Match report

Tiverton Town 2 - 1 Wealdstone

   Saturday 09/09/2006   Southern League Premier Division
Alan Reidy

As sure as eggs are eggs the headlines spouted on about the saved penalty; as inevitable as east is east and west is west and never the twain shall meet the headline writers filled their boots with half-witted puns on the surname of the Tivvy goalkeeper‚ and as sure as night follows day the save itself was sensationalised beyond belief. But that doesn´t change the fact that Mark Rock saved a second half penalty and helped Tiverton Town maintain a 2-1 lead over Wealdstone‚ a lead that would be held until the final whistle. But it is unlikely that anyone other than the hero of the hour will hold this memory with them‚ for the game - or at least the game after the change of ends - was one which could keep a verbally-challenged man talking until the cows came home.

The cows might have chosen to go home at the interval; such was the lack of excitement in a miserably uninspiring first half. Goalless‚ and without a real chance to get the 427 strong Ladysmead crowd salivating just about sums up the opening 45 minutes. It was a shame‚ since those that travelled to Corby a week earlier were overdue an entertaining Saturday afternoon‚ but the sunshine and low winds‚ a far contrast to the game in Northamptonshire was not enough to inspire the players into a creative frame of mind. That is not to say the first half passed without chances‚ but Steve Flack‚ Chris Bale and Barry McConnell all had understated efforts‚ while Rock was not tested to the extreme at the other end of the park‚ only palming away an effort from Dean Papali.

The action soon stepped up a few notches in the second half though‚ and it was the referee who appeared to take centre stage with a string of curious decisions. Before the mysterious whistle blowing‚ however‚ came Tivvy´s opening goal. Anthony Mason broke free on the right‚ and cut back a low cross to Tom Gardner. The defender‚ from six yards‚ was only able to side-foot into the stretched gloves of Stones keeper John Armand‚ but the resulting rebound fell nicely to Flack who was able to turn‚ shoot and nestle the ball into the opposite corner of the net.

Soon enough Wealdstone thought they had a golden ticket to equalisation when the referee awarded them a penalty. It was not until he was informed that his assistant had been flagging stoically for eleventy-seven days for offside that the decision was overturned‚ and the Yellows were able to resume play with an indirect free kick. This incensed the travelling support‚ but only gave the travelling players more incentive to push on‚ and the drive from Wealdstone was rewarded moments later when Rock and Gardner left the ball for each other allowing Matt Gooderick to stealthily sneak between the two and lift the ball into an unguarded goal from the edge of the area.

Justice wasn´t done‚ unless you look at it from the referee´s perspective‚ and even more confusion was to follow in an action packed passage of play. Chris Holloway‚ skipper for the day in the absence of Nathan Rudge‚ was unceremoniously elbowed in the side of the head‚ an assault that was apparently seen only by the supporters on the terrace behind the goal‚ and a foul that should have given Tivvy the chance to restore their advantage with a penalty of their own. And then justice was done unless you look at it from the referee´s perspective‚ when another foul‚ this time on Flack was once again ignored by the man in the middle‚ only for his assistant (the other assistant) to flag foul´ and give the home side the spot kick they should have been awarded five minutes earlier. McConnell calmly placed the ball to the right‚ Armand did a good job of diving out of the way‚ and the one goal advantage was restored. The fact that the foul was innocuous and would usually been waved away was incidental.

Back to the other end‚ back to the referee pointing for a penalty. This time no overrule. Rock could feel aggrieved as he took a comfortable and unpressured catch from a poor free kick‚ but Darren Davies was seen to have caught Chris O´Leary‚ and justice was done‚ if you look at it from the referee´s perspective. Gooderick stepped up but was unable to tie the scores for a second time as Rock sprawled to his left and pushed the penalty away.

There was still time for Jamie Mudge to blaze wide when well positioned‚ and for Rock to pull off a fabulous save from Papali‚ but the scoring was over‚ and the cows are now on their way home.

This report ©2006 Alan Reidy

Tiverton Town 2 - 1 Wealdstone

   Saturday 09/09/2006   Southern League Premier Division
Sam Lear

In a match full of controversy‚ Tiverton edged out on top to keep themselves as one of the front runners early in the season.

The game itself was an exciting affair‚ but was marred by a pitch invasion‚ controversial refereeing decisions and the sending off of the Wealdstone manager.

Tiverton took the lead after 59 minutes when Antony Mason crossed to Chris Bale but his shot was parried only to be rebounded to veteran Steve Flack who tapped it in.

Four minutes later‚ Wealdstone equalised against the run of play when a defensive lapse allowed Mark Gooderick to compose himself around keeper Mark Rock and tap the ball into an empty net.

A further three minutes later saw Tiverton retake the lead controversially when the linesman ruled that there was a handball. Barry McConnell converted the resulting kick.

In the 72nd minute‚ the referee awarded another penalty when Darren Davies tumbled with Gooderick but his penalty was parried away by Rock.

This report ©2006 Sam Lear






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