Match report

Bath City 0 - 0 Tiverton Town

   Saturday 16/09/2006   FA Cup
Alan Reidy

If history is anything to go by then Tiverton Town would have their work cut out to progress to the next stage of the FA Cup. Twerton Park is not a happy hunting ground for the Yellows‚ and it has not been for four years that they have travelled home with a win under their belts against Bath City. So maybe a draw would be seen as a good result‚ and although neither team would want a replay‚ and both sides played the game with purpose and intent‚ goalscoring chances were few and far between‚ and a goalless draw was perhaps a fair reflection on the match.

The game had added spice following the league encounter a few weeks prior which ended in a controversial 1-1 draw‚ not that there is ever a need to motivate players from either side in this fixture. The teams are familiar to each other‚ they know each others´ strengths and weaknesses‚ and more often than not there is very little to separate the two when they lock horns. Saturday´s encounter was no different and for large passages Bath and Tivvy were able to cancel each other out in a physical midfield battle‚ neither Mark Rock nor Paul Evans being stretched fully.

Chris Holland had the first effort on goal for the hosts‚ but despite connecting well his shot went straight down Rock´s throat‚ while Lewis Hogg blazed wide when in an excellent position‚ having benefited from the unselfish play of Scott Partridge. Two good chances but no goal‚ and while the Romans had carved out the better opportunities in the first half it was Tiverton who were tending to dictate the play more effectively. But in this game there are no prizes for territorial advantage or having more possession‚ and for all the guile shown by the ever-impressive Barry McConnell and the willing legs of Jamie Mudge the City goal was never truly under threat. Evans‚ like he did in last months league match showed a great command of his area‚ plucked out just about every cross that came near him‚ and looked an assured goalkeeper throughout.

Meanwhile‚ Partridge‚ who could be considered a Tivvy nemesis due to his constantly impressive performances over the years‚ was marshalled out of the match by a fabulous performance by Tiverton´s Scott Laird‚ the young Plymouth Argyle loanee putting in what many would consider a man-of-the-match performance by tempering Bath´s main attacking threat with assured quality.

Town could and should have taken the lead just past the hour mark‚ but following Mudge´s work in the inside left position‚ Steve Flack was only able to swivel and shoot over the crossbar from twelve yards. In tight games such as this one‚ with chances few and far between it is moments like this that really need to be seized upon and Tivvy would not get a better chance during the rest of the afternoon.

Matt Coupe‚ the tenacious Bath midfielder was dismissed following a nasty challenge on Mudge as the game drew towards a close‚ and Dean Clarke can consider himself lucky to stay on the pitch after scything down Chris Bale‚ but the Yellows could not pressure the reduced numbers‚ and indeed all the late pressure can from the home side‚ with Rock more than earning his clean sheet bonus with a display akin to Evans at the other end.

Late shouts for a penalty proved futile after Darren Davies had released Tiverton´s debutant striker Paul Wyatt‚ and the youngster went down under a challenge inside the area‚ but regardless of whether this decision was right or wrong‚ an away win would have been harsh on City‚ who gave as good as they got. A fair draw‚ an entertaining game on the whole‚ and more of the same to come tonight at Ladysmead.

This report ©2006 Alan Reidy






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