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Bedford Town 1 - 2 Tiverton Town

   Saturday 30/01/1999   FA Vase

The following report was originally published on Bedford Town’s now defunct website www.eagles.co.uk, and subsequently reproduced in the Tiverton match programme of Wednesday 3rd February 1999. Sadly the author is not credited in the reproduction, but thanks whoever you are for this piece of archive material. This reproduction is shown "warts and all" with both team line-ups added to the end.

Our dream of going to Wembley finally came to an end as we lost out to Tiverton in a typical cup-tie. Although beaten there was no disgrace in losing to a very strong Tiverton side who boast several players with league experience and in Phil Everett have last seasons Non League Player of the Year.

With Chris Tubbs injured, Gary Williams continued in the middle of defence with Rocky playing right back. Despite the recent wet weather, the pitch was in pretty good condition and the game flowed from end to end although neither side dominated, and there were few real chances.

Tiverton looked a very good side. The three defenders kept Gavin Jaggard and Paul Covington quiet, with Stuart Smith commanding in the air and Paul Tatterton organising the defence well. Their two forward players were a real handful and Williams and Joyce were often at full stretch. In the middle of the park, Steve Searle and Paul Sherlock battled well and kept us in the game.

Most of the early attempts were long range efforts and Tiverton came close after nine minutes when a free kick from just outside our area went just over. A few minutes later Gavin Jaggard headed on a long clearance from Heeps to Paul Covington whose shot hit the side netting. Apart from this the Tiverton defence looked fairly comfortable and Paul Edwards in goal for Tiverton dealt with crosses and corners very competently.

Tiverton came close to scoring again after twenty minutes when a neat five man move was denied at the last minute by a strong block by Joyce, but they went ahead when a quick pass out of midfield caught our defence wide open and Pete Varley got clear through. His shot hit the post and came out for Kevin Nancekivell to put Tiverton ahead.

Despite this we continued to battle and nearly equalised on half time when a header from Williams from a corner was blocked and his follow up shot went just wide. Just as it seemed we would go in just the one goal down, Heepsy didn’t get to a nothing centre, and his poor punch was knocked back in by Phil Everett to put Tiverton two up.

After half time the worry was that we might be facing a hammering, but credit to the Eagles, they stuck to the task and continued to have territorial superiority. In the first minute Rocky and Paul Covington linked up and from Rocky’s centre, Paul Covington got a header in that was easily held by Edwards.

Both sides had periods of pressure and at one stage Tiverton had five corners in a row, but neither side had any clear-cut chances.

The second half was notable for the first streaker [male] to be seen at the Eyrie, and Tiverton seemed to be cruising to the next round when Jason brought himself on for Evason to put more pressure on their defence. With ten minutes to go we got a penalty from a scramble in the area that Joycey blasted in.

The last ten minutes were pretty hectic with at times all the Tiverton players defending, and Steve Searle and Heapsy the only players in our half. There were a few goalmouth scrambles where the ball could have gone anywhere and the previously calm Tiverton defence was hanging on.

But it was to no avail and Tiverton went through. Obviously very disappointing for Bedford but there were good things to get from the day. We didn’t buckle against a very good side and the team was a credit to Bedford. The game was close enough for us to comfort ourselves with a few "if onlys"? and "what ifs"?. The crowd was 1556 which gives the club a financial boost – the organisation at the ground was excellent. In the league Leighton lost to Horsham to strengthen our promotion hopes and a number of players have signed contracts for next season.

I suppose it’s now I trot out the cliché of "now we can concentrate on the league"?. Perhaps that will be true on Tuesday night at Witham, but for this weekend we can think about what might have been.

Bedford Town: James Heeps, Paul Daniels, Gary Williams, Tony Joyce, Gavin Covington, Steve Searle, Paul Sherlock, Ian Evason (Jason Reed), Eddie Lawley, Paul Covington, Gavin Jaggard
Goal: Joyce (pen 87)

Tiverton Town: Paul Edwards, Micky Fallon, Neil Saunders, Paul Tatterton, Stuart Smith, Pete Conning, Kevin Nancekivell, Pete Varley (Darren Tallon), Phil Everett, Steve Daly, Dave Leonard (Steve Hynds)
Goals: Nancekivell 26, Everett 45

This report ©1999 Unknown

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