Match report

Tiverton Town 0 - 2 Aldershot

   Saturday 03/08/2002   Friendly
John Reidy

I´ve never really understood the reasoning behind calling the 24 hour period in which something pleasantly momentous happens‚ ´A Red Letter Day´. To me that term has a totally different meaning; one which conjures up completely different emotions. I´ve had a couple this last week. Monday it was sparked by BT. They sent me a red letter reminding me that I hadn´t paid my phone bill. Thursday it was the turn of another company‚ another red letter..... Being a tolerant kind of guy I´m prepared to put aside my doubts about the term‚ as I put aside the two letters‚ and accept that it is a term of common usage so I´ll be common and use it. Saturday 17 November 1990 was a ´Red Letter Day´ for Tiverton Town. Having hauled themselves away from the spectre of extinction five years previously they had built and prospered‚ gained promotion from the Western League First Division and had now reached the First Round Proper of the FA Cup for the first time in their history. And the draw had been kind‚ pairing them with a Football League club and the chance for a ´giantkilling´‚ not to mention a good pay-day. Aldershot were the opponents‚ hence the hopes of a ´David slaying Goliath´ act‚ for the hosts were struggling in the Fourth Division. As it turned out ´The Shots´ were struggling more off the field than on and were soon doomed to fold. On the field they were still too strong for Tivvy and ran out comfortable winners with the day being further tarnished for the Devon men and their fans by the quality‚ or lack‚ of the hospitality offered in Hampshire‚ no doubt influenced by the League club´s financial plight. Times change and circumstances with them. Twelve years on and the clubs face each other again‚ albeit in a non-competitive match. From the ashes of the original Aldershot club Had risen‚ phoenix-like‚ a new club‚ Aldershot Town. Whilst Tiverton had built on their status at the time of that Cup Tie and reached The Dr Martens Premier Division‚ Town had regrouped and climbed to The Rymans League Premier. Both sides had been just off the pace in the previous season´s promotion stakes so we could expect a close game‚ a chance to compare the respective quality of the two leagues‚ and hope for a little revenge for that 2-6 beating over a decade ago! From the moment the action started there was little indication that any such hope would be realised. The Shots were straight into their stride and Tivvy were forced immediately onto the back foot. There was no probing or tentative exploring from the visitors‚ they went directly for the jugular or perhaps more accurately‚ the Tivvy goal. They tried to find their way through the middle‚ then down the left‚ then the right. The Yellows couldn´t get out of their own half and when they did in the fourth minute the ball was hooked forward again. Hooked forward out towards the left flank. Over Steve Winters head and into the path of Jason Chewings who had nipped past him. The Shots No3 made it unchallenged to the goal-line‚ swung in a perfect cross and Lee Charles was hovering on the far post to evade the desperate defensive lunges and crash the ball into the roof of the net from close range. It was not an auspicious start for the home side and did little to improve their confidence. For the next ten minutes all Town could manage were a couple of swirling free kicks from Jason Rees which proved little threat to the Aldershot back line. The visitors‚ meanwhile continued to look dangerous‚ particularly Charles who seemed able to do whatever he pleased and was involved in almost every move‚ and there were plenty‚ that they made. With quarter of an hour gone there were bets flying that he would add his second as he turned inside Nathan Rudge‚ leaving the big lad tangle footed‚ and made for goal. His shot‚ luckily for Tivvy‚ lacked power and Steve Collis was able to smother it with his legs and it was scrambled clear. In the 18th minute‚ with the Yellows beginning to look as if they were actually taking part‚ Kevin Nancekivell started what was Tivvy´s first incisive attack. Covering ground through the middle he worked the ball out to Antony Lynch towards the right. Lynchies low cross found Phil Everett but it was Phil´s turn to shoot weakly and Nikki Bull had only to scoop the ball up before starting another attack for the visitors. And that really was the story of the first half. Tiverton defending quite well but never looking invincible‚ whilst the midfield created little to threaten and when they did manage a break through that left Everett again in front of goal he appeared so surprised that he completely missed the ball. Steve Peters‚ until he was replaced after taking a knock‚ then Luke Vinnicombe and Nathan Rudge sat close on Aldershot´s much vaunted new signing Paul Moody who looked much the same as he had in his spells at Oxford. He´s big‚ puts himself around but lacks speed. Give him a foot and he´ll take a yard. When he´s got a yard he´s likely to score. He didn´t get a yard - with Charles playing the way he was it didn´t matter‚ The Shots deserved their interval lead. Half time saw the front pairing of Everett and Lynch replaced by Richard Pears and Jamie Mudge with Danny Haines replacing Paul Chenoweth at left wing back. As the new faces fought for their places there was an improvement in the forward movement from Town. Rob Cousins‚ who seems to be one of those players that quietly and reliably gets on with the job‚ sent Mudge bursting through the middle but Jamie´s shot under pressure failed to test former Torquay keeper Gareth Howells. A few minutes later Jamie was again involved as he battled free of the attention of three Aldershot defenders to lay the ball into the path of Pears who did force Howells into a full length save. With both sides providing a steady flow of substitutions the game became disjointed but it was still Aldershot that looked the more likely to score - Charles was still on the field and still showing the same skills and pace as he had in the opening minutes. And sure enough when the ball found the net he was involved. A swift break down the right‚ a neat 1-2, Charles carrying to the line, low cross driven solidly past Collis by former Grecian Paul Buckle with 19 minutes to go. Steve Ovens replaced Jason Rees and as is his way stumbled through a number of tackles but the Tivvy attack was all ´huff and puff´, and seldom looked like breaking their duck, where-as that man Charles was running to the last and not only running but threatening too. The threat didn´t materialise again, thank goodness, and there could be no complaints about the 0-2 final score. No revenge for that long past FA Cup defeat. At least on that day up in Hampshire Tivvy scored a brace. One can´t help wondering if John Durham and Clive Jones should be recalled, for on this performance it is difficult to see where the goals are going to come from in Tivvy´s challenge for a Conference place. Aldershot, however, look as if they may well justify the bookies assessment of their chances of stepping up.

Tiverton Town: 1. Steve Collis, 2. Steve Winter, 3. Paul Chenoweth, 4. Steve Peters, 5. Nathan Rudge, 6. Rob Cousins, 7. Kevin Nancekivell, 8. Jason Rees, 9. Phil Everett, 10. Scott Rogers, 11. Antony Lynch.

Subs: 12. Danny Haines, 14. Richard Pears, 15.Jamie Mudge, 16. Steve Ovens, 17. David Steele, 18. Luke Vinnicombe.

Aldershot Town: 1. Nikki Bull, 2. Richard Gell, 3. Jason Chewins, 4. Domonic Sterling, 5. JASON Cousins, 6. Anthony Charles, 7. Lee Holsgrove, 8. Lee Charles, 9. Paul Moody, 10. Paul Buckle, 11. Adam Parker.

Subs: 12. John Nutter, GK. Gareth Howells, 14. Martin Kuhl, 15. Jamie Taylor, 16. Nick Sowden, 17. A. N. Other.

This report ©2002 John Reidy

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