Match report

Tiverton Town 3 - 1 Havant & Waterlooville

   Saturday 24/08/2002   Southern League Premier Division
John Reidy

In a week when exam results were published and showed yet another increase in the performance of the young of the nation I found myself being uncharacteristically cynical. While not wanting to belittle the achievement of all those youngsters that achieved excellent results‚ one can´t help but wonder at the standards that are necessary to receive a pass mark. And if those standards are too low‚ then what is the point. If just about everybody passes then it means you have no yardstick to judge ability by. And if every student ends up with a University degree then there will be one hell of a lot of overqualified unemployed in years to come. It is‚ I suspect‚ all down to the current fashion of producing ´league tables´. The place for such things is surely in the sporting arena to judge the performance of teams‚ not in the Civil Service to judge the performance of educational establishments. Not that the sporting arena is a place that lessons can´t be taught‚ and learnt. The opening two games of Tivvy´s season suggested that they had some studying to do. Like..... how to get the ball in the net. Havant & Waterlooville had been the only side to give them a double lesson last season and if the Hampshire side performed as well as they had in their two previous encounters with the Yellows‚ running Tivvy ragged on both occasions‚ then Town were in for a very difficult examination and would do well to gain a result anywhere near as good as those announced earlier in the week. The visitors arrived in time for a 3.30 kick off and after an impeccably observed minutes silence in consideration of the tragic fate of the two young football fans‚ Jessica & Holly‚ the match was underway.

And somewhat surprisingly after recent games it was the Yellows that were into their stride first and setting the first test. Jason Rees sent Scott Rogers flying down towards the left corner flag. Scott ran out of space and was forced to lay the ball back into the path of Steve Winter who whipped in a cross but Jamie Mudge was a little too far forward and up went the flag for offside. In the sixth minute Rees‚ having been heavily clattered from behind as he drove forward through the middle‚ sent in a free kick that tested the Hawks defence. Gareth Hall managed to make head contact but only sufficient to see the ball flick out for a corner. Taken short and returned‚ the second ball cross found Phil Everett´s head but Tivvy´s record striker got so far under the ball that it looped high over the target. It was all Tivvy‚ the visitors being reduced to speculative long balls forward that failed to cause any problems for Nathan Rudge or Steve Peters. With ten minutes gone another chance fell to Everett but his shot on the turn crashed immediately against the foot of a defender and away to safety. Steve Collis‚ a spectator so far thanks to the dominance of the men in front of him‚ finally had a feel of the ball as he easily fielded a low shot from Hall in the 13th minute but Aaron Kerr in the Havant goal was far busier‚ having to save from Jamie Mudge after the Yellows front man had sprinted through onto a searching ball from Paul Chenoweth. Town continued to pour forward with the wing backs making more forward progress in the first quarter of the match than they had in the entire previous two games‚ and the pressure was too much for Tim Hambley who felled Steve Winter and was rewarded with a Yellow card for his efforts. A 22nd minute powerful move through the centre set up ´Wints´ for a typical thunderbolt shot from 30 yards but it flew inches wide‚ the degree of curl just failing to tuck the ball inside the target area. It was looking rosy for the home side. Time for a lesson. The Hawks won their first corner. There was nothing special about the kick‚ just another far post corner. Havant had pushed all their big men forward so the six yard box was packed but Steve Collis was well up. He might have jumped well but he got nowhere near the ball‚ he might as well have been clasping for the moon. Was he blocked? Was he pushed? The referee saw nothing and the ball dropped at the back of the goal where Liam Daish was on hand to give it the final touch into the net. The visitors had been on the back foot for half an hour and here they were a goal in front. It turned the game on it´s head. Tiverton lost their composure‚ the visitors gained in confidence. Suddenly it was the Hawks who were pushing forward and doing it with style. They kept the ball on the green stuff and sprayed passes around like a Premiership side playing the village pub team. Everett was having to lie deeper as the pressure came onto the Town rearguard‚ leaving Mudge as the solo front man. Jamie really should have levelled things up in the 33rd minute. Bringing down a long through ball‚ he beautifully lobbed it over his attendant defender‚ nipped round the man and into the clear to advance one on one on Kerr. He connected with his shot powerfully enough but was off target and the keeper was not forced to make a save as the ball flew wide of his upright. As the half time break approached‚ with the home side weathering the storm and beginning to get back into the game again‚ Danny Haines made an electric run down the left‚ rounding two defenders‚ only to see his low cross evade both forwards and defenders as it flashed across the goal mouth. Town were still behind as the whistle bought the first half to an end. It was little consolation that they had been on top for most of the 45 minutes and had created so many openings. They hadn´t scored.

Steve Winter did not emerge with the players after the break. He had taken a knock midway through the first half and had struggled since. Antony Lynch was on. Everett‚ who else‚ dropping back into the wing back slot. For the first five minutes Havant looked the more positive‚ Neil Davis and Jamie Ford both sending long range shots wide. Then Lynch started to stamp his mark on the game. The first sign came after 52 minutes. Antony picked up a ball out of defence in the middle of the park‚ controlled it‚ swivelled and released Scott Rogers down the right. Scott cut in and shot across the face of the goal and wide of the far post. The visitors continued to dominate proceedings without really threatening‚ and then with an hour gone Lynch did it again. The ball out of the Tivvy defence fell to a Hawk. Antony challenged‚ won it‚ sent Rogers (again!) through the middle. Scott pushed it forward into the path of Mudge who crashed the ball against Kerr´s legs as the keeper spread himself desperately‚ and minutes later some nice interplay between Rees‚ Rogers and Mudge ended with the ball flying off Kerr´s arm with the Hawks custodian having no idea of where it came from‚ where it was going‚ or where it went. Town were on the ascendancy again‚ no they were more than that, they were rampant. Surely a goal had to come. It did. Seventy minutes. Jamie Mudge released down the right, where the Hawks looked to be most vulnerable, by Rees. Jamie´s cross was headed clear but fell to Phil, advancing from his wing back position. Phil turned inside and crashed in a shot that had the net bulging. All square. Havant & Waterlooville could hardly have felt hard done by as they restarted. Tivvy won the ball back quickly, and broke down the left. Danny Haines made the run and cut inside as he closed on the line. The yellow shirts pouring forward through the middle were ready for the laid back pass. It didn´t come. Danny saw the space at the near post and hit the ball through it into the net. Two strikes in a minute and the Yellows were deservedly in front. Havant & Waterlooville must have felt despondent as they restarted. Tivvy were on a high. They quickly won the ball back. It was fed out by Mudge to Lynchie who had drifted out to the right. It was a sort of long range one-two as Antony slipped the ball back into the path of Jamie who had continued his run through the middle just bursting clear of the last defender as the ball came across. Jamie had missed a couple of chances earlier but not this one. Under Kerr´s outstretched right hand and into the net. Three goals in two minutes.
Havant couldn´t have felt anything as they restarted. They must have been numb with shock from such a salvo. Harold Wilson might have thought a week was a long time in politics when he was Prime Minister back in the 60´s, Tivvy had just proved that two minutes was a long time in a football match. And it could have been four within another two minutes. Mudge fed Lynch. Lynch was robbed but the ball fell back to Jamie who´s cross was just missed by the head of Haines diving in at the far post. The Hawks regained their composure and tried to make a fight of it but didn´t look like adding to their tally. Kevin Nancekivell, on as a late substitute fired wide under pressure in the dying minutes but the score remained unchanged and that two minute burst had brought three deserved points to Ladysmead. From the moment Antony Lynch had joined the battle, Tivvy had looked increasingly more dangerous. His ability to keep the attacking moves underway by spreading the ball out wide was what turned forward movement into goals, an unusual role for a man who´s main role has always been billed as ´goalscorer´. Now all that´s needed is more of the same, from all the squad, at Weymouth.

Tiverton Town: 1. Steve Collis, 2. Steve Winter, 3. Danny Haines, 4. Steve Peters, 5. Nathan Rudge, 6. Rob Cousins, 7. Paul Chenoweth, 8. Jason Rees, 9. Phil Everett , 10. Scott Rogers, 11. Jamie Mudge.
Subs: 12. Antony Lynch (Winter,46), 14. Richard Pears (Mudge,80), 15. David Steele, 16. Luke Vinnicombe, 17. Kevin Nancekivell (Chenoweth,80).
Cards: Rudge(Yellow,34).

Havant & Waterlooville: 1. Aaron Kerr, 2. Jamie Ford, 3. Chris Ferrett, 4. Shaun Gale, 5. Gareth Hall, 6. Liam Daish, 7. Neil Davis, 8. Timmy Hambley, 9. Bobby Howe, 10. James Taylor, 11. Warren Haughton.
Subs: 12. Paul Wood (Ford,74), 14. Jamie O´Rourke (Haughton,46), 15. Niel Champion (Taylor,74), 16. Alec Masson, 17. Dean Blake.
Cards: Hambley (Yellow,19), Taylor (Yellow,39).

Referee: Paul Brown (Taunton).

This report ©2002 John Reidy






Please note: The � or ? character in some older reports denotes where an error has occured in translation when the reports were transfered between databases