Match report

Tiverton Town 0 - 2 Bristol City

   Friday 21/07/2006   Friendly
Sam Lear

Tiverton Town

1. Mark Rock
2. Mike Booth
3. Richard Lammacraft (Liam Raybould 64)
4. Danny Harris
5. Nathan Rudge (Tom Gardner 56)
6. Kwame Ampadu
7. Barry McConnell
8. Chris Bale (Tom Beddow 69)
9. Steve Flack (Jamie Skinner 69)
10. Chris Holloway (Dave Hambly 76)
11. Adam Kelly (Shawn Bowden 76)

Bristol City

1. Vincent Van Trier
2. James Wilson
3. Dave Partridge
4. Grant Smith
5. Matt Heywood
6. Richard Keogh (Tom Williams 62)
7. Nuno Santos.
8. Scott Brown (Shaun Lamb 67)
9. Cherno Samba (Jennison Williams 46)
10. Marcus Stewart (Elliot Benyon 81)
11. Danny Wring

Tiverton welcomed a weakened Bristol City side for their third pre-season fixture. It was proved not to be a walk-over as many had predicted. Tiverton could argue that the more than shared the balance of play. However‚ the professional outfit of Bristol City showed their class in front of goal as they scraped to a 2-0 win over their non league host

A Kwame Ampadu free kick on the right edge of the area was whipped in towards the far post where Steve Flack´s header looped to the crossbar to open up the chances after 16 minutes.

Six minutes later‚ a great through ball by Scott Brown ripped open the defence and found Cherno Samba who laid it to Grant Smith on the edge of the area but his shot missed the left post.

After 30 minutes‚ Bristol City‚ scored against the run of play when Scott Brown played another through ball this time to Grant Smith who with a tight angle powered it past Mark Rock from ten yards out.

Five minutes later‚ James Wilson missed a through ball by Richard Lammacraft which found Barry McConnell one on one with Vincent Van Trier‚ who parried the shot‚ which rebounded to Holloway but his effort‚ was blocked and cleared by Richard Keogh.

On the stroke of half time‚ Barry McConnell played a marvellous chip over the head of Dave Partridge which found the clever run of Chris Bale‚ who over ran it slightly but the ball found Richard Lammacraft cutting in from the left who unleashed a 20 yard shot which whistled over the crossbar to conclude the half on a high for the Yellows.

Bristol City added a second when Chris Rock brought down Michael Stewart when he was through on goal after a defensive mix-up. The resulting penalty taken by Stewart was chipped into the net despite the last gasp attempt by Rock to keep it out after his initial dive was incorrect‚ five minutes into the second half.

A further five minutes later‚ a cross-shot was deflected by Mike Booth but Rock managed to telegraph that and made a comfortable save to prevent Bristol City putting the game beyond further doubt.

With 61 minutes played‚ Rock made another fantastic one handed save from a 25 yard thunderbolt by Jennison Williams which most people in the ground‚ especially Williams‚ couldn´t believe didn´t go in.

Six minutes later substitute Liam Raybould should have pulled one back for the home side when he was one on one with the goalkeeper but from a tight angle‚ his shot glided past the far post to keep Bristol City two goals up.

With six minutes to go‚ Williams certainly by now had taken Mark Rock off the Christmas card list when he unleashed another thunderbolt from 20 yards but yet again‚ Rock managed to get a hand on it to tip it over the bar for a corner.

Shots on target: 8-11
Offside: 3-2
Yellow Card: 0-0
Red Card: 0-0
Corners: 1-2

Attendance: 336

This report ©2006 Sam Lear

Tiverton Town 0 - 2 Bristol City

   Friday 21/07/2006   Friendly
Alan Reidy

The third friendly of the summer resulted in the third Tiverton defeat‚ but the game against Bristol City was a much more even affair than the previous two outings. Following on from his steady comeback as a substitute against Port Vale two days earlier‚ Club captain Nathan Rudge made his first start since August 13th 2005‚ and put in a solid performance before being withdrawn just before the hour mark.

Chris Bale had the first opportunity to open the scoring but his effort was gathered comfortably by Bristol City´s Belgian custodian Vincent Van Trier. Steve Flack‚ again very much the focal point of Tiverton´s attack‚ looped a header onto the woodwork after 17 minutes‚ but on the whole City were dominating possession‚ and Marcus Stewart forced Mark Rock into his first save in Tivvy colours.

The Robins were at ease‚ able to play the ball across their back line quite high up the pitch‚ while the hosts weren´t able to enjoy any territorial advantage‚ instead opting to loft balls towards Flack from deep positions. The comfort with which the visitors were able to move the ball around almost led to the deadlock being broken midway through the opening period‚ but Stewart‚ having benefited from the vision of Scott Brown screwed his shot wide of Rock´s upright.

On the half-hour City finally breached the Yellows rearguard; Richard Keogh lifted a ball over a static defence and Grant Smith drilled a shot beneath Rock and into the corner of the net. It was no more than the Bristol team deserved for their perseverance against a vivacious Tiverton team‚ and with the home side not being able to create any cutting edge chances it gave them a comfortable buffer for the remaining hour.

Up front for the Robins was former England youth international Cherno Samba. He had arrived from Cadiz in Spain‚ having actually played most of last season on loan to Malaga B‚ but the reputation he created as a youngster (Liverpool were monitoring his progress as a Youth player with Millwall) seemed far fetched. He had a quiet game against Clevedon Town earlier in the week‚ and once again failed to shine at Ladysmead. Indeed‚ Rudge was able to deal with what little threat Samba offered with consummate ease and a disappointing display was ended early as he was understandably withdrawn at half-time.

The second half was an uneventful affair on the whole‚ and City doubled their lead from the penalty spot after Stewart was chopped down by Rock. It was a decision which might not have been given had Rudge not been able to scamper back and hook the strikers effort off the line‚ but Rock´s late challenge left the referee with no option but to award the spot kick. Stewart picked himself up to cheekily chip the ball down the middle‚ and beyond the valiant but ultimately futile reach of the Tivvy keeper.

A host of changes‚ a running theme during the pre-season‚ once again disrupted what little flow the game had‚ but Liam Raybould combined well with Chris Holloway only to pull his shot wide from an acute angle as the match petered out.

City didn´t press forward much‚ and when they did they were reduced to a few hopeful long-range efforts. Jennison Williams and Elliot Benyon were both denied by Rock‚ who‚ besides conceding the penalty had a solid game between the sticks. If one was to be over-critical then his kicking ability could be brought into question‚ but on the whole he put in a useful performance without shining too brightly.

Following on from Rudge´s return to action‚ we also saw Tom Gardner back in the fold having recovered from a broken ankle that has kept him out for nearly six months. And the centre back showed his class in the thirty minutes he played‚ ever foraging forward on occasions. From Tivvy´s point of view the chance to be able to play Rudge and Gardner together is an appealing thought‚ and this would also free up Ampadu and Booth to resume service in more familiar roles. The future could well be bright‚ particularly at the back‚ although the lack of a cutting edge at the other end of the pitch is of some concern.

This report ©2006 Alan Reidy

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