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Tiverton Town 1 - 2 Bath City

Saturday 04/03/2006   Southern League Premier Division
Chris Bell

Tivvy´s dwindling hopes of a play-off position all but disappeared as a result of this 1-2 home defeat by high flying local rivals Bath City. Neither team came to terms with a difficult pitch in what was a curious game lacking passion and incident for most of its duration. Mudge returned for Tiverton with Gould arriving in midfield for the suspended Holloway and Jones from Mangotsfield in goal for the suspended Ovendale.

Both teams started brightly enough with Bale and Mudge combining to present Pears with an early chance that forced a smart save from Evans. Bird then fouled Milsom with both players being booked from the resulting handbags‚ something that was to have more significant ramifications later in the game. Pears was proving to be a good target man and a move involving him‚ Mudge and Davies presented Bale with a decent chance that the Welshman mis- hit wide.

Then a defensive mistake presented Bath with their first goal. Croft missed a ball out wide‚ which Walsh took on and blasted past Jones from a narrow angle. Tivvy´s response was a spectacular overhead kick from Bale that Evans could only stand and watch as it eased past his far post. Bath continued to make progress down the right with Bird who beat Croft and cut in to shoot. Jones‚ who had an uncertain afternoon‚ spilled the shot but it was hacked clear.

The second half was 10 minutes old when Gould was substituted by Steele‚ who had been recruited for the day to boost a sparsely populated bench. There were however‚ few if any signs of a Tivvy revival and on 63 minutes they nearly went to two goals down when a Croft mistake let in Walsh again‚ clear on goal. MOM Winters raced back to save the day with an excellent tackle. Bath were clearly now in control although a Tivvy corner found Croft who´s downward header was just saved on the line by Evans.

With 15 minutes remaining Beddow replaced Pears but it was Bath who scored thanks to a mistake by Croft. On the edge of his area and without being under any great pressure he contrived to pass the ball to Partridge. The ball was quickly switched to Rollo who sent a looping shot over Jones.

Davidge then came on for Partridge and was soon put clear with Booth chasing. The tackle came in and Davidge went down with loud protestations from players and bench for a penalty. Mr Perlejewski was clearly built for comfort rather than speed and was some distance from an incident he waved on. Bath´s sense of injustice was then compounded when a good Mudge through ball put Beddow into the area. As he went to shoot a tackle came in and down he went. The referee was again some distance away but this time awarded the penalty. Deep into injury time it mattered little but Bird thought otherwise and talked himself into a second yellow card and the opportunity to run the showers for his colleagues.

Winters duly dispatched the final kick of the game but this was little compensation to the reported crowd of 649 given what they had to endure for the previous ninety minutes.

This report ©2006 Chris Bell