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Tiverton Town 2 - 2 Cirencester Town

Saturday 26/02/2011   Southern League Premier Division
Tivvy Archive

Tiverton’s bid to stay in the Premier Division took a setback on a blustery afternoon when they appeared to have Cirencester on the ropes, only to fail to fully capitalise on their first-half advantage, and the Centurions struck back in the second half, being well worth their share of the points in the end. Despite Joe Bushin’s added-time equaliser for Tivvy it still felt like two points dropped rather than a point gained, and Oxford City’s victory at Chippenham has seen a gap forming above the bottom four in the standings.

Although possession was even in the first half it was Tiverton that looked the more likely to cause damage, and inside the first couple of minutes Bushin was set in the clear by Ian Sampson but sliced a left-footed shot into the side netting. It wasn’t long before Michael Nardiello also had a sight of goal from a similar position but again the Yellows failed to capitalise. Nardiello latched onto a through-ball from David Steele and rounded veteran ’keeper Alan Foster but the final shot was not purposeful and allowed Richard Mansell to clear off the line.

At the other end Ryan Draper made one smart stop low down to his left but in general there was little penetration from the Cirencester midfield and it was Tivvy who eventually took the lead after twenty minutes. One more the Yellows exploited the inside left channel and this time Nardiello was upended by Ciren captain Lyndon Tomkins, earning a penalty kick. Kevin Hill wanted it but Nardiello came out on top in the discussions and delivered with a calm spot kick as Foster dived out of the way.

Ten minutes before the break, with Tivvy still well in command Bushin should have doubled the advantage. Liam Ellis crossed towards the edge of the goal area at the second attempt and Bushin met the ball unchallenged but planted his header a coulee of yards wide of the upright when just about everyone in the ground would have bet their life savings on him to ripple the back of the net.

Tivvy could have been four up at the interval but led by just the one, and the inability of the Yellows to show the required ruthlessness in front of goal would come back to kick them in the teeth as the second period unfolded. Despite the wind dropping significantly enough to not prove a defining factor it was Cirencester who raised the tempo and showed more willing after the break. And the improvement by the visitors paid dividends just five minutes after the restart when they drew level. James Mortimer-Jones drove forward as a Tivvy attack broke down (and Nardiello remained floored) and with the Yellows defence stretched fed Rob Hoskin whose low shot from the edge of the area squirmed beneath Draper.

Jamie Reid was denied by Draper as the Centurions piled on the pressure, Jody Bevan then fluffing the rebound, and on a rare more forward from the hosts Bushin once again missed the target following some fine link-up play between Ellis and Hill.

With the game still nicely poised Cirencester were dealt a blow when Reid was shown a straight red card. Initially Alex Faux had been adjudged to have fouled and Cirencester were awarded a free kick. But as Alex and Reid tussled the linesman saw a stamp that the referee had clearly missed, Reid was summoned and then sent off and Tiverton came away with the advantage of an extra player and, strangely, the free kick.

Not that it made a great deal of difference initially, and four minutes later Cirencester took the lead with a goal of simplicity. Ashley Edenborough jinked into space near the by-line, advanced on goal and slotted a low cross into the path of Bevan to finish from close range. Edenborough had done well to create the chance with some tricky footwork but Tivvy were punished for failing to then close him down or pick up the grey-haired Bevan, and Ciren’s lead was deserved on their positivity throughout the second half.

There was still seven minutes remaining, plenty of time to find an equaliser, and immediately after Bevan’s strike Tivvy introduced Adam Mortimer in place of Ellis, and then Ryan Turner came on for Sampson as all-out attack became the only option. The reshuffling needed to accommodate four forwards proved crucial in the end – Turner playing wide on the right meant Ryan Leonard was switched to the left, and it was the Plymouth loanee who finally came up trumps in the third minute of added time. With the Yellows piling forward Leonard had taken up a cautious position and was rewarded when he gained possession with plenty of numbers ahead of him. Cirencester’s defence failed to put any pressure on the ball and Leonard (who had just moments earlier put a corner straight out for a goal kick) clipped a cross towards the far post. Foster came out a pace or two but then realised he wouldn’t reach the ball, Bushin stole in and headed back across the goalkeeper, this time hitting the target.

Tivvy had escaped with a draw thanks to a goal just 30 seconds from the end, in a game they should have wrapped up by half time but then contrived to almost throw away with a flat second half performance. Cirencester will be devastated by the manner in which they too failed to make their spell of dominance count, and of course by Bushin’s last gasp strike, and they remain nine points clear of the drop zone, probably the highest team that are still looking behind rather than ahead. Tivvy remain 20th and just a single point from safety but with games running out and three away trips on the spin ahead.


Tiverton Town: Ryan Draper, Alex Faux, Ryan Leonard, David Steele, Tom Gardner, Adam Faux (Jak Martin 46), Liam Ellis (Adam Mortimer 84), Kevin Hill, Joe Bushin, Michael Nardiello, Ian Sampson (Ryan Turner 90)
Goals: Nardiello 21p, Bushin 90+3
Booked: Sampson 36
Sent off: None

Cirencester Town: Alan Foster, Zak Westlake, Richard Mansell, Matt Sysmun, Justyn McKay (Tom Etheridge 76), Lyndon Tomkins, Jamie Reid, James Mortimer-Jones, Jody Bevan (Mark Draycott 85), Ashley Edenborough, Rob Hoskin
Goals: Hoskin 51, Bevan 83
Booked: Mansell 31, Reid 44
Sent off: Reid 79

Attendance: 231


This report ©2011 Tivvy Archive