Match report

Tiverton Town 2 - 0 Plymouth Argyle

   Wednesday 17/07/2002   Friendly
John Reidy

The Dong With The Luminous Nose´ was never going to win Edward Lear the Nobel Prize for Literature‚ it was after all an irrelevant piece of nonsense. True it was mildly entertaining and useful for whiling away a spare moment or two but in the world in which it resided i.e. Poetry‚ it was of little importance. Much the same could be said of pre-season friendlies. Football matches played under loosely applied laws‚ with nothing at stake and nothing of any import able to be read into the final outcome. You´ll gather that I have little enthusiasm for such games but I have to admit the changes of personnel at Tivvy since the last season ended have created a greater degree of personal interest in this terms matches than I have been able to muster in previous years. And who better to kick off against than Argyle? Without even the Devon Bowl at stake the Derby atmosphere might be lacking but the Pilgrims are‚ thanks to last seasons Division Three championship‚ the county´s highest placed club and assuming they were going to show the Yellows the respect of fielding their first team squad for at least 45 minutes the Ladysmead crowd could expect an entertaining‚ if not exciting‚ evening.
The visitors took the field first and it looked a strong bunch. Resplendent in bright orange and dark green kit that made them look like a health food fanatics lunch of carrots and broccoli‚ there was a plethora of familiar names from last seasons promotion side in the starting line up and those that were missing from the championship winning squad were included in the more sombrely dressed contingent that made their way to the subs bench. Tivvy were without Kevin Nancekivell‚ suffering from chicken-pox (strange‚ I thought he was a dairy farmer not a poultry man)‚ Steve Ovens and new signing Danny Haines were off on their ´hols´‚ Cheno was limping‚ so Phil Everett filled the left back slot and Richard Pears and Jamie Mudge were given first crack at the front men roles. The sun shone and we waited for the first indication of how the three new signings‚ Nathan Rudge‚ Rob Cousins and the returning Jason Rees were going to change the team. Both teams were out of the traps like racing greyhounds - that had been fed a dozen doughnuts. There was little shape‚ pace or enterprise from either side as they probed both the opposition and their own fitness. Jamie Mudge was the first to find space for a shot but the close attention of a pair of Pilgrims defenders forced him to shoot well off target in the eighth minute. As everybody settled Argyle took the initiative‚ but not control‚ of midfield where the majority of action was taking place and created more openings. The Yellows‚ however‚ were beginning to string a few good moves together on the break out of defence and twice Mudge´s pace allowed him to leave defenders tangle footed on the right flank. Paul Edwards was by far the more active of the two keepers but what he didn´t get to was due to inaccurate shooting from the visitors‚ including a couple of shocking mis-cues from David Frillo. But you don´t score if you don´t shoot and it was not until the 28th minute that Frenchman Roman Larrien was really tested in the Plymouth goal‚ holding an Everett rocket after the ball had ricocheted out to Phil in a rare piece of action in the Argyle penalty area. Back at the other end‚ Steve Peters fluffed a clearance and presented Jerome Molinier with an open path to goal but‚ again‚ the opportunity was blatantly shunned. Then possible disaster. As Plymouth upped the pressure‚ Edwards went down as he tried to stop the ball from going out for a corner just outside the area. Unable to continue‚ Eddy was replaced by Jon Vaughan who was immediately involved in the action stretching to take a high cross under pressure and then minutes later throwing himself full length to beat out a shot that presented the ball to Molinier who again showed that he had little idea of where the goal was.
The half time whistle sounded with no score but with signs that the teams were beginning to ´gel´‚ and most importantly for the home fans the new faces looked to have strengthened the back line. All that was needed was a goal - or two. There was not long to wait. Tivvy started in lively fashion and there were just three minutes gone since the restart when Jamie Mudge found himself in the area‚ ball at his foot. He turned away from one defender‚ rounded another with some silky ball control and made enough space to send a well placed‚ if not powerful shot‚ wide of Larrien to give the Yellows the lead. Two minutes later it could have been a brace as Jamie swivelled and shot from ten yards‚ sending Larrien full length to palm away for a corner. Plymouth fought to get themselves level but JV was on top form and when he was beaten there was always someone quick enough to cover. Rob Cousins was beginning to show his experience in midfield‚ Nathan Rudge showed why Martyn Rogers was so keen to bring him to Ladysmead and had obviously rekindled his understanding with Steve Peters and Jason Rees was...well...Jason was much as we remembered and expected : livewire. As the visitors pushed forward it was inevitable that they allowed more space for the home side to exploit and the chances were being created at both ends. In best pre-season tradition there were substitutions‚ though not as many as might have been expected‚ Tivvy being limited by lack of bodies. Antony Lynch was called to the fray with fifteen to go and looked like a bull terrier that has been straining at the leash for over an hour. Looking sharp and hungry Lynchie responded to the welcome from behind the Plymouth goal by proceeding to put himself about among the Argyle defence‚ something that at this stage of the game they found difficult to handle. Still the majority of the movement was towards the Tiverton goal and with the minutes ticking away JV was again called to spread his ample height horizontally to beat out an on target effort that was swiftly crashed back goalwards‚ only to be deflected off the goal-line and away for a corner by Peters. Away came Tivvy for a final burst through the middle. Route One. Neat flick on over one defender by Richard Pears to Lynch. Antony brushed of David Worrell. Larrien was advancing towards the edge of his area hoping to hack away a back pass from his team-mate but was left stranded as Lynchie calmly lobbed the ball over his head to seal the victory. ´If you don´t shoot you don´t score´ might be true but ´If you don´t shoot on target you don´t score´ is truer. That was the difference between the teams in this game. Argyle had far more chances yet failed to find the net. Tivvy found it twice. Goals win games. It was a promising start to the season‚ and certainly the second half was entertaining if meaningless. Ah well‚ lets carry on with the nonsense and see how the Owl and The Pussycat are getting on whilst Saturday‚ and the visit of Dagenham and Redbridge‚ takes its time arriving.

Tiverton Town: 1. Paul Edwards, 2. Steve Winter, 3. Phil Everett, 4. Steve Peters, 5. Nathan Rudge, 6. Rob Cousins, 7. Jamie Mudge, 8. Jason Rees, 9. Richard Pears, 10. Scott Rogers, 11.David Steele.

Subs: 12. Antony Lynch, 14. Luke Vinnicombe, 15.Nicky Howe, GK. Jon Vaughan.

Plymouth Argyle: 1. Romain Larrien, 2. David Worrell, 3. Craig Taylor, 4. David Frillo, 5. Graham Coughlan, 6. Stuart Malcolm, 7. Martin Phillips, 8.,Lee Hodges, 9. Michael Evans, 10. Paul Wotton , 11. Jerome Molinier.

Subs: 12. Kevin Wills, 14. Ian Stonebridge, 15. Brian NcGlinchey, 16. Lee Coxon, 17. Ryan
Trugian, GK. Luke McCormick.

This report ©2002 John Reidy

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