Match report

Tiverton Town 2 - 2 Cardiff City

   Saturday 02/08/2003   Friendly
John Reidy

In the opening speil´ to my report of Tivvy´s previous game I waffled on about the delights of anticipation. Continuing on the theme‚ the converse is‚ as life has frequently taught me‚ just as often true. Many times I have approached some forthcoming event with a kind of blas atittude in the belief that it was going to be something to be endured rather than enjoyed. From the outset the visit of Cardiff City to Ladysmead failed to light any great flame of enthusiasm in me. Obviously the very fact that right frpm the start no secret was made that the Welsh club would only br sending‚ at best‚ a team made up of reserve and fringe players (hence the Cardiff City XI tag) and possibly only a youth team‚ didn´t help whet the appetite. And even had a full squad been travelling from the Principality there would still have been a feeling of anti-climax after the high drama of the last meeting between the sides two seasons ago. That low key attitude was reflected in the comparative lack of pre match discussion about the game‚ both face to face and on the Fans Forum. The low turn out on the afternoon was no doubt contributed to by the weather - even the most loyal supporters must have been tempted by the thought of cool sea breezes wafting in over a golden beach. So no great degree of anticipation‚ no great degree of expectation; but as it turned out the afternoon´s entertainment was not as disappointing as it might have been.

Ladysmead was baking under a fierce sun as the teams took the field. By the time the first whistle sounded there were already signs of the ocean of sweat that was soon to be exuded by the twenty five bodies involved in the action. And there was action from the start as the contest opened at a surprisingly hectic pace. Two minutes in and Jamie Mudge‚ looking as lively as ever‚ robbed Cardiff skipper James Collins as the big central defender dithered on the ball. Mudge fed Richard Pears‚ but Tivvy´s frontman shot early‚ weakly‚ low and wide. It was to be just about the only slip the Bluebirds captain was to make all afternoon. End to end went the game. It was too frantic to be described as flowing´‚ and in all honesty there was little shape to procedings. Mudge was matching the young Welsh players for calories being burnt as he buzzed around chasing every forward ball and challenging even when he had little obvious chance of gaining possession. It was a tactic that bore fruit in the 7th minute as his close attention caused Stuart Fleetwood to miskick and slice an attempted clearance in midfield. Jamie pounced on the loose ball and headed for the penalty area. As he cut in and crossed the line into the box Fleetwood‚ having recovered his footing and given chase‚ lunged in from behind‚ tumbling Jamie and giving Steve Winter a chance to have his second crack of the season from the penalty spot. Steve duly obliged and Town were in front. Like his skipper Collins‚ it was to be Fleetwood´s only blot in his copybook throughout the afternoon. The goal settled the Yellows and for a while they looked quite good. Roberton‚ Goff and Harris seemed to be fitting into the pattern well‚ particularly the diminutive Harris who made a couple of excellent cross field passes to switch play. Cardiff‚ though‚ kept battling away and gradually took control. In the 14th minute Fleetwood burst through‚ turned inside from ther left and fired in a low shot that was held cleanly by Fraser. Four minutes later and it was the same man charging through onto a long ball only to be denied by Frasers legs. The Bluebird´s (though they were turned out all in bright scarlet!) were unable to find a way through the Tiverton defence - no shame in that‚ neither could the Torquay front line - and the game became bogged down in midfield for long periods‚ though even in that area it was the visitors that were pulling most of the strings and as a consequence making most of the forward moves. After looking dangerous and coming close on a number of occasions Stuart Fleetwood deservedly pulled Cardiff level on the half hour. And two minutes before the break the same player found the net for the second time to give the visitors the lead as they continued to have the better of things.

The half time reshuffle had Tiverton looking far livelier at the start of the second half and for the first time in the game the Cardiff keeper was the busier of the two glovesmen. Mudge beat him in the 55th minute but was denied a place on the scoresheet by a goal-line clearance and was again thwarted as the keeper rushed out of his area to hack clear as Mudge chased onto a through ball from Steve Ovens. Not that Fraser was a spectator‚ pulling off one spectacular save from Cardiff skipper James Collins as the Welshman connected firmly with a powerful header in the 61st minute. It was a brilliant save that was to be matched by Arron Lee-Barrett at the opposite end as the game drifted into the final ten minutes. Chenoweth´s lob looked as if it had beaten the keeper and was dropping into the goal until a last second stretch in mid air gave the slightest of touches to ease the ball over the crossbar. Now looking the more dangerous side Tiverton were again denied the equaliser when Mudge fired wide having created shooting space by turning two defenders inside out as he pursued a massive clearance from Fraser. With time running out‚ Town eventually received their reward when Kevin Nancekivell turned in a crowded penalty area to find a gap and force the ball home to level the scores.

Tiverton Town : S Fraser‚ A Robertson‚ S Goff‚ J Rees (P Chenoweth‚46)‚ M Aubrey‚ R Cousins‚ B Harris (K Nancekivell‚46)‚ C Holloway (L Vinnicombe‚68)‚ R Pears (S Ovens‚46)‚ J Mudge‚ S Winter (D Steele‚46).
Sub not used: D Haines.

Cardiff City: Aaron Lee-Barrett, D Parslow, K Huggins, Rtan Morgan, B Anthony, J Collins, M Hayward, A Taylor, D Thomas, S Fleetwood, N Fish
Subs: J Kift, D Brimble GK, M Parkins, S Cronin, L Jenkins, J Jackobson,

This report ©2003 John Reidy

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