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Tiverton Town 1 - 2 Walton Casuals

Saturday 28/08/2021   Southern League Premier Division
Dan Ellis

Tiverton came into the match with a draw, a loss and a win, while opponents Walton Casuals sat just one place above the Yellows in the league and provided the opposition for the second time in two home league games, having also been the side that played at Ladysmead prior to the 2020/21 season being curtailed after just seven matches last October.

Both teams were searching for their second win of the season, but this performance would turn out to be far from level of the 5-0 victory of our last meeting on home soil. An early ball from Joe Belsten gave the home fans hope setting Theo Simpson free, but the ball was just too strong and was calmly collected by Rhys Forster in what would be the Walton goalkeeper’s only meaningful action of the first half.

The Yellows looked unsettled by Waltons strength and pace, Lewis Williams failing to clear an early back pass, and the visitors almost capitalised only for the shot to go high over. Moments later a long throw in from James O’Halloran led to a scramble in the box and somehow eventually crept passed Williams far post.

The visitors always looked more likely to score and on 19 minutes Mitchal Gough rose highest to meet a Walton corner from the left and powerfully guided the ball past Williams.

Tiverton looked lost and unable to gather any real momentum, struggling with the visitors’ pace down the two wings and with no real sign of an equaliser, and when Olaf Kaszola found space to shoot just on halftime, the ball flew high and over, pretty much summing up the opening 45 minutes for the hosts.

The Stags got the second half underway and immediately Tiverton looked brighter. Dan Hayfield found Koszela in the box with a great cross which was cleverly flicked goalwards straight at Forster. But any hopes of an equaliser were dashed moments later, a poorly headed clearance by Alfie Pond was quickly pounced upon by Adam Liddle who calmly fired home the visitors second.

With the outlook bleak, manager Scott Rogers made three changes, bringing on fresh legs in the form of Matt Wright, Louis Morison and Craig Woodman to introduce new ideas and to try and break down a well organised team. It’s fair to say it worked, almost instantly with Tivvy creating options and a looking more of a threat. Koszela’s cross picked out Wright at the back post who headed straight at Forster.

Finally, the breakthrough came with fifteen minutes still to play. A corner was followed by a goalmouth scramble with the ball eventually falling to Koszela a yard or two out to bundle home and give the home fans hope of a point. A few half-chances came and went for Tiverton to equalise, but no one was able to get a final and important touch.

A moment of madness would end Woodman’s afternoon, and hopes of a Town comeback, the defender initially being shown a yellow for a tackle to then be shown a further yellow seconds later for dissent and given his marching orders.  So an afternoon the Yellows will want to quickly forget as they travel to Weston-super-Mare on Monday looking to kickstart the season.


Tiverton Town: Lewis Williams, Joe Belsten, Neil Martin, Aaron Dawson, Alfie Pond (Craig Woodman 55), Austen Booth, Jordan Lam (Louis MOrison 55), Dan Hayfield, Theo Simpson (Matt Wright 55), Olaf Koszela, Chris Shephard
Goal: Koszela 75
Booked: Dawson, Hayfield, Shephard, Morison, Woodman
Sent Off: Woodman 87

Walton Casuals: Rhys Foster, Josh QAndrew, James O'Halloran, Mitchal Gough, Tarik Moore-Azille, Brad Keech, Dan Rowe (idan Akers 65), Abdul Osman (Tayshan Hayden-Smith HT), Adam Liddle (Gabriel Odunaike 72), David Fitzpatrick, Rohdell Gordon
Goals: Gough 19, Liddle 52
Booked: Odunaike
Sent off: None

Attendance: 256


This report ©2021 Dan Ellis