The unofficial archives of Tiverton Town Football Club

Tiverton Town 1 - 1 Hayes & Yeading United

Saturday 13/01/2024   Southern League Premier Division
Darren Holmes

Bearing in mind that the two sides that took part in this game at a bitterly cold Ian Moorcroft Stadium find themselves perilously close to the relegation places, I suppose that could explain a pretty lacklustre first half.

Tiverton did not play with the same energy that they have shown from the first whistle in recent times and, despite having more possession, the Yellows were either stifled by a solid Hayes & Yeading defensive line or their own stray passes when getting into good areas.

A seventh-minute rising shot that went narrowly over from the impressive Jerry Lawrence aside, this was perhaps the most disjointed we have looked in the opposing half during the first period since Leigh Robinson took the managerial reins. The visitors had not won since the end of October and were equally as unconvincing.

It took the awarding of a free-kick just outside the Tiverton box to produce the first of two fortuitous goals. Lewis Kinsella’s strike in the 25th minute was superb, but it came off the woodwork, hit Zak Baker and went over the line to open the scoring. That lifted Hayes & Yeading and they briefly enjoyed a spell of good possession.

The Yellows did wrestle back the initiative as the first half closed, but promising passing moves often finished with a poor final ball or questionable decision-making. There was a severe shortage of goalmouth action at both ends and, with a few exceptions, most of our players were below par performance wise. We trailed at the break and we all hoped for a better second half.

Things did improve a little in the second half. A Dylan Jones long throw that encouraged a game of head tennis in the visitors’ box ended with Josh Jones glancing over in the 55th minute.

Carlo Garside replaced Jack Veale just after an hour had been played and then, minutes after, the fans were able to revive the old Jerry Springer chant when our Jerry scored. Lawrence’s fizzing shot from outside the area was driven goal bound. It ricocheted off of one of their players and into the back of the net to level things up.

Mitchel Beardmore then came on for River Allen as both sides searched for a winner.

However, in spite of an improved showing from both sides in the second half, as the game opened up and the football flowed more, that is how the score remained.

Ben Gerring entered proceedings to add some physicality to our attack in the later stages and we did play a little better when the creative Garside was on the ball, but, in my view, it was an average second half and a disappointing first-half showing.

In all fairness to the manager and the players, it is impossible to always be at your best, no matter what has been put in place beforehand or how hard you try to implement a game plan. This was definitely an off day.

Lawrence gave a strong display in the middle of our midfield and our central defensive pair of Jamie Richards and Josh Jones were pretty dominant. Debutant Charlie White had a decent game, too, although, in general, we fell short of the standards that have been set.

Speaking to Lewis Clarke at half-time, his highlight package was looking a bit thin on the ground. By the end of the game, he was able to add some more action. However in Match of the Day terms, the game would have been a strong contender for the last game shown.

We travel to Basingstoke next weekend, aside seven points above us, though having played four more games. If the Yellows can come away with a win from that encounter, it would makes things look and feel a whole lot better.

This report ©2024 Darren Holmes