made a very welcome return to floodlit football but ultimately lacked
sufficient nous, strength and fortune to overcome a powerful Tiverton
City were again
unchanged and had every reason to be confident after victories against
Atherstone and Paget. The early exchanges were fast and furious with
the referee letting some bruising challenges go with no more than a
disapproving glance. Although Cox got an early opportunity to stretch
his legs the only real chance fell to Tivvy but their forward scuffed
his shot straight at Ally in the Gloucester goal.
City made the most of
that let-off. Tucks sent over a deep free-kick and Baylo leapt to win
the header. His touch did enough to wrong foot the Tivvy defence and
Jenkins reacted quickest to score at the far post from close range.
The goal seemed to genuinely stun Tiverton who spent the next twenty
minutes reeling as City gleefully pushed forward.
Cox and Chenoweth were combining well to stretch Tivvy and one of
these exchanges produced a corner from which City almost extended the
lead. Baylo again beat his marker in the air to meet the high cross
but saw his header brush just the wrong side of the crossbar. Tivvy
also brushed the woodwork when Hines pushed the attacker just too wide
to make his shot count, but City remained on top and soon Bayliss made
amends for his miss. Another Cox charge ended with him being bundled
over the byline, and the high cross again troubled the Tivvy defence.
Their keeper lost the ball in flight and as the ball fell loose
Bayliss had the simple task of nudging it over the line.
At two up and
playing well City should have been in command of the game, but Tivvy
had shown moments of better intent and most City fans weren't yet
confident of the points. Their fears for the defence seemed over
anxious when Hines and Abbott combined superbly to see off another
Nancekivell run. However no defence in the world could have done much
about the first goal for the visitors. Hunt headed a cross clear of
the area, only to see Daly chest the ball and volley a swerving
dipping shot onto the underside of the bar and into the net.
Past defensive uncertainties may have played on the minds of the City
side during half-time, because any remaining composure seemed gone
after the re-start. Almost from the whistle Tiverton attacked and
Nancekivell, on loan back at Tivvy after his move to Plymouth, ghosted
past a totally lost Grantley Dicks. The lack of any challenge left the
attacker with time to pick out Ovens who was unmarked at the far post
and scored the softest of equalisers. That early blow threatened to
knock the stuffing out of City, and only profligate shooting by the
Devon team prevented the game disappearing over the
As always seems the way with City we
were showing the signs of regaining our poise just when the hammer
blow landed. Jenks and Chenoweth were putting themselves about to some
effect, but then lost the ball in midfield. Tiverton hooked in the
ball and City initially seemed to have survived after a block from
Parnell. However no-one was prepared to take charge of the situation
and the ball was played repeatedly across City's goal. Abbott and
Dicks both had opportunities to hoist the ball clear, but after much
ineffective leg swinging on both sides Everett got hold of it and
smashed the ball into the net.
At long last City seemed to remember how well they'd played in the
first half hour and at least managed to exchange attacks with Tivvy.
In one early attack Chennas chased in one long ball to the byline only
for the referee to infuriate the City fans by failing to see not only
the initial stamp but also then not stopping the game for treatment as
Chennas lay prone for an eternity.
The injustice did at
least fire some enthusiasm from the T-End and roused the players to
greater efforts. Billy Davis replaced Dicks who looked out of sorts
and endured probably his worst game for us to date. Cox was the main
threat for Gloucester and it was his shot that was charged down amid
over-ambitious handball appeals. Cox then sent Jenks through, but his
shot from the left was well stopped by the Tivvy keeper who also held
on to further shots from Marshall and Bayliss.
City were continuing to ride their luck a little at the back, but were
sustaining pressure on Tiverton. Unfortunately though our players
weren't thinking on their feet enough, and long balls forward were
easy fodder for the big commanding Tivvy centre-backs. Baylo's
frustration was getting more evident and his protests ever more
squeaky, but he did manage to get a flick to one ball to set up a last
moment of controversy. Cox hared through and with only the keeper to
beat was straightening up to shoot just when his legs were taken from
him in spectacular fashion by the stretching lunge of Tatterton. Even
the lumbering Tivvy defender seemed a little surprised when the ref
didn't give the obvious spot-kick, but his surprise was nothing next
to the righteous fury of the denied T-Enders.
With that the match
fizzled to an end and we had another example of points chucked away.
Gloucester can either moan about another poor decision from a referee,
or more productively look at improving our defensive frailty. After
all the ref probably made no more errors than anyone of our back line,
and we can do more about them than the crackpot legions on the DML