Match report

Tiverton Town 2 - 0 Team Bath

   Tuesday 11/10/2005   Southern League Premier Division
Chris Bell

Tiverton sustained their steady march up the table on a rain swept evening with a satisfactory 2-0 win against Team Bath. With a 23m sports complex at their disposal and enjoying full time sports studies you would expect to see a young fit side and they didn´t disappoint setting off at a frenetic pace. The speed of movement and passing was high and the Tiverton players were given little time to settle on the ball and develop their own game.

However‚ despite this there were few real threats to the home goal with attacks foundering on the edge of the area as the defence stood its ground and waited for the storm to abate. One breach in the wall was made with a cross to the far post that was headed back. This resulted in a scrambled shot that Ovendale half stopped; he blocked a second attempt and then watched as the rebound was somehow scooped over the bar from close range

Any doubts about Tiverton´s ability to match their opponents fitness levels were by now being dispelled and they began to create their own chances‚ Ampadu firing in a thirty yard shot from a Yetton layoff that was comfortably saved. Mudge then received a fifty-yard diagonal pass out on the right and cut in to put Yetton in at the near post‚ the goalie blocking his shot for a corner. Milsom came up and made good contact with the cross but flashed his header over the bar.

The home side´s increasing pressure was illustrated in the 35th minute when Metitiri was shown yellow for his third foul in a short space of time by yet another excellent official. Mudge then executed a classic turn and snapshot out of nothing that beat the goalie but eased past the far post. Goff got in on the act but at the wrong end‚ just stopping an opponent shooting‚ but at the cost of a lob that had Ovendale stretching to turn the ball over for a corner.

The half closed with Winters intercepting an attack‚ moving forward and passing to Mudge who had come deep. He in turn laid the ball off to Bale running on who crashed his shot over the keeper‚ against the bar and down onto the line. An offside flag would have ruled out a goal‚ but the creativity and running off the ball contained in the move gave hope of a more fruitful second half.

The restart was signalled by a Mudge air shot a 28 handicapper would be familiar with and Team Bath just missing Ovendale´s left-hand post from the resultant breakaway. Yetton replied with a run and pass to Mudge who found himself clear when the defender slipped‚ but he dragged his shot wide. A Tivvy corner was then headed down and over the bar as the home side´s game began to resort to route one‚ much to Yetton´s frustration. The view was developing that this had 0-0 written all over it.

Goff then began to be particularly effective in both attack and defence and it was his efforts after half an hour that led to the first goal. A defender made the mistake of trying to play a ball out of a defensive situation on the left touchline and Goff hunted him down and blocked his belated attempt at a clearance. The ball ran forward to Yetton who was temporarily eased off the ball but the Team Bath defence then compounded their initial error. The goalie and a defender played after you whilst Yetton nipped in and passed the ball to Mudge on the six yard box and 1-0 it was.

Shortly afterwards Canham marked his return to Ladysmead with a yellow card for sharing his opinions with the linesman‚ but did little else to suggest he would have provided a useful addition to the squad had he stayed.

Yetton then limped off to be replaced by Nogan who should have made it 2-0 almost immediately. Bale broke down the right and played a good pass to Mudge who sent a perfect cross onto the head of the unmarked Nogan in front of goal. His header was emphatic but in the direction of the stand roof and a final nervous ten minutes beckoned.

However‚ although Team Bath mounted a degree of pressure it was they not Tivvy who were looking more tired and the only real threat came from a couple of free kicks on the edge of the box. With their opponents pressing forward the scene was set for a Mudge breakaway goal and the MOM didn´t disappoint. The ball was played up to Nogan who did what he does best and held the ball up before laying of a pass to Mudge running on. Describing Mudge´s goals can become monotonous. The crowd know what he is going to do as do the defenders but this doesn´t stop him doing it time after time and now was no different. Touch of a shimmy‚ leave the defender for dead and blast the ball past the keeper. Nerves settled‚ three points in the bag and 334 supporters who braved the conditions sent home well satisfied. Another brick in the wall in the team´s attempts to build a successful season.

Tiverton proved their fitness levels‚ they demonstrated that they probably now have more players to provide the goals than most teams in the league and opposing teams are the ones who are now picking up the yellow and red cards. A way to go yet and a better test of where we are against Mangotsfield on Saturday‚ but keep the faith.

This report ©2005 Chris Bell






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