The unofficial archives of Tiverton Town Football Club

Tiverton Town 3 - 1 Plymouth Parkway

Wednesday 10/11/2021   Devon St Luke's Cup
Tivvy Archive

There is sometimes the feeling that Tiverton have treated the Devon Cup with a degree of disdain and the enthusiasm of a stoned sloth, and over the past ten years or so there is some truth in such a view. Happily, for the County FA at least, the Yellows are approaching the current season’s tournament with a pragmatic and balanced view: it will never be of high-priority, and matters of league football (and the FA Trophy) will of course take precedence; nevertheless, as the competition which offers the most realistic opportunity of winning silverware, and also a chance to use games as a proving ground, Tivvy can now be said to look towards St Luke’s matches with respect, as well as with an eye on the short and medium-term future. Opponents Plymouth Parkway took a similar approach to the game at Ladysmead, and as such, neither team was truly close to full strength, but what we had was a large contingent of fringe of dual-registered players given the opportunity to impress, and who knows where a good performance may lead…

There have been occasions where Tiverton have been forcing square pegs in round holes in terms of tactical systems, but that was not the case here, with the exception of the very right-footed Scott Merritt deployed on the left side of defence. The remainder fitted very nicely, with Austen Booth back from injury, a double-pivot of Louis Morison and Alex Moyse, and the young Isaac McCue playing behind the returning Olaf Koszela. There was also a chance and a notable debut for Ottery St Mary attacker Marcus Fanson who was deployed on the right of the forward three, and he was deservedly awarded the man-of-the-match bubbly for his sprightly and energetic showing, a place on the scoresheet the only thing that eluded him all evening.

One cannot call on unfamiliarity to supress early claims of disjointedness amongst the Tivvy team, as Plymouth were equally, if not more, inexperienced, but the first half drifted on for longer than it felt, and quality was at a premium. Callum Bleasdale had an early chance for the visitors which he dragged wide of Jimmy Weeks’ near post, and it wasn’t long before Rio Garside opened the scoring for Parkway, nicking the ball off a lazy-looking Moyse before firing into the bottom corner. Sandwiching Garside’s goal were two headers from Booth, neither of which registered on the Richter Scale of threatening goalscoring chances, the first softly through to Plymouth goalkeeper Tyler Coombes and the second making a perfect parabola over the crossbar.

For his part, Koszela started rather rusty, like a player returning from injury, but was able to effectively shake off the metaphorical cobwebs, and his influence grew as the game progressed. He had an outside chance of a wonder goal ten minutes before the break but shot well over from an angle, and his running into the channels, particularly on the left became increasingly dangerous. It was frustrating that neither Koszela, nor Lam, and certainly not Merritt on that side of the pitch, were ever able to deliver a meaningful early cross into the danger area, and for all their possession, Tiverton were too predictable and too one-paced once they reached the final third. Koszela was, nevertheless, very unluck on the stroke of half time, pouncing on the rebound after Coombes saved well from a powerful Fanson shot, but the Poles goalbound effort took a slight deflection off a defender, clipped the outside of the post, and scuttled behind for a corner.

For ten minutes after the interval little changed in the dynamic of the game, but a double substitution saw the Yellows up the game. By this stage Booth was already out of the action, Aaron Dawson filling in for over half the match as a centre back, and with Craig Woodman and McCue then replaced on fifty-five minutes, Tivvy played nominally with one defender plus two attacking fullbacks. Fandon was able to find so much space on his wing, Chris Shephard added guile in the number 10 role that McCue was unable to, and Tivvy breezed past the raw and untried Parkway defence through much of the second half. A penalty from Morison tied things up, and Weeks final piece of significant action was to make an excellent save with his feet to thwart Jack Crago.

The Yellows pressed on, becoming more assertive and more dominant as the game ticked into the final quarter of an hour, and while the second Tivvy goal of the night came in rather fortuitous circumstances, it was no more than they deserved. Shephard scuffed a corner which barely made it to the near post, but was rather carelessly diverted behind again by Coombes; at the second attempt the contact was truer, and the ball was soon in the net, this time Coombes’ misjudgement more significant as he punched the ball into his own goal. Koszela was credited with scoring, but it was difficult from my personal vantage point to see why. Regardless, Olaf indisputably scored Tiverton’s third when he steadied himself to fire in following excellent work from Fanson on the right, and might have added another but for the crossbar denying his header.

All in all, it was a good night; Tiverton progressed and played well in the second half, while Parkway were able to blood in a number of youngsters and offer them some valuable match experience in a competitive environment. Both sides head into the enticing FA Trophy weekend with plenty of fresh legs amongst their primary squads, with the most pressing concern for Tivvy being the fitness of Booth.

Tiverton Town: Jimmy Weeks, Joe Belsten, Craig Woodman (Andy Watkins 55), Alex Moyse, Austen Booth (Aaron Dawson 42), Marcus Fanson, Louis Morison, Scott Merritt, Jordan Lam, Olaf Koszela, Isaac McCue (Chris Shephard 55)
Goals: Morison 63p, Coombes 80og, Koszela 84

Plymouth Parkway: Tyler Coombes, Finley Craske, Taylor Davey, Jake Smith, Callum Rose (Ryan Geach 35), Brandon Gavican, Mikey Williams (Jack Crago HT), Rio Garside, Jordan Copp, Adam Carter, Callum Bleasdale
Goal: Gardise 17

Attendance: 149

This report ©2021 Tivvy Archive