Match report

Tiverton Town 3 - 1 Ilkeston Town

   Saturday 31/08/2002   Southern League Premier Division
John Reidy

The idea that our path through life is either pre-ordained or influenced by physical powers beyond our control does not ring true with me. Religious or supernatural beliefs apart‚ I´d rather think that the human race is in control of its own destiny‚ or if not in control then at least responsible for it. I´m as guilty of the next man of shrugging my shoulders and muttering ´C´est la vie´‚ ´Que sera sera´ or ´That´s Life´‚ but if I´m honest enough to make that confession‚ I´m also honest enough to admit that I usually do it to salve a conscience that is berating me for not making the effort to carry out some action that would have changed ´fate´. And the notion that our destiny‚ our future‚ can be foretold by gazing at the lees in the bottom of out teacups (´Fortune Tellers Made Redundant By Growth Of Teabags´ screams the headline in the PG Tips Gazette)‚ the random turning over of a pack of cards‚ or the position of the stars and planets is something I find totally ludicrous. On the few occasions I pick up a ´general interest´ magazine or a newspaper‚ the moment I see ´Your Stars´ or ´This Weeks Horoscope´ I feel myself giving a mental roll of the eyes and ´Oh‚ God‚ here we go again´ sigh of disdain. I do‚ however know what sign I was born under. My mother told me. It was a ´Nil by Mouth´ sign above her bed in the East End Hospital where I took my first cynical breath. No‚ I´m a firm believer that we make our own ´luck´ and are the major contributors to our own glories‚ as we are also mainly responsible for our own failures and downfalls. Ilkeston Town manager John McGinlay went on record‚ after his side´s recent third consecutive defeat‚ as saying that all his team needed in order to bounce back from their abysmal start to the season was a little luck. I looked forward to his side´s visit to Ladysmead almost hoping that his wish would be granted. The encounter between ´a little luck´ and ´good‚ skilful football‚ with swift attack and solid defence´‚ would be intriguing.

Ikeston were delayed on the M5 and so for the second Saturday in succession we had a kick off delayed until 3.35 p.m. The wait‚ in Tiverton´s case‚ and the rush in that of the Robin´s‚ didn´t appear to have unsettled either team as both slipped quickly into gear. The first exchanges saw the Yellows taking the initiative building from the back‚ working through midfield and looking sharp in attack. Before sixty seconds had passed Danny Haines was put through and cut in from the left but failed to test the keeper with a low shot that lacked power. A minute later and a move started by Rob Cousins and continued by Haines‚ saw Jamie Mudge send a shot wide. Ilkeston‚ though‚ were by no means being over-run and with strikers Leon Kelly and former Stafford Rangers hit-man Paul Kiely always looking dangerous on the break the Tiverton defence were not without their share of the work. And it was the Robins that first came seriously close to a goal‚ Kiely swivelling and cracking in a shot that pinged of the top of the crossbar with Steve Collis beaten. Twice Ilkeston defenders were pressured into skying the ball away for corners as the Yellows pushed forward but it was the visitors that capitalised on one of their less numerous chances to take the lead. A swift break down the right flank in the tenth minute saw a long cross floated in from way out near the touch line. David Holmes met it cleanly with his head just outside the six yard box and the ball flew past Collis and into the net to give the visitors the lead. There was no sign of the Yellows dropping their heads at the setback‚ no sign of blame being laid‚ no sign of recriminations being voiced. Tivvy got on with the job and continued to push forward. Still most of the attacking was coming from Tivvy but they had to remain vigilant at the back as the Robins were prepared to pounce on any chance that came their way. Mark Smith saved brilliantly from Steve Winter in the 22nd minute throwing himself backwards to palm Steve´s rocket of a shot over for a corner. As the cross from the kick swung in from the right Scott Rogers was forward and up to plant it firmly into the net for the equaliser. A rare headed goal for Scott. Collis had to save bravely at the feet of Kelly within a minute of the restart but with any unease caused from being behind dissipated‚ the Yellows took control. The defence seemed to have got the measure of the Ilkeston twin spearhead of Kelly and Kiely; the wing backs were getting forward and wide‚ particularly Danny Haines who was giving Anton Foster a torrid time out on the left; and the midfield of Paul Chenoweth‚ Jason Rees and Rogers were spreading the ball wide or through the middle almost at will. Haines‚ Phil Everett‚ Jamie Mudge and then Haines again all went close or were denied by some brave goalkeeping from Smith. And when Smith was beaten there was the woodwork to help out‚ Steve Peters´ header flying back of an upright five minutes before the interval. Perhaps ´Lady Luck´ was smiling for the Robins; without her they would have been behind at half time rather than sharing a goal a-piece.

Both teams went in search of the lead at the start of the second 45 minutes. And as at the start of the first half it was the visitors that provided the earliest threat. Three minutes in and two corners were forced in quick succession by the Robins. The second led to a goal. Steve Winter hoofed a long clearance right down the middle of the field. Jamie Mudge scampered after it‚ Simon Coleman in close attendance. There was no help up for Jamie and before he could really get hold of the ball it was hacked off his toe for a throw in deep in the Ilkeston half. Throw taken‚ back to Haines who swung in a high looping cross. Just three men were in the penalty area. Smith‚ a red shirted defender and a yellow shirted Everett. All three jumped‚ Phil the meat in a 'Derbyshire' sandwich. And somehow Phil it was that made contact with the ball which flew off the back of his head and into the net. The other two jumpers also made contact - but with each other‚ and ended up in a heap on the floor at Everett's feet as he peeled away in celebration of the goal that put Tivvy into a 49th minute lead. Last season it became the expected thing‚ almost, for the Yellows to score in pairs. Perhaps Danny Haines had heard about this, for no sooner had the game restarted than he put his name on the scoresheet. Winter forward down the right flank, long cross, Danny sprinting into the penalty area to head, unchallenged, past Smith. It was a replica of Ilkeston's goal, gave Tiverton a two goal cushion and sparked a breath holding feeling of 'de ja vu' for some of the spectators. Havant & Waterlooville revisited? Two goals in two minutes....Everett!...Haines!... was Jamie Mudge going to score direct from the re start? No, that kind of thing just doesn't happen. Not that Jamie didn't try. He made such a handful of himself that in the 55th minute two Ilkeston men picked up yellow cards for clattering him to the ground - twice. Jamie might have had bruises on his bruises but he kept his cool this time...... Ilkeston had nothing to loose and began to pour forward. Foster blasted over the top from wide on the right and Holmes struck a free kick firmly into the defensive wall after Peters had committed a 'sin' just outside the penalty area. Ilkeston introduced their first two substitutes, Tiverton replied with one - David Steele for Rees who had again played a good captain's role. Il'son were fighting to get themselves back in contention, a looping shot from Holmes flew inches wide, Collis spilled an effort from Wright and recovered just in time to scoop the ball of the foot of Nwdike. Tivvy were on the defensive. They created little in the way of attacks in the last 15 minutes as the Robins tried desperately to find a way through. They weren't going to find it though and Tivvy might have been on the defensive but they were always in control of their final third of the pitch and the introduction of Steve Ovens had brought in a boost in the pace rate up front to keep the Robins back men on their toes. Three goals to one it remained. There could be no complaints from the visitor's manager about Lady Luck's role in the game. She'd hardly given either side a passing glance all afternoon.

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. Kevin Nancekivell (Chenoweth,89), 14. Steve Ovens (Winter,76), 15. Richard Pears 16. David Steele (Rees,68), 17. Luke Vinnicombe.
Cards: Chenoweth (Yellow,78), Rudge (Yellow,88).

Ilkeston Town: 1. Mark Smith, 2. Ian Robinson, 3. Gavin Stone, 4. Anton Foster, 5. Barry Woolley, 6. Simon Coleman, 7. David Holmes, 8. Steve Coates, 9. Leon Kelly, 10. Paul Kiely, 11. Emeka Nwdike.
Subs: 12. Carl Wright (Foster,65), 14. James Whitehead (Kiely,65), 15. Scott Dundas, 16. Joe Atkinson (Stone,82), 17. John McGinlay.
Cards: Stone(Yellow,55), Woolley (Yellow,56).

Referee: Alan Smith (Bridgwater).

This report ©2002 John Reidy






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