The unofficial archives of Tiverton Town Football Club


Folkstone Invicta 1 - 1 Tiverton Town

Saturday 07/12/2002   Southern League Premier Division
John Reidy

Some names always come to mind when great words of wisdom are quoted. Probably the best known introduction to such jewels of understanding or advice would be‚ "Confucius‚ he say........" and it is only right that such sagacity should be credited to the intellect from which it emanates. However‚ it is not always so. William Shakespeare‚ playwright extraordinaire‚ put many wise words into the mouths of his characters and it is they‚ not the author‚ that are given the credit. Polonius‚ in Hamlet‚ is a case in point. "Never a lender or a borrower be" - though probably borrowed from the biblical expulsion of the Usurers from the temple by Christ - is a case in point. Another that came to my head over what has been a weekend of rambling thoughts and emotions was that same character´s "To thine own self be true". I take that phrase to mean speak your mind‚ feel your feelings‚ form your own opinions as you will. Don´t allow what we these days call Political Correctness to taint your view. So‚ in keeping with the moral of those words‚ I laughed at the news that Miss Turkey had won the Miss World competition three weeks before Christmas and sniggered as I wondered what she´d be stuffed with (Sage & Onion or Parsley & Thyme ?) later in the month: I poured mental ridicule on the thought that anybody could consider any of the candidates for the Turner prize as having even the remotest connection with Art: and I faced up to the fact that the performances of the last month had convinced me that‚ much as I might wish it was otherwise‚ Tiverton Town were unlikely to be playing Conference football next season.
It was inevitable that there would be reaction to the exit from both the FA Cup and FA Trophy. The press reports suggested that the players had ´sorted´ their attitude towards the remainder of the season‚ and there was speculation as we headed down the M20 towards Folkestone as to what changes manager Martyn Rogers would‚ could and should make to his line up. A quick scan of numbers on the sparkling white shorts (justified - Invicta play in amber) of the Tivvy players as they warmed up‚ uncovered no real surprises in the changes made‚ though some of the ones not made did cause a raised eyebrow or two. Phil Everett and David Steele at wing back; Chris Holloway‚ one of the two redeeming factors at Grays‚ retaining a starting place; whilst the inclusion of the other player to illuminate the Grays grey‚ Jamie Mudge‚ was not unexpected; and Steve Peters - boil duly lanced? - returned to add stability at the back. It all looked promising. We would have to see.
There could certainly be no complaints about the way the Yellows set about their task. First out of the trap‚ they created their first chance before a minute was out. Holloway sent Richard Pears on a burst down the right. Richard‚ showing that his claim to be as fit as he´d ever been since leaving Exeter City was not idle talk‚ out sprinted the Invicta defence to whip in a cross. Unfortunately Mudge was the only Tiverton player to have kept pace and had little chance against four defenders that had yet to move upfield from the kick off and were easily able to clear. Folkestone‚ though‚ soon settled and showed they were going to be no pushover despite their lowly league position. In the fourth minute Paul Edwards had to throw himself bravely at the feet of Martin Chandler but it was the visitors that were setting the pace‚ and a frantic one it was. Holloway tried to test Maurice Munden in the Folkestone goal with a 25 yarder from an Everett cross in the 6th minute but the keeper was not troubled‚ holding cleanly. A minute later‚ following a Tivvy corner‚ Mudge was closed down as he turned on the proverbial sixpence to deliver a shot that was headed clear and with eight minutes on the watch the same player shot wide from six yards as he was caught off balance and falling as the ball found its way to him. Jamie was getting into all the right places but failing to snap up the chances and another went begging as he cut in from the left and blasted wide from 30 yards when he had created a space in front of himself. But surly a goal would come as Town had the territorial advantage and the majority of the ball. The home side were by no means being dominated. Both Steve Hafner and Anthony Henry saw fierce shots from the edge of the penalty area deflected off random parts of Tiverton defenders anatomy for corners as they shot on sight of Edwards´ goal.
With the half hour mark approaching the breakthrough came. David Steele has always looked threatening when given the chance to make runs down the wing. He´d not managed to get properly into gear with several attempts up until the 29th minute but this time left Invicta´s Mike Azzopardi standing as he followed the touchline to the corner flag‚ headed in along the goal-line and stabbed a cross to the back of the penalty area. Pears had ghosted into just the right position to take a free header that looped over Munden as he scuttled across his goalmouth‚ and dropped just under the bar and into the net. The scoreline was a fair reflection of the play up to this point and had Town capitalised on their best move of the afternoon nine minutes later‚ the lead would have been doubled. A long free kick by Jason Rees from deep in the Tiverton half was nodded down by Pears to the foot of Scott Rogers. Spice Boy advanced a yard or two before spraying it left towards Mudge cutting in from the flank. Jamie carried the ball to the corner of the penalty area before shooting straight at the belly of Munden who grimaced but held it tightly. Stung into action the final minutes before the break belonged to the Men O´ Kent. Azzopardi bamboozled Peters and swung in a cross that the unmarked James Dryden headed wide; Dryden sent in a low curling shot that tested Edwards as he had to stretch low to his left to grasp it at ground level; Allan Tait burst into the edge of the Tiverton penalty area and went down under pressure from Nathan Rudge but appeals for a penalty (possibly justified - it was certainly an ungainly challenge if not a foul) were waved away by the officials; and Eddy´s legs maintained the scoreline from Henry as the whistle signalled the break.
Part two was the reverse of part one. Invicta looked to have been more greatly refreshed by the break. They were livelier‚ kept possession longer‚ pressed forward more frequently and generally had the better of things. Town seemed to have lost their shape‚ their ability to build from the back‚ through midfield‚ to feed the front men. The back three of Rob Cousins‚ Peters and Rudge looked firm enough but the ball was being hoofed forward missing out the central players and leaving Pears and Mudge chasing lost causes with little support when they did gain possession. There were few chances at either end as the game became bogged down in midfield and though most of the creative movement was towards the Tiverton end‚ Invicta seldom looked like braking through the barricades of white shirts and were reduced to optimistic long range pokes such as that by Henry from all of 45 yards in the 55th minute. Holloway sent Mudge bursting away again but it just wasn´t to be Jamie´s day. Having left Scott Lindsey in his wake his shot from the edge of the area was both weak and wide.
Entering the last fifteen minutes Folkestone went up another gear, sensing there was something there for the taking. Tivvy found it increasingly difficult to clear their lines and Steve Ovens who had replaced concussion victim Pears after 73 minutes had an almost impossible task in trying to get into the game as the ball seldom crossed the half way line. The situation was so bad that Tivvy even had Rob Cousins taking goal kicks in an attempt to add distance to the point at which the next home move would start from. As the home effort increased Eddy was again called into brave action in the 81st minute. A long Folkestone free kick floated over all the heads in the penalty area and fell to the foot of Tait. The Tiverton keeper hurled his body down and reached a palm to the ball to deflect it enough for a Tivvy boot to clear. Twice Cousins came to the rescue to deflect shots away from goal and into the last minute it looked as if the three points would be heading west. Never assume! A free kick for handball just outside the area. Minutes of delay whilst the referee eased back the wall and allowed Folkestone to introduce their third and final substitute, the rotund Paul Chambers who was certainly going to add weight to their front line. The kick was eventually taken by Dryden. Firmly struck and rising, it found its way through the gap between the heads in the wall and similarly through the gap between Eddy´s hands. No clean sheet. The copy book, which to that late point had been impeccable, was blotted. Whether the Tivvy keeper was unsighted or not it was an expensive goal to give away. There was little time for a recovery. Rees drove forward to let fly with a rare shot that flew inches over the crossbar but it was only a token effort.
A disappointed set of players, club officials and fans (14) made their way back from the south-east for the third time in under two weeks. There was an improvement on the previous game and a half, but being true to myself, I still have the feeling that there is something missing from a promotion aspiring team. Even the home fans, though celebrating their side´s comeback and the securing of a valuable point in their Premier Division survival battle, were not altogether happy. Their dissatisfaction was aimed at the man in black who they felt had been over generous to Tivvy. Certainly the greater proportion of decisions, or lack of them, went the way of the Devon side. But then with an official going by the name of J. Beadle, I suppose it was inevitable that somebody was going to be ´framed´ before the afternoon was out.

Tiverton Town: 1. Paul Edwards, 2. David Steele , 3. Chris Holloway, 4. Steve Peters, 5. Nathan Rudge, 6.Rob Cousins, 7. Jamie Mudge , 8. Jason Rees, 9. Phil Everett, 10. Scot Rogers, 11. Richard Pears.
Subs: 12. Steve Winter, 14. Danny Haines, 15. Steve Ovens (Pears,73), 16.Kevin Nancekivell, 17. Paul Chenoweth.
Cards: None.

Folkestone Invicta: 1. Maurice Munden, 2. Steve Hafner, 3. Mike Azzopardi, 4. Michael Everitt, 5. Scott Daniels, 6. John Guest, 7. Scott Lindsey, 8. Martin Chandler, 9. James Dryden, 10. Alan Tait, 11. Anthony Henry.
Subs: 12. John Ayling (Everitt,61), 14. Barry Gardiner, 15. Paul Chambers (Guest 89), 16. Mark Twose (Hafner,70), 17. Not named.
Cards: Daniels (62), Hafner (62)..

Referee: Mr. J. Beadle (Gravesend)

This report ©2002 John Reidy