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Tiverton Town 4 - 1 Kings Langley

Saturday 02/10/2021   Southern League Premier Division
Tivvy Archive

Tiverton backed up their late comeback victory at Merthyr the previous Tuesday with a further three points against struggling Kings Langley at Ladysmead. And although the final 4-1 scoreline suggests the win was comfortable, there were stages during the match where it was anything but, and the Yellows needed to dig in and show strong resolve in order to ensure the job was completed. Therein lies an indication on the rapid growth of the Tivvy side, for they have failed on four occasions already this season to claim victory having taken the lead, but this time were able to ride a period of pressure from the visitors, after Kings Langley had pulled a goal back from the penalty spot early in the second half, to then press on and give the result a look of assurance.

Selecting an unchanged starting line-up from the visit to South Wales will have helped, so Tiverton lined up with a three-pronged attack, Olaf Koszela to the left and Nelson Iseguan to the right of the formidable Matt Wright. Behind the forwards Aaron Dawson’s fine reading of the game, positional sense, and uncomplicated passing game allowed the necessary freedom for Louis Morison and Dan Hayfield to get up in support, and it was Dawson’s presence, along with the assured experience of Craig Woodman on the left side of defence that enabled Tivvy to play through the away side’s early pressing, retain possession consummately, and provide the licence for Koszela and Iseguan to exploit the flanks. When Hayfield latched onto Kyle Egan’s pass to lash the ball past Liam Studley and put Tivvy ahead the Kings had barely touched the ball such was the early dominance from the home side, and at that early stage the signs may have suggested a very big win was on the cards.

There was little meaningful threat to Jimmy Weeks’ goal, although the young keeper was forced to field a long-range effort Erin Amu which was made slightly trickier due to the wet track. But largely it was the Yellows in the ascendency, with Dawson shooting over, Koszela also missing the target, and Hayfield curling in a low shot which was destined for the bottom corner before Studley threw himself away to his left to deny the midfielder. All the while, Iseguan was seeing a lot of the ball on the right without quite being able to deliver into the centre effectively, and for that it is worthwhile crediting Kings Langley fullback Jack Wood who did enough to limit the danger. At the opposite corner of the pitch Woodman hobbled off ten minutes before half time, meaning a switch to the left for Egan, and although the change meant Tivvy were not quite as comfortable in possession in deeper areas, the adjustment had little detrimental effect, with the Yellows seeing the game through to the break with their lead securely intact.

If there were concerns that a strong first half showing, and an interval lead would not be rewarded (in a similar nature to the match at Gosport a week earlier), the home supporters need not have worried, as Town continued on the front foot as play resumed. Iseguan was desperately unlucky as his placed shot struck the foot of the post just a couple of minutes after the restart, but after the visitors had scrambled the loose ball behind, Tivvy cemented their dominance from the corner which followed. Hayfield played it short, received the return pass, and lofted a high ball into the area. Studley came out but was nowhere near reaching it, James Gurteen headed the ball upwards as much as outwards, and Austen Booth was in position to volley the ball into the net from ten yards. As simple a goal as it was, Studley’s hesitancy and Gurteen’s poor clearance was as much down to the presence of Wright, who had won everything in the air to that point in the afternoon: the Tivvy forward had got in the head of the away rearguard, and that surely played a part in the manner of Hayfield’s delivery as well as the crudeness of the attempted clearance.

It was from this stage that the away side played their best football of the afternoon, earning a penalty for a foul which Roddy Collins just about squeezed past Weeks into the corner of the net. And Kings Langley then set about playing out from defence, able to advance into enemy territory as Tivvy took a step back. However, as calm and composed as the initial moves were, they were not able to breach a more tightly-packed midfield, and desire alone was not going to be enough. Tiverton retained their shape, even after Dawson was forced off to be replaced by the energetic Alex Moyse, and it was indeed the Yellows who ultimately took the game by the throat. Koszela was twice denied by the raised flag of the linesman on the clubhouse side, and as the game entered the final throes it looked increasingly unlikely that the points would be taken away from Devon.

Theo Simpson’s introduction provided further impetus for Town, and the substitute’s first involvement was to keep alive a move by the touchline which led to a free kick for a trip on Morison. Hayfield delivered, Gary Warren stooped low and his header found the roof of the net off the despairing hand of Studley. That was the victory secured, and the final action of the game brought with it a fourth goal of the afternoon for Tivvy; Wright’s through ball sending Simpson away, Simpson’s shot clipping off the foot of his marker and finding its way past Studley. Tivvy moved into the top half of the table for the first time this season, won consecutive games for the first time this season, and looked a much better beast than they had at any point this season. The manner of the win will go a long way to providing confidence ahead of the next league fixture at Hendon, with the only downside of the afternoon being the fitness concerns relating to Woodman and Dawson. Tiverton have a big enough squad to cope, but losing such quality is certainly not ideal, and therefore the belief garnered from the last two games will prove crucial.


Tiverton Town: Jimmy Weeks, Kyle Egan, Craig Woodman (Joe Belsten 36), Aaron Dawson (Alex Moyse 63), Gary Warren, Austen Booth, Louis Morison, Dan Hayfield, Matt Wright, Olaf Koszela (Theo Simpson 70), Nelson Iseguan
Goals: Hayfield 6, Booth 49, Warren 73, Simpson 90
Booked: None
Sent off: None

Kings Langley: Liam Studley, Elijah Hearn, Jack Wood, Gary Connolly, James Gurteen, Will Hall, Roddy Collins, Alfie Williams, Arel Amu, Erin Amu, Louis-Michael Yamfam
Goal: Collins 56p
Booked: Alfie Williams
Sent off: None

Attendance: 252


This report ©2021 Tivvy Archive