Match report

Tiverton Town 1 - 6 Port Vale

   Wednesday 19/07/2006   Friendly
Sam Lear

Tiverton Town 1 - 6 Port Vale
19 July 2006 1900
Attendance: 322
Referee: Roger Vaughan

2. BOWDEN Shaun
4. BOOTH Mike
5. HARRIS Danny
6. AMPADU Kwame
7. McCONNELL Barry
8. BALE Chris
9. FLACK Steve
10. HOLLOWAY Chris
11. BUNYON Elliot
14. SKINNER Jamie (46)
17. KELLY Adam (76)
15. EMMERCROFT Richard (46)
12. RUDGE Nathan (72)
16. BEDDOW Tom (79)
20 PEARS Richard (60)
17 HAMBLY Dave (60)

12. ANYON Joe
3. TALBOT Jason
4. SONNER Danny
5. WALSH Michael
11. SMITH Jeff
16. McGREGOR Mark
18. MILES Colin
24. BRISCOE Louis
6. WALKER Richard (46)
25. SMITH Christian (46)
19. CARDLE Joe (72)
15. ABBEY George (72)
10. CONSTANTINE Leon (46)
20. SODJE Akpo (72)

4 Shots on Target 11
1 Offside 2
2 Corners 2
0 Yellow Cards 0
0 Red Cards 0

Tiverton welcomed League One Port Vale to Ladysmead on a cloudy but warm Wednesday evening. Not too many regard pre-season friendlies in high regard‚ however‚ they are useful in determining what hope each team has in its forthcoming campaign. For Tiverton‚ it is also used to test the players and give them valuable experience. However‚ despite the result meaning little‚ the extent of the damage was hurtful with Port Vale romping to a 5-1 win.

The first effort occurred in the first minute when Chris Birchall caught onto a long ball and tapped it back to Mark McGregor who crossed it towards the far post and Danny Whittaker headed well over the bar.

It didn´t take long until Port Vale did score‚ when in the third minute; Colin Miles played a ball to the left wing where it found Birchall which met Louis Briscoe´s head who nodded it past Sam Pearce into the bottom left corner

Ten minutes later‚ Whittaker played a ball down the right for Birchall to run on to‚ Birchall took controlled and whipped it over Pearce to Whittaker on the far post‚ who managed to head the ball over Pearce‚ but across the face for Kwame Ampadu to clear.

Port Vale´s constant pressure continued and it was only a minute before they scored again when trickery by Birchall in the area managed to twist and turn past the defenders and lay a ball to Whittaker who placed the ball into the bottom right corner from 15 yards.

Five minutes later‚ Birchall challenged with Chris Vinnicombe in the air and headed it forward to Whittaker in plenty of space down the right who cut into the area and fed the ball to Paul Harsley on a plate‚ but he got himself under the ball too much and the ball whistled over the bar.

In the 28th minute‚ Port Vale added a third when Jason Talbot played a diagonal ball to Birchall on the far post who nodded it to Briscoe who headed it past Pearce‚ five yards out. The Valliant´s: victorious; Tiverton in tatters.

Tiverton had one good effort at goal when a Vinnicombe corner met the head of Danny Harris who headed it inches over the bar. This was Tiverton´s best and only chance of the 33 minutes played.

Two minutes later‚ Mike Booth headed it back towards Pearce without knowing of the presence of Birchall to latched on to the ball but Pearce did well to parry it away to Briscoe whose shot was cleared off the line by Booth‚ making up for his error.

Immediately afterwards‚ Chris Bale played the ball into the penalty area and Port Vale failed to clear which allowed Elliot Banyon to steer the ball past Joe Anyon to give Tiverton a glimmer of hope for a comeback.

Tiverton were starting to push forward a bit with half-time looming and Tiverton were given a free kick twenty yards out but Kwame Ampadu curled it past Anyon‚ but over the bar after 38 minutes.

Half time was close‚ but not close enough for Tiverton when the best move of the match gave Port Vale a fourth. Birchall twisted past Vinnicombe to tap it to Whittaker‚ who turned past Booth‚ with the keeper rushing out‚ Whittaker passed it to Briscoe who passed it into the open net. The referee blew for half time‚ to Tiverton´s relief because Port Vale totally outclassed Tiverton in absolutely every department.

On the hour mark Chris Bale and 25 were involved in a scuffle but the referee cooled the game down and ticked them off. The referee allowed the game to flow which is rare in football these days‚ however‚ this allowed for a good game which most enjoyed.

In the 73rd minute‚ it was the news every Tiverton supporter was wishing to hear for nearly a year‚ the return of Nathan Rudge. Within ten seconds of coming on he makes the best sliding tackle of the game‚ giving the supporters a reminder of what he is capable of.

In the 73rd minute Mike Booth tripped Joe Cardle on the edge of the penalty area and the referee had no hesitation in awarding the penalty. Leon Constantine coolly stepped up and passed it into the middle of the net with Pearce completely bamboozled by the run up.

It was a dire second half‚ which on the up side was the end to the leak of goals as far as Tiverton were concerned‚ however‚ it was to be a boring second half for the 322 spectators.

However‚ in the 89th minute‚ there was time for one more goal for Port Vale when Akpo Sodje twisted and turned past Harris and slammed the ball into the ball of the net to conclude the game on a sour note for the Yellows.

This report ©2006 Sam Lear

Tiverton Town 1 - 6 Port Vale

   Wednesday 19/07/2006   Friendly
Alan Reidy

Port Vale showed the difference between League One and the Southern League Premier with a comprehensive 6-1 victory at Ladysmead last week‚ although in some respects the score-line doesn´t do Tivvy justice. The Yellows got off to a poor start‚ that much is true‚ but there were moments in the first half when the Vale goal was under pressure‚ mostly due to the effervescence and willing of Bristol City youngster Elliott Benyon. The visitors‚ who also played Torquay United on their mini tour of Devon‚ took the lead after only two minutes. Louis Briscoe converted Chris Burchill´s centre after good work on the flank.

One became two after quarter of an hour‚ and there were fears of a thrashing already. Jeff Smith and Danny Whitaker combined with the latter being left with an easy finish. The aforementioned Benyon was apparently oblivious to the one-sided nature of the game elsewhere on the park‚ and his determination saw a half-chance created‚ with which he was unable to trouble Joe Anyon in the Vale goal.

Briscoe grabbed his second of the game‚ again with the aid of the impressive Burchill‚ but Benyon was rewarded for his excellent opening period by pegging the score back to 3-1 just past the half hour mark. A lucky bobble or two off defensive legs‚ maybe‚ but once clear on goal the striker showed calmness to finish with consummate ease.

For Tivvy it might have been seen as a lifeline‚ but the Burslem outfit put paid to any hopes the Yellows had of regaining a hope of a positive result when‚ marking an outstanding first half performance‚ Briscoe completed his hat-trick on the stroke of half time.

The fun really began‚ as it always does in these games‚ in the second half. Substitution after substitution took away what fluidity there was to the game‚ and when Mike Booth brought down Joe Cardle in the area the game was as good as over. Leon Constantine‚ a half time introduction to the fray‚ and a dominating presence throughout the second period sent the helpless Sam Pearce the wrong way with the resultant spot kick‚ and there was still time for Vale to reach the half-dozen mark as the clock ticked towards 90 minutes. Akpo Sodje was the beneficiary this time‚ and despite Benyon hitting the post with virtually the last kick of the game‚ the evening finished with only one team and one player from the other team with anything positive to take from the match. Benyon ended the game in the knowledge that he would be back two days later‚ but representing the Bristol City side that pay his wages. A bizarre quirk of the pre-season schedule I suppose!

Martyn Rogers had reason to be thrilled at the return to action of Nathan Rudge‚ and the Tivvy captain showed no ill effects on his comeback from his serious knee injury. Rudge is very much an integral part of the defensive line‚ and his return‚ welcomed appreciatively by the crowd‚ was a boost of great proportions. Welcome back‚ skipper!

This report ©2006 Alan Reidy

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