A most welcome victory saw Tipton Town overcome their hosts in an encounter in Shropshire, the blustery north westerly wind always an extra foe to subdue. Telford, currently marooned at the bottom of the League table, proved more than just a game outfit, however, their resilience and drive most surprising and, all to their credit, only beginning to recede as the fixture ran it’s course.

Indeed, Telford opened in positive fashion, Tipton keeper, Chris Thomas, only just managing to drive the ball into touch from his penalty area, preventing Dylan Cook from netting in the opening exchanges. The exceptionally strong wind, which rarely lost any vigour throughout the game, was in evidence from the outset. Mark Cartwright’s well meant forward pass simply gathered more pace and was gratefully snapped up by the home club before Tipton won possession again, skipper, Sam Hesson’s neat work sending TJ Davies skittering through before Jamie Cowdrill  helped ease any Telford concerns.

The Black Country club, however, continued to use the wind to their advantage and were soon in front when Ben Store converted from close in, having taken receipt of a fine through pass. 0-1. On seven mins. TJ Davies’s cross found skipper, Sam Hesson, a second score looming until home keeper, Mitch Delamere’s eye-catching save. Aided by the incessant gale-like conditions, the visitors, through TJ Davies might well have doubled their lead on just 12 mins., the visiting forward’s effort on goal, however, unable to defeat keeper, Delamere. Telford’s attacks had been limited to spasmodic ones only at this stage, Tipton, aided by the strong wind, continuing to enjoy by far the greater balance of play. Yet another sortie, bearing down on the home goal spelt danger for Telford, alleviated only when Davies’s high cross into the home penalty was driven a little wide by Scott Broadway.

On 16 mins. sheer perseverance helped put Telford in with more than a sporting chance of equalising, centre-forward and skipper, Luke Dent, thwarted by Tipton keeper, Chris Thomas’s brave save. Again the home club made ground in search of an equaliser, Callum Wilson, however, topping his close-range effort over the Tipton bar following smart approach work by colleagues, Josh Dodd and Dent once again. Back surged Tipton, however, Davies showboating with a mazy run, the home defence at sixes and sevens, his subsequent low cross sadly fizzing through a throng of harassed defenders to relative safety. As Telford re-gathered some confidence, sufficient to launch attacks upon the Tipton goal, visiting skipper, Hesson set a fine example to his colleagues with assured play, keeping the home club at arm’s length.

Back again came Tipton, somehow failing to double their tally when Scott Broadway, in prime position to score, saw his close range drive cannon off the underside of the home crossbar and to safety. Ben Store was next to test Telford’s resolve on 33 mins., his fine cross hoofed clear, only for an unproductive corner, with Telford, once again, very fortunate not to slip further adrift. On 35 mins. Telford responded with determination, making headway into the Tipton penalty area and coming close to levelling when Will Drewfield’s  flag-kick was met by Jordan Hall, his header so very close to equalising the scores. Connor Scott then set the visitors on the charge once more down the right flank, Broadway losing out to the combined attentions of Jamie Cowdrill and Josh Dodd, 41 mins. now elapsed.

Visiting skipper, Hesson, was desperately unlucky on seeing his wickedly curling header, aided by the swirling wind, only just arcing outside the home goal-post. On 44 mins Hesson was once more to the fore for the visitors, his superb left foot drive from outside the penalty area simply whipping past a wrong-footed Delamere in the home goal putting the visitors well in command. 0-2.

At the commencement of the second half, well thought-out responses by the home club were strongly countered by Hesson and Lleyton Gould too, clearly helping deflate any home advancements of note. To their credit, however, Telford, basement club though they may currently be, still sought to retrieve something positive from the encounter. On 51 mins.Callum Wilson’s surprise hook shot from easily 25 yards almost had the beating of visiting keeper, Thomas , the swirling wind now gathering velocity in Telford’s favour. On 53 mins. Alex Norris did well to protect the Tipton goal by heading away for a flag-kick before visiting keeper, Thomas, elicited a marvellous flying save to somehow deny Dylan Cook, Telford now clearly believing all was still not lost.

Just five mins. later and it was most assuredly all doom and gloom for the League’s basement club, sterling work by Lleyton Gould and Hesson opening up a pathway for TJ Davies who nonchalantly lobbed home to give Tipton a huge 0-3 advantage. To their immense credit Telford did not simply capitulate but found hidden reserves of spirit, sub. Ebrima Jallow only just wide on the hour with a great left-footer, helping signal further efforts by the home club, Tipton keeper, Thomas performing heroics in beating away successive goal-bound efforts from Jordan Hall and Luke Dent before Lleyton Gould’s well-judged tackle robbed Hall again.

On 67 mins. Telford finally found the mark, a long curling effort, wind-assisted no doubt, by Kyle Jordan caught Tipton keeper, Thomas somewhat out of his ground , despite his previous game-saving heroics, and gave the spirited home club some much needed consolation. 1-3 .Suddenly a resurgence in Telford’s spirits, all-out attack suggesting that the visitor’s two-goal cushion was catchable  and made even more likely when another home attack resulted in Tipton keeper, Thomas having little option but to bring the likely scorer down , a penalty, no question whatsoever, resulting. High drama now, Tipton seeing their winning lead most probably reduced again and then even a victory denied if another home goal ensued. Callum Wilson most certainly drove a well-placed effort for goal, visiting keeper, Chris Thomas, quite stunningly beating the ball aside.

Tipton clung on to their hard-earned lead despite Telford’s new found desire, surviving another couple of hairy moments before the storm, at last, began to subside. On 83 mins, composure regained, Tipton threatened again Davies’s close range drive cannoning away for a corner before the home club won back possession, looking dangerous again, Mark Cartwright and Alex Norris combining to great effect to keep them at bay and ensure the points headed back to the Black Country.

John A.Cross

President, Tipton Town F.C.