Match report

Tiverton Town 0 - 3 Dagenham & Redbridge

   Saturday 20/07/2002   Friendly
John Reidy

With the Owl and The Pussycat safely completing their nuptials‚ the runcible spoon washed and put away and Friday approaching its final hours‚ it was time to start thinking about Tivvy´s second pre-season encounter. Now‚ though I try not to continue the theme of my match report preambles from one game to another‚ it was almost inevitable that it would happen on this occasion. After all our visitors were involved in the biggest piece of nonsense to hit football during the close season - excluding of course the French National Team. Up until Friday evening there was still a degree of uncertainty as to whether the Yellows would be facing a Conference side or a Nationwide League side. The accusations against Boston United and their officials were yet to be proven and the various bodies involved were already finding reasons not to take drastic action if they were. When the confirmation of guilt came through‚ the nonsense of the penalty was hardly surprising. Nonsense was made of the idea that offenders should not be allowed to profit from their actions. Nonsense was made of one of the first things I learnt when my first glimmerings of competitiveness manifested themselves i.e. Cheats never prosper! And things were just as nonsensical when I arrived at Ladysmead. Further ´holiday commitments´ and injuries had reduced the Tivvy squad to the bone. Richard Pears was the holiday‚ Steve Peters‚ the injury. Steve´s problem was appropriately nonsensical - he´d been bitten. Not by a dog as rumour had it‚ but by a creepy crawly whose nip had resulted in a violently (and violetly) inflamed foot. So it was a depleted band of yellow clad warriors that entered the fray.
Depleted‚ but none the less‚ buoyant. Fired up‚ no doubt by the victory over Plymouth and confident that the Daggers would prove to be lesser opposition‚ Tivvy were a match for their visitors during the opening exchanges. Jamie Mudge´s pace allowed him to race into a one on one position from a Steve Winter through ball as early as the third minute but the young strikers shot was delivered too hurriedly and was easily taken by former QPR keeper Tony Roberts. As the game settled it was the home side that grasped the initiative and with it the territorial advantage‚ though Dagenham looked fit‚ strong and lively‚ not to mention dangerous when moving forward in possession. Jon Vaughan was no mere spectator even if the majority of his work was arriving from long range. Town´s best chance of the game came after 13 minutes. Mudge again outsped the Daggers defence on the left‚ bundle his way past the last despairing challenge and sent a low cross in. Scott Rogers neatly stepped over the ball as it powered into the penalty area‚ a move that caught the remaining defenders totally wrong footed and presented Antony Lynch with a golden opportunity. Unmarked‚ Lynch had sight of the goal but though his shot was powerful enough‚ Roberts had somehow managed to change direction and throw his body down to deflect away for a corner. The chance marked something of a turning point in the game as the visitors‚ perhaps realising they were under threat‚ upped their game and the contest became far more balanced. Both sides created openings but there were no more clear cut chances until just before the break Phil Everett skied a Winter´s cross as he snuck into the back of the penalty area. Half time came without a goal to liven up a game that was far less dour than previous meetings between the two clubs. The second period started in much the same manner. Vaughan continued to show he was an adequate replacement in the Tiverton keeper´s jersey as he launched himself to palm away a shot that was heading for the top left hand corner of his goal‚ and the home side were making some reasonable forward moves without getting close enough to seriously test Roberts. The Daggers defence had tightened up and was not giving anything away and from that defence they were building forward‚ taking control in the centre of the field and starting to dominate the attacking moves. It took them until the midway point in the second half to turn their dominance into something more material‚ and when they did it was a soft goal. From a move down their left flank‚ midfielder Lee Goodwin sent in a high cross that was met by advancing wing back Tim Cole´s head and flew into the net. Nobody in a yellow shirt was within two yards of the Dagenham man as he gave his side the lead. Having found the route through Tiverton´s defence the Daggers exploited it. They constantly pressured the Tiverton right hand side. It was little surprise that a second goal came from that area. Another cross - this time handled (Natan Rudge?) as it flew across the area. Junior Mc Dougald easily converted from the spot to double the tally after 82 minutes. Two minutes later there were fragments of hope for the deflated Tivvy fans. Phil Everett did what he had failed to do earlier and found the net. An agilely performed swivel and turn in the area was completed with a perfectly executed shot past the outstretched hand of Roberts. The celebrations were stillborn‚ aborted at the site of the upraised flag of the linesman (whoops! sorry sir! Referee´s Assistant). From the restart the visitors attacked again. Once more down their left. Once more a cross. Once more a goal‚ this time for Steve West. The three goal margin flattered the Daggers but they had shown why they will again be challenging for a League place this season‚ and on this performance‚ giving so little away‚ they will not need to adopt any underhand tactics to achieve their objective. For Town there were lessons to be learnt. Not-with-standing the fact that it is‚ after all‚ only pre-season‚ and holidays etc. are better taken now than when the important business starts. There is a lack of depth in the Tivvy squad. When in the second half the substitutes were given a run‚ what shape the already depleted side had had was lost. True ´Cheno´ looked far from match fit; new face Fidel Richards from Team Bath lacked familiarity with his team-mates; Nick Howe was singularly unimpressive and Marcus Gross will be gone Stateside come early August; but with 16 players to be named this season‚ will we be seeing ´Grimshaw. M.´ on the teamsheet in coming months?

Tiverton Town: 1. Jon Vaughan‚ 2. Steve Winter‚ 3. Phil Everett‚ 4. Luke Vinnicombe‚ 5. Nathan Rudge‚ 6. Rob Cousins‚ 7. Jamie Mudge‚ 8. Jason Rees, 9. Antony Lynch, 10. Scott Rogers, 11.David Steele.

Subs: 12. Marcus Gross, 14. Paul Chenowith, 15.Nicky Howe, 16. Fidel Richards

Dagenham & Redbridge: 1. Tony Roberts, 2. Tim Cole, 3. Ashley Vickers, 4. Lee Goodwin, 5. Steve West, 6. Danny Hill, 7. Steve McGavin, 8. Paul Terry, 9. Danny Shipp, 10. Junior McDougald, 11. Paul Bruce.

Subs: 12. Danny Hazeldene, 14. Steve Vaughan, 15. Ollie Berquez, GK. Paul Gothard.

This report ©2002 John Reidy

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