Match report

Tiverton Town 1 - 1 Evesham United

   Saturday 10/09/2005   FA Cup
Chris Bell

Military history tells us that when armies went to war two distinct groups of people tagged along with them. One were the followers who stayed around to enjoy the fruits of victory but disappeared the moment the going got tough. Supporters‚ on the other hand‚ stayed loyal to the cause whatever the predicament it found itself in. Similarly the soldiers might be mercenaries fighting for whoever paid the most or those dedicated to the cause whatever the reward. The question on this FA Cup day was would we get a Churchillian "fight them on the beaches" display from fans and players or something less. Evesham´s goalie turned up this time‚ their form had improved since losing 0-3 to Tivvy on the opening day and you´d have found it difficult to get anyone to bet against them winning.

However‚ the first signs were positive with the welcome sight of Steve Daly warming up‚ someone who never gives less than 100% to the cause. Milsom and Winters had recovered from knocks so although not a first choice team it was stronger than had been expected. A crowd of 392 suggested a number of followers had found better things to do.

Early signs were that both defences were going to be generous to the opposition and Evesham started handing out the gifts within minutes of the start when they provided Yetton with any easy interception. He took off towards goal with defenders trailing but shot just past the post. Then with seven minutes gone Booth played the first of many excellent passes down the right wing over the defender for Yetton to run onto. He was fouled and Goff took the free kick. An Evesham player came into contact with the ball and the Tivvy players to a man made an appeal for a penalty an Aussie slip cordon would have been proud of. Neither the referee or linesman‚ who had the better view‚ were impressed and Tivvy fatally lost their concentration. Evesham broke and Wints only half tackled Clarke who retained the ball‚ cut into the area and fired across Ovendale into the far corner of the net. 0-1. When the gods are against you‚ you know it.

Tivvy´s main outlet continued to be MOM Booth down the right with Bale also having another excellent game in support. Clarke again threatened briefly‚ but it was Tivvy who got back into the game with a good move following a poor clearance by the Evesham goalie. Nogan pulled out to the right and put in a cross to Yetton just inside the box who pulled away from his defender and beat the goalie. 1-1 and Tivvy showing every sign that they were there for the cause.

Unfortunately‚ they again nearly repeated the error that cost them against Bedford when Wints tried to pass out a harmless looking ball‚ but was robbed by Clarke who was clear on goal. However‚ Gould was on hand to track him down and take the ball of his toes. Gould then continued to show signs of an improving performance when he won a tackle again on Clarke and played a long ball to Nogan which was touched back to Booth. His whipped cross was met by Yetton running unmarked into the area. The power of his header would have beaten most goalies‚ but the direction also beat the goal and it flashed over the bar. Again Yetton won a clearance and played the ball to Bale on the break. The goalie was unable to hold his shot but there was no one to put the rebound away.

Half an hour in and Goff injured himself in a tackle to be replaced by Hambly. Tiverton continued to have the better of the game with Yetton being put in by Nogan but shooting past the post. Hambly then won a 40-60 tackle in the centre circle‚ was first to his feet and first to react lobbing the keeper from 35 yards but also clearing the bar. With half time approaching‚ Tivvy had shots on goal blocked and deflected for corners so the score remained all square even if the balance of play was in their favour.

Tivvy continued where they had left off with a Wints free kick just clearing the bar and Booth cracking in a shot from 25 yards after a good run‚ which the goalie tipped over. But the threat of an Evesham goal remained with a free kick being deflected just past the post and Blake cutting in and shooting just past. Back came Tivvy with a move involving Milsom‚ Bale‚ Booth and Yetton‚ the latter getting a ball back into the area he did well to reach‚ but Nogan had already made his run and there was no one else coming in to provide the finish.

Any doubts about Steve Daly´s ability to contribute to the cause had by this time been well and truly laid to rest. He´d looked composed on the ball‚ created well and had shown he was more than up for any physical challenge. No more so than when he was then involved in a crunching tackle with Duncan. As both players lay on the ground Duncan kicked out and after consulting his linesman the referee showed a straight red. Kelly was immediately brought on for Walker. Any immediate advantage was then undermined by a bad injury to the influential Booth‚ which required him to be stretchered off. From distance the tackle looked 50-50‚ there were no mass protests by the Tivvy players and no free kick awarded so one must assume it was another slice of our hopefully dwindling stock of bad luck.

Moor came on as a replacement and Tivvy attacked with Yetton putting in a difficult cross the defender could only hack over his goal. The goalie waved at Hambly´s corner as it passed him by and Moor picked up and ran past two defenders before firing into the side netting. Evesham relived the pressure briefly when Ball subsided in a heap with Milsom in attendance but no more. The Referee decided it was worthy of a yellow card‚ Milsom´s fifth this season‚ and so another suspension looms.

Tivvy were now playing with five up front and nearly scored when a looping diagonal cross was met by Yetton on the half volley just a few yards out. Up to this point Adey´s performance had given Tivvy every encouragement‚ but he chose now to disappoint and saved point blank with his legs. Wints then put in a free kick that found Nogan unmarked six yards out but his header lacked any conviction and went wide of the post. In injury time Bale‚ still running as hard as ever‚ put in a cross that the goalie reverting to character missed and there was Steve Daly. Fairytale ending? Not so as his header flashed over the bar.

Turning point? Difficult to tell. Good team spirit and improved performance from the likes of Gould. Plenty of chances created that a Mudge / Yetton partnership will hopefully start to cash in on and strong rumours that a certain forward is on his way back to the club. Yet for all that the game goes to a replay‚ we lose another in-form player to injury and another suspended. One thing is for sure‚ players and supporters enjoy the good times all the more when they eventually arrive if they´ve lived through times like these.

This report ©2005 Chris Bell

Tiverton Town 1 - 1 Evesham United

   Saturday 10/09/2005   FA Cup
Sam Lear

Some might argue that a draw is the last thing Tiverton needs‚ with its long list of casualties and suspensions. It does‚ however‚ bring some confidence back into the dressing room.

It marked the return of Steve Daly‚ who proved influential during the game‚ with a good touch and passing ability‚ despite his golden age. Pete Conning and Ian Nott also made the bench‚ but did not feature.

Evesham took the lead through Jermain Clarke´s slot past Mark Ovendale‚ after 15 minutes‚ but Tiverton equalised shortly after‚ with a deflected goal by Stewart Yetton‚ seven minutes later.

With twelve minutes gone‚ the first piece of action‚ was a cry for a handball‚ from a Shaun Goff free-kick‚ but no! Evesham counter-attacked‚ launching the ball towards Jermain Clarke‚ who wrestled past Steve Winter‚ with a cool turn‚ and edged the ball past Ovendale. It was slow motion. The Evesham fans‚ were urging the ball to creep over the line.

Tiverton moved up a gear‚ as they pushed for a quick equaliser. It came seven minutes later‚ when Kurt Nogan laid the ball from the right edge of the area to the centre which met Yetton‚ his blaze‚ deflected by Adam Cooper‚ nestled into the bottom right corner past the diving Dave Adey.

Tiverton still pressed to take the lead‚ with a more frantic build-up play occurring. Nogan held up the ball on the right edge of the area‚ laid it to Chris Bale‚ who launched it into the area‚ met Yetton unmarked‚ who headed it wide of the right post‚ five yards out. A good chance gone begging.

Four minutes later‚ in the 27th minute‚ Paul Milsom was dispossessed in front of his area‚ in a dangerous position; Clarke pounced‚ found himself again‚ one on one with Ovendale‚ but Ovendale parried down‚ and pounced on the loose ball behind him.

With five minutes to go before the interval‚ Milsom‚ which looked like an easy clearance‚ was beaten in the air by Richard Ball‚ who headed down, turned past Milsom, and launched a shot from 25 yards, which was held by Ovendale, to the relief of Milsom and the Tiverton bench.

The half-time whistle blew. Both sides were even. Tiverton had a lot to do. They needed to support each other more in midfield, make themselves known to each other. They also had problems defending the aerial balls, in which they were constantly caught out on.

Tiverton started the second half much brighter; a real sense of desire and passion was added, which pleased the crowd of 392. Four minutes in, Milsom had a free-kick 25 yards out, he waited, he began his run-up, he cannoned the ball just over the bar, to the roar of the Tiverton crowd.

One minute later, Bale laid the ball off to the impressive Mike Booth, charging down the right, 25 yards out, he blasted a shot, completely out of nowhere, and somehow, Adey managed to tip the ball over the bar.

57 minutes past, Steve Duncan was sent off, for a professional foul on 38 year old, Steve Daly. Chants of, "Off!" were taunted all around the ground. The red card was drawn out by Mr. Gillard, much to the delight of the majority of Ladysmead.

Six minutes later, much to the shock of the crowd. Booth was stretchered off, after a nasty foul; no card was shown, to the horror of the Tiverton supporters. Booth was to be replaced by Reinier Moor. Booth received a deserved ovation.

Moor had the ball on the left, he turned past one player, then two, he dribbled towards the goal, the third steaming in, and he twisted and turned into the crowded area, and blasted a shot from 10 yards out at a very tight angle and just missed the near post.

Evesham failed to bother the impressive Tiverton defence, more misery was pounded on them, when a Yetton half volley on the edge of the area, was parried away for a corner. Tiverton were buzzing, as were the crowd. The roof of Ladysmead was raised.

Evesham, were striving to keep the score level by taking off clinical finisher Richard Ball, who didn´t have much to do in the second period, and he was replaced by Jamie Bailey, to provide extra defence.
Into the last ten minutes, the tension grew, Tiverton piled on the pressure. Flying down the right was Bale, who placed a low ball to Dave Hambly 20 yards out, he shot, and the crowd held their breath, the ball sailed past the right post.

In the 84th minute, a Winter free-kick from the left, met the head of Hambly at the far post, who headed wide. The frustration grew between the players and crowd alike. Could Tiverton find a last gasp winner?

We were into injury time, the crowd roared, Bale danced down the right, he launched the ball towards the far post, he met the unmarked Steve Daley, but his header agonisingly glided over the bar.

The whistle blew, to a frustrated Tiverton side, who played very well in the second half and gave the fans and Martyn Rogers a lot to be pleased about, going into the replay on Tuesday.

Tiverton Town: Mark Ovendale, Steve Winter, Shaun Goff (Dave Hambly 33), Michael Walker, Tom Gould, Paul Milsom, Mike Booth (Renier Moor 68), Chris Bale, StewartYetton, Steve Daly, KurtNogan

Evesham United: Adey, Watson, O´Sullivan, Robinson, Cooper, Hadland, Blake, Duncan, Clarke, Ball (Bailey 79). Pinkney. Subs not used: Hall, Martin, Bowyer, Knurek

Referee: Mr. Gillard

Attendance: 392

This report ©2005 Sam Lear

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