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Tiverton Town 1 - 0 Stourbridge

Saturday 26/03/2011   Southern League Premier Division
Tivvy Archive

There have been matches this season when Tiverton have been left to rue missed opportunities; good chances we not converted and points were dropped as the Yellows slipped down to the foot of the league table, and for all the grumbles about not having the rub of the green, those that got away had nothing to do with luck and were fully representative of the club’s current position and predicament. It was therefore refreshing to be on the other end for a change, and although Stourbridge had countless shots from around the edge of the area, plus one or two excellent chances from closer in, it was to be Tivvy’s day as the hosts converted one crucial chance from the smaller handful they created.

Tiverton lived on the edge early in the game and an early corner for the visitors gave the Glassboys one of their two clear-cut chances of the game, but Paul McCone could only head a foot high and a foot wide as he rose unchallenged at the near post. Perhaps indicative of the way Tiverton were resolute and closed down the opposition was the fact that McCone’s header and a later chance in the second half from substitute Craig Slater – Stourbridge’s two really good opportunities – both came from corners; the visitors never broke through behind the Town defence, made up for the afternoon by Tom Gardner, Adam Faux and Kevin Hill, the latter sweeping and commanding. The system, therefore, was unchanged, although the personnel lined up in a different order, Hill swapping around in a shuffle with Ian Sampson and Liam Ellis.

Sampson was used as an attacking midfielder for the day and brought out a decent save from Stourbridge goalkeeper Lewis Solly after quarter of an hour, latching onto a Joe Bushin flick-on and attempting a lob which Solly read well and palmed over the crossbar. Solly then saved and held on to a dipping Ryan Leonard free kick, while Stourbridge had by now begun their wayward shooting from distance as both Ryan Rowe and Josh Craddock missed the target and threatened the cars on Kennedy Way more than Ryan Draper’s gloves.

Ten minutes before the break Rowe was desperately unlucky (or not quite accurate enough, if you prefer) when he saw his snapshot crash off the underside of the crossbar with Draper well and truly rooted to the spot. On the one hand it was a fine attempt that had everyone in the ground, players included, watching and waiting for the seemingly inevitable ripple of net; on the other hand it was a shot off target and you don’t score goals with shots off target. And so Tivvy lived to fight on with the game still level, and no sooner had they settled that the crucial breakthrough was found. Sampson, not for the first time, was chopped down in the centre of the park, giving Town a free kick opportunity. Leonard flighted the ball perfectly, Hill nodded it on, a matter of inches over Solly’s fingertips, and Jules Emati-Emati was on hand to bundle the ball over the line from close range.

On the stroke of half time Draper made a diving save to deny Sam Rock following a very smart one-two combination, but again the shot came in from twenty yards or more which was further credit to how stubborn Tivvy were as a defensive unit. Hill and Gardner picked up a yellow card each to add to the one McCone had earned for his foul a Sampson, and that was the end of the first half.

The Yellows needed to be equally as mean at the back in the second half as Stourbridge looked for an equaliser that would prove elusive, and Gardner could have worked his name onto the scoresheet at both ends. First up he had a header from Leonard’s corner tipped over by Solly, and later in the half another header from a long throw-in tipped over acrobatically by Draper.

All the while Stourbridge were busy missing the target from long range – fourteen attempts off target in the afternoon, only the one early header and the intervention of the woodwork particularly close. Ten minutes from the end Draper had to save with his feet when Slater headed Aaron Drake’s corner down and on target; otherwise there was plenty of pressure but little real threat from the visitors.

Tivvy didn’t create much at all in the second half with Ellis’s audacious long-range effort, well wide, the only really test other than Gardner’s header, but they were stoic and stingy with space in the final third and saw out a nervy finale as Stourbridge earned a series of corners.

Tiverton Town: Ryan Draper, Alex Faux (Mark Saunders 88), Ian Sampson, David Steele, Adam Faux, Tom Gardner, Liam Ellis, Kevin Hill, Jules Emati-Emati (Adam Mortimer 68), Joe Bushin, Ryan Leonard
Goal: Emati-Emati 36
Booked: Gardner 39, Hill 45
Sent off: None

Stourbridge: Lewis Solly, Linden Dovey (Drew Canavan 66), Josh Craddock, Paul McCone, Sam Smith, Paul Lloyd, Sam Rock, Leon Broadhurst, Ryan Rowe, James Dyson (Craig Slater 61), Aaron Drake (Craig Tibbitts 83)
Booked: McCone 30, Slater 67
Sent off: None

Attendance: 190

This report ©2011 Tivvy Archive