Darlaston Town emphatically recorded their fifth League victory of this new season, their dominant all-action performance most certainly deserving of the spoils. Hard though Tipton strove, skipper, Sam Hesson’s constant encouragement worthy of better, the longer the game unfolded, the greater the gap was becoming more evident between the two sides. After Sam Armstrong had headed James Thompson’s 3rd minute free-kick high over the top, Ant Follows responded for the hosts, his fine effort just clearing the visitor’s bar.
Sam Hesson was quick to seize his opportunity for Tipton, his curling effort causing concerns for the hosts until a flag-kick eased some of the pressure for them. Still literally feeling each other out, both clubs created opportunities, Tipton on 8 minutes, quelled by home skipper, Dave Richards, before the hosts won the ball, Ant Follows piercing the Tipton back-line on 10 mins. only for the ball to gather pace and run out of play. Leyton Gould’s fine interception next broke up an ominous looking home sortie thereafter, but soon Tipton’s forward momentum faltered following Sam Causton’s cleverly judged interception.
On 13 minutes Darlaston, by now becoming more dominant, almost took the lead, Tipton ‘keeper, Dale Holloway quite splendidly turning aside Leon Taylor’s great header, following a wicked curling cross from the left flank. Leyton Gould’s well-timed interception in the 19th minute ensured Tipton retained parity but, in truth,they were, by and large, being forced to defend in depth, such was the skill behind the home club’s attacking. On 27 mins. Sam Armstrong’s intervention blunted another promising Darlaston move down the right with the visitors having little option but to defend at this stage.
The visitor’s Gould made a timely interception to halt Noah Diallo’s ominous progress on the half-hour. Such was Darlaston’s confidence little had, as yet, been seen of the Tipton attack. On 34 mins. Diallo made tracks towards the visitor’s goal, James Thompson excelling in tackling and dispossessing him, ensuring that Tipton remained on level terms. Further heavy pressure upon the visitors was relieved at the death when Ryan Kingdom’s long range drive barely marginally missed opening the scoring.
Darlaston deservedly took the lead on 37 minutes, LEON TAYLOR converting in style after collecting a cleverly judged aerial through ball 1-0. Tipton fashioned a response, Scott Broadway switching play across field but the home defence stood firm. A dominant finish to the first half saw Kingdom’s on-target long range effort cleared to good effect by Gould before Tipton keeper, Holloway, rose high to clutch home skipper, Richards’s ominous free-kick amidst a packed goalmouth.
On 50 minutes Terry Davies seemed certain to tie up the scores for Tipton, out-running the home defence before latching onto a gilt-edged chance but, most uncharacteristically, he simply skied high and wide. Undeterred young Davies fought back, thence winning a flag-kick only half-cleared by the hosts and only to visiting skipper, Sam Hesson, whose subsequent drive for goal, however, was unable to better keeper,Liam Whittaker.
Darlaston’s Mark Swann was extremely lucky not to receive a red card when he quite blatantly chopped down Davies, the lady referee merely issuing a booking and, in doing so, eliciting howls of derision from many of the attendance. Again Davies strongly featured for Tipton but his effort, though on target, was unable to defeat home keeper, Whittaker. Playing their best soccer of the afternoon, Tipton were decidedly unlucky not to equalise, Davies soon going so near again.
However, just on the hour, Darlaston surged further ahead, JOSH TOLLEY, in support of his club’s attack, headed home following a left wing flag-kick. 2-0. And just a couple of minutes later Taylor rattled Tipton’s post as the home club continued to turn the screw. Twice in succession Scott Broadway was unfairly upended as he endeavoured to help re-charge Tipton’s flagging efforts. With 67 mins. elapsed Tipton enjoyed an amazing let-off, the ball bobbling about in their goal area, finally and fortunately being scrambled clear.
However, just two minutes later LEON TAYLOR’S header, following a right wing flag-kick comfortably defeated Tipton’s exposed ‘keeper Holloway. 3-0. 75 minutes arrived and Kingdom’s curling drive just cleared the far post of Tipton’s goal. Young Davies’s clever feints and twists were now eliciting some very questionable defensive tactics by Darlaston. The young forward fully stretched the home club on 82 mins.before too many defenders simply overwhelmed him.
In the 88th minute Holloway’s brave diving save denied Ant Follows, Darlaston now homing in on a fourth goal with the visitors steadfastly denying them any further reward.
John A. Cross President, Tipton Town F.C.
Next Fixture F.A.Vase 1st Round Qualifying BOLEHALL SWIFTS (Away) 3-00PM