A keenly fought tussle at Dudley College fell the way of the home club, Team Dudley, although Tipton Town, with gritty determination, will rightly feel hard done by with the concerted effort they displayed throughout. Indeed Tipton were the first to show to any degree, Lewis Collins and Ebey Marango combining to unnerve Dudley before the latter sadly blazed  high and wide of the target. Jon Patrick then played in Lewis Worsey in the 5th minute, a flag-kick, no more, Tipton’s scant reward.

A strong riposte by Dudley featuring Viadut Lungu and Alex Pinches next had Tipton back-pedalling before Worsey aided by Rob Hill helped quell the home club’s threat. On 16 minutes Collins made good progress into the home club’s half before launching a taunting high cross deep into the host club’s penalty area, cleared finally but notably with some difficulty. Tipton, at this stage, were doing most of the pressing with Matt Payne soon executing an eye-catching body-swerve, throwing the home defence, before sliding the ball through to Ebey Marango who, somewhat unluckily, saw his effort on goal charged clear.

The ever impressive Lungu strongly featured for the home club on 18 minutes, skipping past a couple of Tipton challenges before his ground-hugging shot whistled narrowly past the visitor’s post. After Zico Agyemang’s clever flick had extricated himself from a problem on 21 mins. as home skipper, James Hawthorne, attempted to rob him, Marango picked up the loose ball, firing for goal in an instant, but unable to defeat home keeper. Ashley Green. Dudley launched a concerted attack on 29 mins, intercepted admirably by the alert Patrick who then proceeded to help build an attack upon the Dudley goal, his vicious, rising drive having the beating of Green but whistling just a few millimetres over the top.

Shortly afterwards Rob Hill’s good work was unfairly halted, Lewis Worsey driving the resultnt direct free-kick oh, so narrowly past the home goalpost.Back surged Dudley, wrestling the initiative from Tipton to fashion a splendid riposte of their own, Lungu so very close to defeating Tipton keeper, Alatalo, this on 36 minutes. Continued pressure from the hosts brought it’s reward on 41 minutes, Chris Knight driving powerfully home through a crowded Tipton goalmouth.  1-0.

Barely a couple of minutes into the second half and Dudley might well have surged further ahead, Knight’s goalbound drive from an oblique angle seemingly a certain score until spectacularly parried away off the very goal-line by Jon Patrick. Tipton, however, continued to fight back with vigour, Matt Payne and Mark Cartwright setting fine examples of fighting spirit and ability in their concerted efforts to turn the tide for their club. On 51 minutes however, Marango erred poorly when an equaliser was wastefully spurned after he prodded weakly and inexplicably wide of an open goal which would have tied up the scores.

Five minutes later Patrick settled Tipton’s nerves with a stoic clearance under increasing pressure before Dudley threatened again a little later, Knight driving for goal but seeing his effort hurtle over the Tipton crossbar. Marango responded for the visitors just on the hour;although without reward, his effort careering away just off target. On 63 mins.with Tipton continuing to threaten, the home defence was breached sufficiently for Zico Agyemang to drive across stranded keeper, Green, for the equaliser .  1-1.

On the restart Tipton immediately won possession again, Jon Patrick advancing to fire in a long, raking drive, beating keeper, Green,but, sadly for the visitors, hurtling past the far post. All to play for again, Dudley once more to the fore but Alatalo stood firm in the Tipton goal.

Tipton survived a fright in the 78th minute with the home club screaming for a penalty, their outbursts having no influence upon the referee. But on 84 mins. Tipton fell into arrears again when Bradley Cox forced the ball home following a left wing raid. 2-1. As time inevitably wound down Tipton were caught defenceless with ‘keeper, Alatalo forced into conceding a penalty, Cox again netting with his strong drive bulging high into the Tipton net.  3-1.

A flurry of late attacks upon the Dudley goal saw another penalty award granted almost on full-time, Dudley conceding, Tipton scoring through Jon Patrick’s forceful drive  3-2. In the final sortie of the game Dudley were able to breathe easy after their ‘keeper, Ash Green made a splendid save to thwart Ross Harris as the visitors all but pulled the game out of the fire.

John A. Cross

President, Tipton Town F.C.

Next Fixture   Sat 25th November 2017   WMRL Divn. One   GORNAL ATHLETIC  (Away)  3-00PM