The unofficial archives of Tiverton Town Football Club

Tiverton Town 1 - 2 Weston-super-Mare

Wednesday 30/03/2022   Southern League Premier Division
Tivvy Archive

With Weston-super-Mare still very much in the hunt for a playoff place, and Tiverton the league’s form team, having won their past five matches, the third attempt to play this fixture saw the match neatly poised for an entertaining encounter, and the spectacle’s potential was largely met in an entertaining and pendulous affair. While it was Weston who were generally the better team, who pressed forward more, and looked the mightier threat when on the attack, as one would perhaps have envisaged given the carrot dangling in front of their noses, Tivvy were not without a series of strong spells throughout the game. The Yellows may have been able to take more from the evening beyond a respectable performance had there been a little more urgency and clinical edge on the occasions they worked their way into the final third, but it was ultimately the visitors who snuck all three points to aid their promotion push.

The pattern of the game was set early on with the Seagulls on the advance, and a powerful and pacy run from former and present Tiverton scourge Nick McCootie saw the striker’s shot batted away by Jimmy Weeks in the Town goal, and Dayle Grubb certainly should have done a bit better with the rebound, skying as he did way over the top. There had only been a minute of two played at this stage, and the initial trend continued with another direct attack from Weston thwarted by Austen Booth as he robbed Grubb around the inside-right channel. Gradually Tivvy found their feet, and gradually Weston reverted to a more orthodox possession-based style rather than the direct and energetic opening they had delivered. The change in tempo was certainly preferable for the Yellows, although it was the away side who forged ahead when Josh Thomas found Lloyd Humphries outside the box. Humphries had a lot still to do and did it all with one measured swing of the right leg, curling a shot which was somewhere between a volley and a half-volley well out of the reach of the diving Weeks and just inside the goalkeeper’s left upright.

Then followed Tiverton’s best spell of the game, yet despite some strong initial build-up play there was little end product. Dan Hayfield fired wide, Nelson Iseguan scuffed and effort that was never going to threaten Max Harris in the Weston goal, and Gary Warren nodded into the keeper’s arms. A little later Theo Simpson also looked to be in the process of carving out an opening for himself, but one extra touch saw the half-chance amount to nothing in particular, with the away side able to absorb the pressure with a degree of comfort and composure. This spell of Town attacks coincided with Iseguan and Jordam Lam switching flanks, and it was the energetic Lam who looked most likely to stretch the Weston defence, so the fact that the equaliser came thanks to a cross from Nelson out on the right was perhaps a little perverse. Indeed, the inswinging cross somehow found its way across the face of goal to the far post, and with Warren about to tap home from two yards out, his standing leg was taken from beneath him by Sam Avery; Louis Morison did what he does from the penalty spot, and we were back on level terms.

Simpson had a further shot blocked as we approached the interval, and it was a very watchable 45 minutes of football on the whole. Weston had more of the ball, and with Tiverton allowing them possession and not pressing high they were required to play through a more congested backline, which Warren in marshalled well. Whether Tivvy’s deepness was in response to Weston’s directness in the opening ten minutes is up for debate, but it had lent itself to an intriguing game of cat and mouse, with no obvious favourite, although Weston were certainly playing the feline role of the predominant aggressor.

The resumption following the change of ends followed a similar pattern to the first half, with Weston very much in the ascendency and looking increasingly threatening as they sought to restore their advantage. Still, the “Thou Shalt Not Pass” mantra remained in place. There were fewer clear cut chances but plenty of discussion points: should Lam have won a penalty (Part I and Part II)? On both counts the answer from the referee was a resounding “No!”, and that was considered the correct answer to just about everybody at Ladysmead bar Lam himself, who on both occasions went down under minimal contact having, on both occasions taken a touch too many and lost control of the ball. Should Weeks have won the Man of the Match award, or rather should Scott Laird have scored a brilliant goal? As far as the latter is concerned, Laird will no doubt be disappointed that his little dribble and powerful drive on the left of the area was rewarded fully, but he would also be the first to credit Weeks with what was a fine reaction shot to divert the ball over the crossbar. The latter… well that award was given to Lam, who aside from his Bambi-On-Ice impressions, did indeed have an excellent game. And Weeks’ distribution had occasionally let him down across the course of the 90 minutes.

From one former Tivvy player causing the Yellows some defensive tension to another: Jordan Bastin returned to Ladysmead for the first time, came off the bench, and roamed around dangerously in attacking positions as he does so well. Bastin looked lively a fresh, giving Joe Belsten a whole different challenge for the final 20 minutes, but it was Sonny Cox who had Weston’s penultimate chance of the game, shooting over after Weeks had punched a cross clear. But enter Bastin again, popping up this time on the right, and his corner was flicked on by the outstanding Humphries, allowing Avery to fully redeem himself after his clumsy foul on Warren that had led to Tiverton’s equalising penalty. From six yards out it would have been difficult not to score, and evidently Avery agreed with this sentiment, as he made little fuss (other than taking a smack in his face for his efforts) in powering a header into the net.

The goal, and the win, was deserved on the balance of the match as a whole, and Weston will understandably be delighted to have kept up the pressure at the top end of the table, particularly against a Tivvy side who have rediscovered their form in recent weeks. On the other side of the coin, in defeat the Yellows could hold their heads up high: having the belief to go toe-to-toe with one of the best sides in the league and knowing that with a little more luck the winning streak may not have ended (or with more luck still it would have been extended) dots the I’s and crosses the t’s on the turnaround in both form and belief. Sure, Tiverton lost, but not many of the locals would have gone home hugely disappointed with the performance.

One final thought: what absolute nonsense to boo and jeer Jordan Bastin when he was substituted into the game. That guy performed miraculously for Tiverton during his spell at Ladysmead and should have been warmly welcomed back. In this case booing isn’t banter, it’s ignorance and disrespect. Now, if he had moved to Taunton, then that would be different!

Tiverton Town: Jimmy Weeks, Joe Belsten, Craig Woodman, Austen Booth, Gary Warren, Alfie Pond, Jordan Lam, Dan Hayfield, Theo Simpson (Andy Watkins 63), Louis Morison (Chris Shephard 77), Nelson Iseguan ( Harvey Greenslade 77)
Goal: Morison 36p
Booked: Hayfield, Pond
Sent off: None

Weston-super-Mare: Max Harris, Josh Thomas, Scott Laird, Jacob Jagger-Cane (Jamed Dodd 59), Sam Avery, Jason Pope, Nick McCootie (Marlon Jackson 62), Lloyd Humphries, Sonny Cox, Dayle Grubb, Ellis Watts (Jordan Bastin 70)
Goals: Humphries 17, Avery 83
Booked: Jagger-Cane
Sent off: None

Attendance: 437

This report ©2022 Tivvy Archive