Match report

Tiverton Town 4 - 2 Weymouth

   Saturday 12/10/2002   FA Cup
John Reidy

George Orwell‚ were he still alive‚ could have a lot to answer for. It depends on whether you believe that his novel‚ ´1984´‚ merely reflected the way he thought things were likely to go or whether his ideas fuelled the mind games that infect almost every channel of modern life. True‚ no State has yet set up a Ministry devoted to rewriting history‚ though Nazi Germany‚ Soviet Russia of the Cold War era and Mao´s China certainly went a long way along the road. And even in the USA the film industry has manipulated history to suggest that the American Marines won W W 2 single handed‚ even to the extent of rescuing the British Army from the beaches of Dunkirk! But more worrying is the way that even the football world has become embroiled in the psychological manipulation. Taunton Town lose 5-1 at home and‚ though I don´t suggest they did it on purpose‚ their fans immediately use the sad fact to what advantage they can by publicly stating that they have no chance against Tivvy in the Cup. It was an obvious attempt to build overconfidence in the Yellows camp‚ and very nearly succeeded. Two weeks later and Tiverton´s next opponents are playing down their expectations by highlighting their injury crisis‚ possibly with the same object in mind. Six first team regulars out or doubtful cries their manager. Two were certainly sidelined‚ the others extremely doubtful. Oh woe! Oh disaster! What a ´kick in the teeth´ by Lady Luck! But wait! Here come the US Marines on a rescue mission and miraculously all four recover overnight and are fit to take their place as the Terras line up at Ladysmead. Spin is the term in current use. Selective use of facts coupled with omission of detail.

Within two minutes of the start of the contest‚ one had to wonder if they had needed to try and create a false sense of security in the Town camp. Certainly if they had‚ they immediately took the action designed to destroy it. Kevin Nancekivell kicked off‚ touched the ball sideways to Scott Rogers who turned it back for Jason Rees to play the long ball upfield for his forwards to chase. It was the last touch a Tivvy man was to have before Steve Collis was picking the ball out of the net. The Weymouth collected the ball and moved up into the Tiverton half‚ feeding it through to Lee Phillips who attacked the penalty area. Steve Peters had not got himself into gear and clumsily stopped the Terras threat‚ giving away the first free kick of the afternoon with just 55 seconds gone. Phillip´s made an early bid for his ´Oscar´ but recovered and as the clocked ticked into the second minute Weymouth prepared to take the kick from just outside the box. Tiverton built a wall but just like Hadrian they ran out of materials and had to leave gaps at the ends and just like the rampaging Picts. Weymouth were not held back. Ryan Ashford stepped up‚ curled his shot round the obstruction‚ past Steve Collis and into the net to put his side in front. In the psychological battle that early goal was worth more than all the words about injury problems. But the uncertainties were only apparent off the field. The players remained buoyant and set about the visitors as if the goal hadn´t happened. Rees sent Rogers away wide on the right in the 9th minute. Scott forced his way past two defenders and fired in a cross for Steve Ovens to snap a shot but the effort was deflected off course. Three minutes later it was Steve´s turn to make the run but he skied his cross. Just past the quarter of an hour mark and Steve´s persistence won a corner. Rees short to Winter. Winter excorcet. Inches wide. Weymouth began to get the measure of the Tiverton attack and though Town continued to have most of the play they were threatening to score less frequently‚ indeed it was the Terras that came closest when a poor clearance by Rob Cousins (well‚ we had to see one sooner or later) let in Phillips but the Weymouth strikers shot was weak‚ though that very fact almost helped as Collis was decieved and the ball almost crept past him. Tivvy upped the pace once more as the half hour mark approached and maintained a steady string of crosses into the Weymouth box that kept the defenders busy as they headed and bundled them away but only once was Jason Matthews really tested when he had to be quickly down to grap a header as it inched its way inside the base of an upright. Come the 33rd minute and it was Kevin Nancekivell‚ who was playing that far forward that he looked more like a third striker than an attacking midfielder‚ that won a corner as he was forced away from the goal near the edge of the 18 yard box. With the practice the Terras had had in clearing high crosses it was probably a good decision by Rees to take it short. The ball was fed back to him and he lashed in a low curling cross that flew across the crowded goalmouth and was bundled over the line by Peters just before it made it off its own free will. Tivvy´s possession and attacking play had borne fruit before the frustration had set in. Weymouth fought back. Without great reward. The most that could be said for their efforts was that it made it a more balanced contest for about ten minutes. Both sides had a couple of half chances but nothing to write home (or even on a web site) about. Until‚ that is‚ the 42nd minute. Steve Ovens went a wandering‚ as is his wont‚ and this time down the left. This time his cross into the middle remained in the Ladysmead stratosphere and was met by Steve Winter wide of the back post. The wing backs header back into the middle might have been heading towards the net. It was certainly heading that way after Steve Tully failed to nod it clear. Not only heading that way but nestling sweetly in the net leaving Matthews flat footed and cursing his defenders. Tiverton had the lead‚ Weymouth had another name to add to their injury list as Michael Sajic was replaced for the three minutes until the interval by Mark Whiteman.

Steve Winter failed to take the field for the second half‚ being replaced by Richard Pears and resulting in the familiar reshuffle. The Terras showed first‚ or at least Phillips did‚ sprinting onto a through ball over the top of David Steele to fire in a shot that beat Collis and his left hand upright. Pears got into the game winning a 49th minute corner‚ Nance was caught offside by a Phil Everett through ball in the 50th‚ and Ian Hutchinson made an impression in the 52nd. Not on the game but on Danny Haines as the Tivvy man shot down the left flank. Hutch got a yellow card‚ Tivvy got a free kick half way inside the visitors half. It was wasted‚ but the clearance was poor and found its way back out from whence it had come where lurked Pears. Richard hoisted in a second cross. Peters‚ up for the original kick‚ had remained hovering round the far post. The ball fell perfectly for him to nod it home to consolidate the Yellows lead at 3-1. Tivvy were really fired up. Weymouth´s heads were drooping below waist level. Even Rees had a shot. Over the top it flew but so did a Rogers thunderbolt after 57 minutes. Weymouth introduced more new blood and it improved their circulation‚ jacked their heads back up onto their shoulders and gave them heart to fight a little. As in the first half they worked their way back into the game and this time were rewarded. Tivvy defender Everett was forced to hack away a corner on the Weymouth left. Mark Robinson lobbed the ball back towards the penalty area‚ found Whiteman who fired past Collis from an acute angle. The visiting players and their supporters were delighted. Not for long‚ though. Straight down the other end went Tivvy. Left wing cross from Pears and Nancekivell there to bundle the ball home under pressure. The celebrations changed end quicker than the teams do after the pre match toss. Weymouth tried again and did create a couple of real chances. Collis had to throw himself full length to palm away a Whiteman shot which was followed up by the much vaunted but largely unimpressive Julian Charles. Charles´ effort was deflected on the line by Cousins, not the first time he´s done that this season, and scrambled away to safety and a couple of minutes later Tully smashed in a rising shot that flew of the top of the crossbar. Then the Terras ran out of steam again. Town used their substitutions to disrupt the game as they cruised through the last ten minutes and into the 4th Qualifying Round.

Town will have to travel for their next tie. A chance to avenge a 0-5 hiding inflicted eleven years ago in their second appearance in the 1st round Proper. Perhaps the entire team should be given appointments at Radius Hair Company. What better way to sort out a dodgy ´barnet´?

Tiverton Town: 1. Steve Collis, 2. Steve Winter, 3. Danny Haines, 4. Steve Peters, 5. David Steele , 6. Rob Cousins, 7. Kevin Nancekivell, 8. Jason Rees, 9. Phil Everett, 10. Scott Rogers, 11. Steve Ovens.
Subs: 12. Richard Pears (Winter, 46), 14. Antony Lynch, 15. Jamie Mudge (Ovens,83), 16. Paul Chenoweth (Nancekivell,87), GK. Paul Edwards.
Cards: None.

Weymouth: 1. Jason Matthews, 2. Steve Tully, 3. Simon Browne, 4. G. Jones, 5. Mark Kenway, 6. Michael Sajic, 7. Mark Robinson, 8. Ian Hutchinson, 9. Ryan Ashford , 10. Julian Charles, 11. Lee Phillips.
Subs: 12. Mark Whiteman (Ashford,60), 14. Lance Spencer (Robinson,78), 15. Mark Rawlinson (Sajic ,42), 16. Carl Mutch, GK. Paul Gadsby.
Cards: Yellow: Tully (53)

Referee: S. Tanner (Keynsham).

This report ©2002 John Reidy






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