A keenly fought encounter in leafy Shropshire ended all square although Tipton’s increasingly frequent attacks upon the home goal as time wound down suggested an away victory was becoming ever more likely. No to be, however, but a well-earned point all the same for the Black Country club.
Newport, on winning the toss, immediately made their influence known, helped in no small measure with a gale force wind at their backs, a weather phenomenon that was to persist for both clubs for the whole game. Rai Makhan, leading Newport’s line, bored his way through the visitor’s defence in only the 2nd minute, visiting keeper, Archie Alatalo’s rapid response to the mounting danger defusing the growing alarm for Tipton. Further pressure upon the Tipton goal sought to find Liam Bould but Alatalo claimed the ball despite harassment from home forwards, Tyrone McFarlane and Matty Male.
Jon Patrick then executed a fine clearance for the visitors from the edge of their penalty area with Newport, aided by the strengthening gale at their backs, claiming possession once more only to see Neil Brasenell’s rising drive just clear the Tipton bar. Brasenell it was who soon featured again for a confident home side, his 9th minute effort helping bring out the best of visiting keeper, Alatalo. With Tipton struggling at this stage to put some meaningful semblance into their play they fell behind on 11 minutes when Jack Davies literally powered home his raking volley following a flag-kick, presenting the Shropshire club with precisely the impetus they sought. 1-0.
Three minutes later a now dominant home side sought further riches, Bould curling an effort a foot or so over the visitor’s crossbar. Re-grouping as well as they were able to, Tipton began to show more calmness and determination of their own with skipper, Paul Henley and Sam Hesson both very much to the fore. On 20 mins. Romario Reid jinked his way inside before seeing his cross into the home penalty area turned aside for a corner, but Newport’s tall, rangy keeper, Andy Heal confidently claimed the ball.
On 24 mins Zico Agyemang’s fine interception looked all set to spark a meaningful response from Tipton but finely drilled covering by the home defence ensured no woes for them resulted. Back surged Newport, Makham’s clever reverse shot helping ramp up the pressure only for Alatalo’s confident stop to defuse the situation for Tipton. On 28 mins. visiting skipper, Henley saved Tipton from slipping further adrift, his splendidly judged interception denying Bould with the home striker virtually through on goal. A retort from the Black Country club thereafter featured a good effort by Matt Payne who engineered an opportunity from the right, the home club’s defence, however, remaining unbreached.
On 35 minutes, Ebey Marango bedevilled the Newport defence with some eye-catching trickery before keeper, Andy Heal countered his efforts in the home goal. As half-time neared and with Newport ramping up the pressure again Jon Patrick’s impressive tackle robbed Tyrone McFarlane with the Tipton goal under threat again.
Tipton began the second period thankfully with the incessant gale at their backs but it was the home club who were first to show, Bould making ominous inroads before Henley drove the ball clear for an unprofitable flag-kick. On 52 minutes with Tipton now making much of the running, aided at last by the gale-force Westerly, Jamie Moore’s header flew wide of the Newport post.
Battling play by the indomitable Sam Hesson helped set Zico Agyemang away down the inside left channel just a few moments later but dogged defending from Craig Edwards and Joe Trickett helped blunt Tipton’s growing momentum. With 57 minutes elapsed Marango jinked his way through towards the Newport goal but Edwards’s perfectly time challenge settled the home club’s growing nerves. Nigel Penney had now joined Tipton’s cause as a substitute, immediately his astute awareness and class from experience of a higher grade of soccer, a major attribute for Tipton.
The pressure still rained in upon the home goal, by and large, aided in no small measure by the incessant strong wind, lengthways down the playing area. With an hour elapsed Jon Worsey was just a mite too high with a fine snapshot as the visitors, very much by and large continued to call the tune. On 67 mins. Marango’s mazy run was brought to an end illegally but Worsey’s direct free-kick was comfortably taken by home keeper, Heal. And then on 70 minutes with Newport exhibiting some quite desperate defending, mostly unpunished by an ultra-tolerant referee, Worsey was crudely chopped down by full-back George Hill before then taking responsibility himself by literally ramming the resultant penalty high and to the left of keeper Heal’s flailing hands to deservedly level the scores, a testament to the Black Country club’s second-half improvement. 1-1.
Just a couple of mins later the home club bravely battled through the incessant wind, visiting skipper, Henley deftly dispossessing Makham as he neared the Tipton goal. Penney’s influence, fresh legs and keen awareness were now certainly a telling factor in helping ensure no further woes befell them.
Indeed most of the final stages saw increasing pressure applied to the home goal, Tarrike Thomas almost bursting through the Newport back line on 81 mins, Edwards’s long raking tackle denying him, before Worsey forced a fine save form Heal and hardly had this attack been thwarted than Agyemang’s reverse shot from Thomas’s inside pass brought another valiant save from the home keeper. In the final meaningful piece of action of the game it was Tipton again on the charge, Marango being splendidly denied by high class defending from Newport’s Craig Edwards.
President, Tipton Town F.C.
Next Fixture Sat 4th November 2017 WMRL Divn. One WORCESTER RAIDERS ( Home ) 3-00pm