town's lack of momentum‚ their inability to stamp any authority in midfield‚ and an unusually subdued Mudge and incision lacking Kurt Nogan‚ Lynn steadily established themselves as the more threatening outfit. The pressure grew on the Tiverton backline until the inevitable happened and the home side pulled level in the 33rd minute. A long cross from the right by Matt O'Halloran was headed back across the goal by Darren Hay‚ and with Mark Ovendale caught in nomansland Danny Bloomfield nodded home from close range. The game immediately became more fiery. Lynn continued to look like the team more likely to find the net‚ but with the Tiverton defence as strong as ever Rob Cousins‚ Nathan Rudge and‚ once again‚ the battling Paul Milsom had tied up the central areas. Meanwhile‚ Winter and Chris Vinnicombe worked tirelessly to curtail the threat from out wide and thus there were few clear chances for the Linnets. A free kick was swung in for Simon Clark to head well over and that was about it. Tivvy had a golden chance to restore the lead just before the half-time interval when Mudge was through on home custodian John Higgs but the Yellows top scorer sent what may have been his most important contribution of the season off in the direction of Hubble telescope.

The half time scores filtering though to The Walks were not good as far as Tiverton were concerned. The fat lady‚ thinking it was all over‚ cleared her throat in preparation once more before being told for the umpteenth time to hold her horses. She may as well have been allowed to have her head as the second period continued in the same manner as the first had ended - a far from pretty‚ scrappy physical mish-mash. Digs and taps‚ pulls and tugs‚ pushes and shoves; all those physical aspects of the game that come to the fore when there are high prizes and pride at stake between two evenly matched sides. It was certainly competitive but by no means exciting. To describe the game as a non-event would be unfair; there were plenty of events but the quality football was sparse. The first substitution of the second half was made by King's Lynn - a clash of heads leaving Sunderland‚ Oxford United‚ West Bromwich Albion, Darlington, Queen of the South and Boston United reject Mark Angel dazed with concussion. To the howls of the locals the ferocity of the 'handbagging' continued, though there was little - according to the fouls count in the Lynn News - between the share of the guilt.
It was not until late in the half that those of us on the non green side of the perimeter wall were given anything upon which to enthuse, and then it was mostly the home fans. Winter had a half chance for Tivvy but O'Halloran twice, and Hammond had opportunities to keep all three points in Norfolk. The final action nearly saw that objective reached. Ovendale came up for a free kick and bustled around in the Lynn penalty box. The home side cleared the danger to sub Ludovic Quistin who charged down the left before lifting a cross into the path of O'Halloran. The King's Lynn forward briefly had a clear site of goal as he turned inside with the galloping Ovendale threatening to make up the ground, but ultimately fired his effort high and wide. One-one it remained. Disappointedly it was not to be a triumphant aria that the fat lady sang for Tivvy, but neither was it to be a dirge. The song was still in my heart for the team's 2005 performance so far.









Tiverton Town: Mark Ovendale, Steve Winter, Chris Vinnicombe (Shaun Gof, 79), Paul Milsom, Nathan Rudge, Rob Cousins, Kevin Wills (Stewart Yetton 69), Iain Harvey, Kurt Nogan (Mike Booth 75), Dave Hambly, James Mudge.

Booked: Rudge, Milsom, Ovendale.
Sent off: None

King's Lynn: John Higgs, Adam Jones (Charlie Defty), Gary Setchell, Danny Hammond, Simon Clark, Sam McMahon, Mark Camm, Matt O´Halloran, Darren Hay (Liam Forshaw), Danny Bloomfield, Mark Angel (Ludovic Quintin).

Booked: O´Halloran.
Sent off: None

Att: 951

Referee: Mr. M. Blackledge (Peterborough)





 





The way is up
Along the road
The air is growing thin
Too many friends who tried
Were blown off this mountain with the wind





Yet now I see
I'm all alone
But that's the only way to be
You'll have your chance again
Then you can do the work for me

Meet on the ledge
We're gonna meet on the ledge
When my time is up I'm gonna see all my friends
Meet on the ledge
We're gonna meet on the ledge
If you really mean it, it all comes round again


God willing it will 'all come round again'; hopefully in a few months time when the build up to the next season starts. I, for one, do 'really mean it' when it comes to supporting The Yellows - old habits die hard and will certainly not be killed off by a couple of less than glorious seasons.

However, the years roll by and take their toll and with a certain sadness in my heart, I guess that like the third line of the chorus of Fairport´s anthem, '...my time is over' - at least as far as the providing of these 'views' goes. I have enjoyed my stint but it´s time for me to put down the proverbial pen. I hope somebody out there will pick it up and I'm sure you, the readers, will be as easy on them as for the most part you have been on me.

I offer my thanks for the support of the majority of you over the last four years - none more so than to Margaret and Kerry O'Connor, eternal travelling companions, without whom I would not have been able to get to, and cover, some matches.

May your God bless you all - and our beloved Yellows.

John Reidy





 




This report ©2005 John Reidy






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