A keenly contested local derby fell the way of Bustleholme whose first half display, in particular, carried much greater menace than Tipton were able to muster.Shortly after the break a strong challenge by Jamie Moore, whose raised boot so unfortunately struck the forehead of skipper, Danny Wood, drawing copious blood which inevitably resulted in an ambulance being rapidly summoned. Paramedics arrived speedily and, following their assessment, the player was immediately taken to hospital. A raised boot will unfortunately almost always result in a sending-off, as this one was, and the lady referee had little option but to dismiss a totally disconsolate Jamie Moore from the field of play.

Earlier, Bustleholme had had much the better of the attacking proceedings against a somewhat hesitant Tipton before Sam Hesson forged a fine movement into the Bustleholme penalty area, clipping the ball back to Matt Payne but keeper, Rikki Danton saved comfortably, this after 13 minutes. Back came Bustleholme, their confidence clearly growing and Adam Wattley was just a whisker away from giving them the lead on the quarter-hour. Further pressure upon the Tipton goal midway through the half resulted in Nathan Turner’s fine goal-bound free-kick diverted clear for an unproductive flag-kick.

Tipton’s Sam Hesson then pulled up following an over the top infringement forcing him to receive lengthy treatment before, somewhat gingerly, being allowed to continue. Tipton threatened in the 26th minute, Ebey Marango’s sinewy run always likely to fail however as more defenders challenged and so it proved. Lewis Collins then speared a ball through the Bustleholme defence but canny anticipation by Dave Hughes countered any threat towards the home club’s goal. On 35 minutes Bustleholme surged into the lead CHRIS BROWN driving home a penalty despite the a brave, but unsuccessful, effort to save by young Alatalo. 1-0. Rapidly seeking to further their advantage Bustleholme were quickly to the fore once more, Alatalo excelling by clinging onto Jack Whittall’s goal-seeking effort.

At this stage Tipton were really doing little in terms of attacking play, their overall performance most certainly below par as opposed to their normal efforts. Weak defending by Tipton on 42 minutes may well have proven their undoing again with Callum Gibson so close to increasing their opponent’s lead. Just as half-time loomed Chris Brown’s drive on the run forced Tipton keeper, Alatalo to turn the ball aside for a corner but no further alarms were generated.

As the second half unfolded viewing conditions were being impaired somewhat by rolling banks of mist or fog, although, at this stage, insufficient to abandon any play. Tipton’s Jon Patrick twice threatened Bustleholme keeper, Danton with more than reasonable efforts but their goal remained unbreached.

Came the most unfortunate incident just outside Tipton’s penalty area when, contesting a loose ball, Tipton’s Jamie Moore’s raised boot so sadly caught Bustleholme skipper, Danny Wood high on his forehead causing blood to copiously issue from the wound. Although it was clear no malice was intended – a distraught Moore was testament to that – the lady referee simply had to apply the Rule in force and Moore was subsequently dismissed from the field of play.

On the resumption of play, with both teams understandably subdued for a spell. Jon Patrick saw a goalbound effort veer just wide for Tipton before Lewis Collins then blazed over the Bustleholme crossbar in the 65th minute. Clearly shaken by the dramatic turn of events, Bustleholme’s previous incisiveness was now no longer there, as could be expected, Tipton coming much more into the game as a result despite now being a man down. On 70 mins. another eye-catching foray by Hesson opened up an opportunity for Patrick who was unable to capitalize before Matt Payne the drove over the Bustleholme crossbar.

Yet another stirring incursion by Hesson opened up a pathway for him to exploit but keeper, Danton saved in some style !. On 78 mins., however, Tipton were caught out when JACK WHITTALL forced the ball past Alatalo to put the home club 2-0 to the good. Lewis Worsey’s direct free-kick was next turned aside for a Tipton flag-kick, only partially cleared before another one in the 84th minute resulted in a header only just off target. In the final passage of play Tipton keeper, Alatalo, completely exposed, made a stunning save to deny Chris Brown from making the scoreline even more emphatic in favour of the home club.

John A. Cross

President, Tipton Town F.C.