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Tiverton Town 1 - 2 King's Lynn

Saturday 18/03/2006   Southern League Premier Division
Chris Bell

Kings Lynn maintained their push for promotion with this 2-1 win at Ladysmead in a game that was sadly as notable for the performance of Mr Grenfell the referee as it was for the football played. Tiverton included McConnell who was playing for free and did enough to suggest he could be a useful addition to the team.

With five straight wins and a team as per programme the visitors settled quickly to their game although it was Tivvy who created the first real chance. Holloway held a ball up to the left of the visitor´s area‚ turned through two defenders and put a pinpoint cross onto the head of the unmarked Booth in front of goal. However‚ he failed to get a clean contact and glanced the ball wide of the goal. Bale was having an uncharacteristically poor game and it was his initial mistake in the eight minute that led to the first goal. With Tivvy pressing he dummied a pass but only picked out Smith who had found himself with a clear channel down the left to exploit. This he did to good effect finally delivering a diagonal pass to Nolan who had pulled away from his marker Croft. The prolific striker ran on to the edge of the area unopposed and slotted the ball past Ovendale.

Kings Lynn were now moving the ball quickly between players to good effect with little attacking threat coming from the home team. If the home team had any hopes of establishing a pattern of play these were hijacked by Mr Grenfell who broke the game up with a series of Tivvy free kicks when they clearly had a good advantage. By half time he had also somehow managed to award three yellow cards to Croft and Holloway for straightforward fouls and Gould for clearing a ball out of defence‚ although the visitors histrionics when they were challenged didn´t help his cause.

Whatever‚ the problems with the referee it was Tivvy who alone who laid on the second goal within three minutes of the restart. Kings Lynn developed a passing move from the right that no home player got anywhere near and Nolan was once more left unmarked on the edge of the area to shoot past Ovendale.

Whether Tivvy upped their game of the visitors took their foot off the pedal was hard to determine but from this point the home team started to come more into the game. Davies and McConnell combined to put Booth in who volleyed over and then what looked like a goal bound shot from a corner was blocked by McConnell with Mudge firing the rebound over. Then a long ball down the right was swept into the near post where Mudge was arriving only to see his shot blocked by Benstead´s legs. After a brief goalmouth scramble the ball finished in the net only for the celebrations to be cut short by the linesman´s flag for offside.

Bale then delivered another ball down the right that Mudge jinked over his marker and played a cross into Hambly in the area. A shot was the obvious choice‚ but such is the lack of confidence currently in the team that he chose to pass and the chance was gone. Tivvy were now pressing and inevitably Nolan once more found himself clear on the break‚ but this time saw his shot rebound off the post. McConnell who showed good movement‚ control and passing throughout the afternoon then laid on a goal with a good cross from the right. The defence failed to clear it and Holloway shot home.

With minutes to go Kings Lynn suddenly looked vulnerable and Tivvy threw everyone forward including Ovendale for a corner but it was to no avail. Whether through restructuring or promotion it is unlikely that any of the home supporters in the crowd of 351 will see Kings Lynn next season. A poll would likely suggest they would also be happy to do without Mr Grenfell´s company.

Tiverton Town: Ovendale‚ Booth (Beddow)‚ Davies‚ Gould‚ Croft (Hambly)‚ Milsom (MOM)‚ Ampadu (Capt)‚ Bale‚ McConell‚ Holloway‚ Mudge. Subs not used: Nogan‚ Skinner‚ Kelly

Kings Lynn: Benstead‚ West‚ Smith‚ McMahon (Capt)‚ Cooper‚ Camm‚ J Defty (Hammond)‚ Anselin‚ Nolan‚ Carey‚ O´Halloran (Charles)‚ Peters‚ Harvey‚ Higgs

Referee: P Grenfell - Penzance

Assistants: A Willer - Newton Abbot & R Atkin - Plymouth

This report ©2006 Chris Bell