The unofficial archives of Tiverton Town Football Club

Bideford 2 - 1 Tiverton Town

Tuesday 01/11/2011   Southern League Cup
Tivvy Archive

In the grand scheme of things the Southern League Cup is seldom in the upper-echelons of anybody’s priority list, and for Tiverton this was a case accentuated as the Yellows looked ahead to the imminent FA Trophy tie at Chesham United more than the prospect of advancing in the least significant yet most winnable competition of the season. To illustrate the fact that bigger fish were being prepared for the fryer, manager and midfield lynchpin Mark Saunders wasn’t even at the match, preferring instead to cast an eye on Chesham. Central partner in crime Kevin Hill was on the bench but only in a coaching capacity, not named amongst the substitutes, while winger Josh Searle and strikers Joe Bushin and Michael Nardiello were held in reserve, with little intention that they would get to stretch their legs other than during the half-time interval. That left a familiar back four other than David Steele who was employed on the right of the defence, while the midfield was made up of Ian Sampson, Russell Jee and Aaron Dawson, with Josh Concanen afforded a debut on the right wing. Harry Nodwell supported Jules Emati-Emati up front, and an unfamiliar Tivvy side gave a fine account of themselves before falling to a stoppage-time winner from Bideford substitute Ben Wood.

All of the clear chances bar one in the first half fell to the Yellows, with Emati-Emati twice shooting across the face of goal having been put through one-on-one with Biddy back-up goalkeeper Grant Fisher, while the big frontman also bundled a shot wide from close range after Dawson’s corner had caused confusion in the goal area. Nodwell lashed in a hopeful long-range effort which had Fisher scrambling to palm wide for a corner, and Sampson’s shot was blocked following fine work on the right from Concanen and Emati-Emati.

In the thirty-fourth minute the pressure finally told, and another quick and incisive move on the right saw Jee clip the ball down the line for Nodwell to cut in a fire a low shot towards the target. Fisher saved with good reactions but there was too much venom on Nodwell’s effort and the ball spilled loose and perfectly for Emati-Emati at the far post to grab his first goal of the season – it could have been his third goal of the match! And that was the lead and the lead lasted for a mere three minutes, for Steele felled Seb Broomfield on a rare Bideford attack, gifting Matt Hockley the chance to tie the game from the spot, a present he accepted with a determined purpose by vigorously smashing the penalty straight down the middle.

Bideford had struggled to retain possession in the first half and it was no surprise when they introduced three key players in quick succession after the break to replace three significantly less experienced players. Tiverton’s one change was enforced as Jee hobbled out of the game having had his foot trod upon, Alex Gray his replacement. The theoretically stronger Robins’ line-up proved to be stronger not only in theory and they looked the more likely to grab a decisive goal as the second half evolved, but Chris Wright expertly saved from Ray Spear, and towards the end of the match did well to deny the same player and also Craig Herrod. Tiverton, not without their chances (nor their futile appeals for a penalty of their own) showed less accuracy in front of goal as Dawson and Sampson both missed the target, Sampson’s chance coming at the end of a penetrating run, the like of which we haven’t seen from the midfielder for a little while. Nodwell also skied a shot after Concanen had pulled back a cross from the right by-line, leaving Wood to gobble up the final chance of the match deep into added time as Bideford made one final desperate attack down the left.

No Tiverton team sets out to lose a match but there will be few tears shed having bowed out of a Cup competition that costs the clubs more to take part in than they are rewarded in prize money or gate receipts. One disappointment will be the lack of an opportunity to take a further look at the likes of Gray and Concanen in a low-pressured situation, but from what Assistant Manager Hedley Steele had seen there is every reason to think that one or both of them might have the chance to feature again for the first team in league football. Gray particularly impressed with his ability to find time on the ball in what was an exceptionally busy midfield battle during the second half of the game, and he may well find himself on the coach to Chesham at the weekend; more significantly five players who are almost certain to feature have enjoyed a midweek away from the action, and Jee will be the only injury concern for the trip to Buckinghamshire.

Bideford: Grant Fisher, Sam Sawyer, Nick Barker, Matt Hockley, Jack Furzer, Rob Farkin (Aaron Harper-Penamn 66), Neil Slateford (Ben Wood 70), Matt Bye, Seb Broomfield (Matt Andrew 62), Ray Spear, Craig Herrod
Goals: Hockley 37p, Wood 90+6
Booked: Farkin 21
Sent off: None

Tiverton Town: Chris Wright, David Steele, Alex Faux, Harry Nodwell, Paul Kendall, Tom Gardner, Josh Concanen, Russell Jee (Alex Gray 46), Aaron Dawson, Jules Emati-Emati, Ian Sampson
Goal: Emati-Emati 34
Booked: Nodwell 59, Sampson 64
Sent off: None

Attendance: 169

This report ©2011 Tivvy Archive