TIVERTON TOWN 1-2 CHESHAM UNITED
Dis-jointed and out-of-sorts. Just some of the words banded about the latest Tivvy performance after goals for the visitors in each half from Adam Watkins and Shane Bush, either side of Tom Baths` tap in, sent the Yellows crashing to their fourth defeat in five matches and yes, to a certain extent, their current form is nowhere near good enough for a side with any intention of finishing in the upper echelons of the Premier Division. But, as has been said several times already, a first season in a higher league is often all about consolidation and making sure that status is retained, and so to be where they are at present is to be admired and due credit awarded. A huge amount of credit must also be given to groundsman Gordon Curtis and his team for getting the pitch in to any sort of `playable condition` before kick-off despite the recent deluge and best efforts of mother nature to curtail another home fixture and quite how it will be ready for the next planned visit (Kettering on Tuesday) is anyone’s guess.
Two changes were made from the starting XI that began the New Years Day defeat at Dorchester, Callum Hall and Ollie Knowles replaced Owen Irish and Scott Rogers and Nick Hurst remained absent with the hamstring injury picked up at Royston, while the visitors fielded familiar faces amongst their starters, veteran forward Jefferson Louis and the skilful Ravi Shamsi, both recently signed from Banbury had faced up against the Yellows four times already this season, but it would less recognisable foes though that would be the undoing of the Yellows. After a less than eventful opening forty-four and a half minutes, despite the best efforts of all involved on a pitch that was deteriorating rapidly, Adam Watkins cut in off the left flank and smacked a beauty past the despairing dive of Rice to open the scoring. It is no exaggeration that home fans had to watch fifty-one minutes of football before seeing their side register an effort on target, eventual Man of the Match wing back Callum Hall credited with such and the previously un-troubled Al-Droubi in the Chesham goal made a mess of in his attempt to save but had his blushes spared, one of his own defenders hacked away to safety before any Tivvy forwards pounced and barely thirty seconds later only a fine save from Rice stopped Shamsi from doubling the lead after Louis had sent him through on goal.
Ten minutes later though, with a hint of good fortune, the sides were level. Jamie Short, whose spectacular last-minute effort back in August had rescued a point in the reverse fixture, took aim from distance, his shot deflected more than once to the feet of Tom Bath and with defenders waiting in vain for an offside flag, he squeezed in the equaliser with the help of a post. The parity lasted just five minutes though. Opening goal scorer and visitors Man of the Match Watkins delivery from the left was knocked down and Shane Bush was left with the simple task of tapping home what would turn out to be the winner from close range. Again, the Yellows huffed and puffed for a way back in to the match, Jordan Rogers replaced the out-of-sorts and off-colour Levi Landricombe, quite where the Yellows would be without his goals already this season doesn`t bear thinking about, with fifteen minutes remaining and his blocked effort was as close as Tivvy came to rescuing anything from another disappointing afternoon.
Tiverton: Martin Rice, Jamie Short, CALLUM HALL, Jamie Price (James Richards 81), Ben Mammola, Tom Gardner (Scott Rogers 81), Tom Bath, Ollie Knowles, Jared Lewington, Levi Landricombe (Jordan Rogers 75), Michael Landricombe.
Goal: Tom Bath 61.
Report by: Simon Ellis