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Tivvy Denied Four by Two Penalties

Pitching In Southern League, Premier Division South


Dorchester Town 2 (Koszela pen 33, Fletcher pen 90) 

Tiverton Town 1 (Parker 73) 

Monday, April 1. The Avenue Stadium 


THREE straight victories had been achieved going into this game - perhaps it was too much to ask to get a fourth, and that is how it turned out.  


Both teams had physically exerted themselves on Saturday on heavy pitches: Tiverton at home against Merthyr and Dorchester away at Winchester. 


Carlo Garside and Alfie Moulden came into the starting 11, as Alex Fletcher and Javan Wright took their places on the bench. Calum Thomas had recovered from the injury that he picked up in the previous game and started alongside Josh Jones in a centre-back berth. 


The first real action of the match was dramatic as Dorchester’s Jack Dickson lashed out with either an elbow or a fist on Moulden after both players got to their feet following a coming together and, after much deliberation, the referee brandished a red card after only four minutes.  

Playing against ten men is far from easy, especially if the other team organise well. However, the tempo of the Yellows’ play allowed the Magpies to sit in, rather than be stretched. Balls on the floor into our attacking players to hold up and give-and-gos were virtually non-existent, even if that was our intention. 


In the 17th minute, Moulden fell in the box after contact, but, despite the penalty appeals, it was inconclusive, although, on another day, it may have been given. A few minutes later, a stronger claim was once again turned down. 


The bandaged-up Corby Moore, playing for the hosts despite having a head wound stitched up from Saturday, teed up Luke Pardoe, but his shot went high and wide of Zak Baker’s goal. 


Then, in the 33rd minute, a Yellows’ midfielder tracking back caught Shaquille Gwengwe as he progressed into our area and the ten men were awarded a penalty. Gwengwe’s strike partner and former Tiverton player Olaf Koszela stepped up and emphatically drove his penalty past Baker.  

The Magpies’ willingness to commit defenders or go beyond their man meant that they seemed more likely to score than ourselves. In the 36th minute, we had our first real chance - Parker got in between his markers and shot low and hard, but fairly centrally, and Dorchester goalkeeper Jameson Horlick got down well.  

Parker’s movement was good throughout, but our inability to find him on the day meant he was feeding off crumbs. Gwengwe was not far away for the hosts just before the half-time whistle blew and there was much to consider in the Tivvy dressing-room during the break. 


Tivvy manager Leigh Robinson opted to bring on Fletcher and Wright to replace Jack Rice and Garside. We did improve in the second half and the lively Wright gave us more pace and purpose. 


However, another feature of this game was its stop-start nature with some questionable officiating. The whistle and the flag seemed unnecessary on countless occasions. The first 15 minutes of the second half was dominated by the men in black. 


Marcio Neves replaced Matt Britton and then, with 73 minutes played, Parker continued his hot streak following a typical Niall Thompson burst down the right. His cross inadvertently found Parker, whose mishit shot wrongfooted Horlick and we were level. 

Tiverton then set about getting a winner, with our best player on the day, Dylan Jones, carrying the ball menacingly down the Magpies right as he had done on a regular basis beforehand, cutting in from the byline at least twice when carrying the ball skilfully past Dorchester players. 


Thompson, too, was starting to accelerate down the hosts’ left and what looked like a penalty was not only ignored, when a defender lunged in on him when in the area, but an obvious corner, regardless of a very questionable decision, became a goal kick. 


However, with the Yellows knocking on the door, and the quick-footed Wright and the focal point of Alex Fletcher giving us greater impetus, a misjudged pass from Thomas sold Josh Jones short. Having received an earlier caution, his foul inside the box on substitute Will Fletcher meant he was sent off and Dorchester had a penalty. 


Fletcher took the penalty himself and sent Baker the wrong way to put his side 2-1 up.  

There was still a lengthy, seven-minute period of added time remaining. Horlick had one more routine save to make, but Tiverton suffered defeat at the Avenue Stadium. 


It is unfair to be too harsh on the team as they could not have given more in defeating a very strong Merthyr team at the weekend.  


Despite this, to come home empty handed after playing against ten men for over 80 minutes is an opportunity missed. 


We travel to Totton on Saturday and will be hoping to bounce back. 


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