Match report

Tiverton Town 0 - 2 Yeovil Town

   Monday 04/08/2003   Friendly
John Reidy

If anybody among the 721 fans at Ladysmead for the visit of Yeovil Town had any doubts about the Somerset sides credentials as members of the Football League then they were rapidly dispelled by the Glovers performance on the night. Yeovil impressed with their fitness‚ movement on and off the ball‚ and level of skill proving they will be a force to be reckoned with when their competitive season starts next week.

Tiverton manager Martyn Rogers was philosophical about his team´s 2-0 defeat at the hands of the League´s new boys. I said before the game that Yeovil were going to give us a stern test and that is just how it turned out. They are the best team we have played pre-season and I´m quite pleased at the way the lads dealt with it. We had a few opportunities ourselves and held them at bay for most of the game. They didn´t really penetrate our defence and it took a couple of excellent strikes to win them the game‚ both from long range. Rogers was quick to heap praise on the fitness level of the opposition‚ who have had a busier build up to their season than even his own squad. I think they will start the campaign as one of the fittest sides in the Football League‚ certainly in the Third Division and I´ve told their manager Gary Johnson so. Under those circumstances my lads did well to contain them. There were a number of positives to be gained from the match so I´m in no way down about the result.

Despite the heavy‚ humid conditions Yeovil were swiftly into their stride demonstrating their own version of the theory of perpetual motion. Local boy Adam Stansfield was the first to test Stuart Fraser in the Yellows goal‚ bringing a spectacular flying save from the keeper with a firm header from an Andy Lindegard cross as early as the 6th minute. As in last weeks Devon Bowl Final the Tiverton defence were forced to work hard to hold a buzzing forward line at bay and to clear their lines effectively. However a minute after Fraser´s save there was an escape for the visitors when James Mudge broke down the right and sent in a low cross that just eluded Richard Pears as it flew across the goalmouth. Yeovil gradually stamped their authority on the proceedings‚ looking more comfortable on the ball and livelier off it. But for all their teritorial advantage they could not create clear cut chances while Tiverton continued to threaten on the break. Pears headed over from a Steve Winter cross and Kevin Nancekivell just failed to connect with a Danny Haines cross after the Mudge had rounded two defenders following a Nancekivell pass but seen his ball into the centre hacked back out to the wing. The visitors mounted a sustained attack on Tiverton penalty area and after minutes of the ball moving to and fro across the 18 yard line Lindegard spotted a gap in the defence and cracked in a shot that flew into the net past Fraser´s left hand to give the Glovers a 31st minute lead. Nine minutes later and the dose was repeated by the same player. This time the shot came in from even greater range and looped over Fraser to drop into the net.

The half time break saw mass substitutions from the visitors and for a while play was more even but soon the pattern of the first period was re-established with Yeovil looking the more active of the teams. However‚ further substitutions disrupted the flow of both the game and the Somerset sides fluency. The introduction of Steve Ovens to the Tiverton attack brightened their breakaways without bringing any reward and it was not until the last five minutes that Yeovil looked seriously like adding to their tally. Kevin Gall chased a long ball into the left of the penalty area beating Fraser in a race to reach it. As Fraser retreated gall curled in a cross that was heading into the net before the timely intervention of Matt Aubrey´s head. It was the last incident of a demonstration of the difference between the level of football the two sides play at.

As Rogers said‚ We knew it was going to be a tough one and it was‚ but we held up well against them and they are a very good side. True words. Tiverton are unlikely to meet as good a side in the Dr Martens League.

Tiverton Town: S Fraser‚ S Winter (B Harris‚77)‚ D Haines (S Goff‚67)‚ J Rees (L Vinnicombe‚77)‚ M Aubrey‚ R Cousins‚ K Nancekivell‚ C Holloway (D Steele‚33)‚ R Pears (S Ovens‚65) ‚ J Mudge‚ P Chenoweth.

This report ©2003 John Reidy

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