Match report

Tiverton Town 3 - 1 Grantham Town

   Saturday 19/11/2005   Southern League Premier Division
Chris Bell

Despite starting slowly Tivvy came away with a second successive victory running out 3-1 winners at home to Grantham. Martyn Rogers had the rare luxury of announcing an unchanged side‚ and it was Grantham who were the first to ring the changes with a bizarre first minute substitution of White with hardly a ball kicked.


As has become the custom the visitors were dominant in the early stages and looked increasingly likely to convert their advantage into a goal. This duly arrived in the third minute when a corner was only cleared to Popple on the edge of the area from where he scored through a crowd of players. Tivvy struggled to respond and it was 15 minutes before their first shot on target arrived from Mudge. Grantham responded with Popple breaking on goal only to be well tackled by Davies. Then from nowhere an equaliser arrived courtesy of a skilfully threaded pass from Mudge down the middle that Pears latched onto and just beat the keeper and defender to stab the ball into the net.


Almost immediately Booth was substituted suffering the effects of an earlier foul to be replaced by Fowler. Losing such an influential player could have knocked Tivvy back‚ but the new man sustained an impressive performance throughout the game‚ a welcome bonus for Martin´s injury hit squad. Tivvy were now enjoying a greater share of the game and Pears was only just wide from a Mudge cross. Croft then had to leave the field suffering from another earlier foul to be replaced by what seemed the unusual option of Nogan. Yet again Tivvy absorbed their misfortune and with three now playing forward it was Holloway who connected with a clearance 25 yards out only to see his shot blocked.


Nogan continued from where he left off on Wednesday receiving‚ shielding and laying off the ball to good effect. Pears fired in a dangerous cross and a defender hacked it clear not trusting his keeper who was showing signs of having a bad day at the office. With half time approaching Tivvy then scored the best goal of the game. The ball was crossed to Ampadu on the right side of the box‚ he headed it back precisely onto the head of Nogan and for the second time in four days his name was on the score sheet. Two minutes later he had a chance to double his account from the six yard box when a Mudge cross grazed the head of a defender‚ but his header flew over the bar.


Grantham had a strong appeal for a penalty correctly turned down when a corner deflected off the head of one of their players and hit a Tivvy arm and all that remained was for Turner to trip himself up and Bale be awarded a yellow card to mark the occasion.


The second half started with both Pears and Holloway being caught with bad tackles as Grantham adopted an increasingly physical game. Tivvy continued to threaten and this exposed Ziccardi´s fallibility as he failed to deal effectively with a series of corners and crosses. When Grantham did attack the reorganised defence coped well‚ although they did have a chance when Ovendale was only able to half block a free kick and the ball ran loose‚ luckily for a defender to clear.


However‚ this was only a brief interruption to Tivvy´s ascendancy and when a Nogan cross was missed by the last defender it was Mudge who collected the ball and slammed it under Ziccardi to his‚ the team´s and every home fan´s relief. The positive mood was sustained as‚ unlike previous games‚ they maintained their form reducing Grantham to a couple of ineffective substitutions. Indeed they could have made it four when a ball down the right found Nogan on the near post. His shot was blocked out to Mudge who saw his effort deflected over the bar.


Altogether an encouraging afternoon‚ Nogan MOM‚ Mudge scoring and fringe players stepping up and performing when called upon. Just need to start maintaining this form on the road starting at Chesham in two weeks time.

This report ©2005 Chris Bell






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