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Tiverton Town 1 - 2 Nuneaton

Wednesday 24/03/2010   Southern League Premier Division
Tivvy Archive

I confess I am faithless! After half and hour of Wednesday’s game against Nuneaton Town, née Borough, I wished I was somewhere else. The playoff chasing – maybe even title chasing Nuneaton were quite simply performing at a different level to Tiverton and had opened up a handy two-goal cushion. I slumped in my seat, considered tearing up my notepad and wondered silently just how many they would score. Thoughts of that horrid week when Truro and Bashley both hammered us at home returned, and all I had to comfort myself was the knowledge that I would be the first person ever to play a Metallica song on the Ladysmead PA system during the half time interval.

Yes, I am faithless, but thankfully it isn’t me that gives the half time pep talks and it isn’t me that spends ninety minutes running around on the pitch trying to drive the team onwards. Whatever Martyn Rogers put in the half time cuppa must have worked because following the change of ends the game turned on its head, Tiverton improved dramatically enough to pin back the high-flying Nunny for extended periods, and just a little bit more composure in front of goal could have seen an unlikely comeback completed.

As it was the comeback was halted at one goal, a scrambled effort that Mike Booth bundled over the line when Nuneaton failed to clear Colin Marshall’s corner from the right with twenty-five minutes remaining. The goal was the reward of a more defined approach from Tivvy in a second half that belonged well and truly to the Yellows, in stark contrast to the first period which saw Nuneaton win a corner after just ten seconds, score after fifteen minutes, and double their advantage just past the half hour mark.

The visitors’ James Armson, a highly rated and much scouted attacking midfielder was causing a nuisance playing between the lines, and although Booth was doing likewise in a defensive capacity for Tiverton it was most certainly the Nuneaton player that had the better of the early stages. It was Armson that made the first goal, his neat through ball being latched onto by Lee Moore, and Moore’s cross causing enough commotion at the far post that Tom Gardner had to poke it behind off the toe of Chris Dillion. Armson lofted in the corner, the nomadic Guy Hadland jumped and crashed a header into the net.

Armson continued to pull the strings and his shot in the 23rd minute was deflected behind by Adam Faux before the visitors moved into a warranted 2-0 lead. Again, you guessed, Armson came in with the assist, releasing Moore to coolly slot home as he was being forced wide. We were set for a cricket score at this stage, but Tiverton rallied and Joe Bushin was the first player in Yellow to get in a shot on goal. Darren Acton was sloppy with the gloves and couldn’t hold the ball but Bushin’s follow-up was deflected wide.

In the second half the game swung but Armson’s set piece delivery remained excellent and Nuneaton could have scored a couple more but for some poor headed finishing. Meanwhile the other end of the pitch was getting plenty of action and Acton had to back-pedal to ensure Elliott Frear’s lob went safely over his crossbar. Gareth Dean nodded an Armson corner over the top for the away side, Bushin drilled a shot straight at Hadland for the hosts, and the cricket score never materialised.

Booth’s goal gave Tivvy hope of sneaking a point but Town’s best chance to level amounted to nothing when Alex Faux lobbed Acton but without the necessary oomph to threaten the goal. Kyle Storer chipped in a free kick that Hadland should have done better with, Nathan Rudge and Adam Faux between them contrived to put the ball onto the roof of Acton’s net rather than in it, and despite some late pressure there was no way through. Tiverton and Nuneaton will do it all again next weekend.

As an afterthought, it was fascinating to see Nuneaton line up with a system identical to that which Tivvy used in their pomp. The wingbacks were advanced and positive (see Fallon, Leonard), the attacking midfielder acted almost as a support striker (see Nancekivell), and the sitting midfielders were comfortable on the ball and passed intelligently (see Daly, Conning). Who said wingbacks don’t work? Players win games, not formations!

Tiverton Town: Steve Book, Jake Wannell (Tom Kington 75), Alex Faux, Mike Booth, Nathan Rudge, Tom Gardner, Adam Faux, Colin Marshall, Joe Bushin, Richard Pears (Adam Mortimer 68), Elliott Frear
Goals: Booth 67
Booked: Alex Faux 90+3
Sent off: None

Nuneaton Town: Darren Acton, Rob Oddy, Simon Forsdick, Mark Noon, Gareth Dean, Stuart Pierpoint, James Armson, Kyle Storer, Chris Dillon (Danny Spencer 73), Lee Moore (Justin Marsden 83), Guy Hadland
Goals: Hadland 15, Moore 31
Booked: None
Sent off: None

Attendance: 236

This report ©2010 Tivvy Archive