An emphatic victory at Tipton Sports Academy by visitors, Sikh Hunters, deservedly propelled them into the Final, the home club’s responses simply not exhibiting the same intensity, leaving the eventual outcome not hard to predict. The visiting club began in positive style, immediately on the front foot from the kick-off, Sanjay Malhi’s smart, low cross into the home penalty area in the 4th minute being countered by the combined attentions of Kieran Smith and Max Pashley, the latter, most thankfully fit again following his travails of last weekend when he was forced to receive hospital attention following a clash of heads at Eccleshall in the fixture with Newport Town.

Once again the visitors quickly pressed, Hinesh Patel’s searching low cross stifled by Smith’s interception before, under more pressure, Lleyton Gould’s clever backheader helped remove the sting from another effort upon the home goal, 11 minutes now elapsed. Just a minute or so later, however, the visitors were celebrating a 1-0 advantage, ROSS HARRIS heading home in style following Mitch Lawley’s dangerous cross. On 17 minutes, with the passage of play still predominantly homing in upon the Tipton goal, another scoring effort for the visitors was blunted by Kieran Smith’s strong intervention.

Tipton were fighting hard to establish a foothold in the Tie, Max Pashley once again in similar difficulties to last week, in contesting an aerial ball under pressure. After some worrying moments, however, he was allowed to continue before Teejay Davies was next to be challenged rather more than harshly, Ashley Smith the perpetrator but, to howls of derision from many in the sizeable attendance, the increasingly languid referee simply produced a yellow card, hardly befitting the nature or severity of such an infamous challenge, this after 24 minutes.

Further pressure upon the Tipton goal simply served to enhance Sikh Hunter’s confidence, Pashley once again tracking back, in the face of mounting pressure, before denying Malhi at the expense of a corner. Still dictating play, in the main, the visitors drove forward again, Connor Archer’s wild finish sailing well over the home bar. On 32 mins.with Tipton striving to make some impression of their own, skipper Sam Hesson’s fine ball to Scott Broadway opened up a pathway towards the visitor’s goal, only to be crudely denied by yet another foul.

On 34 mins. a promising response from the home club saw the ball played into Davies in the visitor’s penalty area, but their defence had read the script perfectly, sheer numbers thwarting the home forward’s efforts. Two mins. later Tipton had a scare following a wicked free kick from Ryan Thomas, only dogged defending able to force the ball clear. With 38 mins. now elapsed more pressure put Tipton to the sword again, an inswinging flag-kick headed clear by Pashley under challenge, following which he again had to receive the trainer’s attention. Immediately afterwards, Tipton had a huge let-off, keeper Chris Thomas felled in preventing  an addition to the score and becoming yet another home player to receive medical attention.

40 mins.arrived, Sikh Hunters still pressing forwards, Luke Johnson helping gain some respite for his team when breaking up yet another dangerous-looking attack upon their goal. But, just on half-time, a cracking low strike from DANNY JONES just 15 yards from goal found the minutest gap in keeper, Thomas’s defence and, most assuredly, put the visitors firmly in the driving seat. On 48 mins. Luke Johnson foiled Sikh Hunters when a deep crossfield ball found Tipton’s left flank exposed, Malhi and Todd Perry in hot pursuit but foiled by Johnson’s timely clearance. 0-2

Soon afterwards it was Sikh Hunters again calling the shots, Ryan Thomas’s free-kick into the home penalty area scrambled clear by Tipton keeper, Thomas, the visitors turning the screw ever tighter. On 52 mins. another quite shocking foul, this time on Scott Broadway went totally unpunished, the referee, yet again showing no vigour whatsoever in stamping out such nasty infringements, howls of derision emanating loudly from many in the healthy attendance.

But soon the visitors were back in the hunt again, 56 mins, saw home keeper, Thomas turn the ball aside following which Ben Lawley headed over the home bar. Just a short time later Teejay Davies was most unceremoniously chopped down  by Malhi- a booking only received followed by howls of ire from the crowd but the free kick proved of no value to Tipton. On 65 mins, Jason Hewitt broke into the home penalty area before halted by Lleyton Gould. An eye-catching run by Danny Jones deep into the Tipton penalty area threatened yet again in the 68th min. but over-elaborate play spoiled the attack.

Fine play by home skipper, Sam Hesson down the left flank opened up a pathway for Tipton on 71 mins., but sadly they failed to take advantage. On 72 mins it was surely all over with DANNY JONES driving home for the rampant visitors through a crowded goalmouth. 0-3. In the 83rd minute a splendid aerial reverse shot by Jones again was countered by an equally brilliant save by home keeper, Thomas.

In the 88th minute a despairing home defence conceded yet again, HINESH PATEL finishing sweetly with a low drive through the over-worked home defence. 0-4.

John  A.Cross

President, Tipton Town F.C,

Next Fixture       Wednesday  10th April 2019    WMRL Divn. One   DROITWICH SPA ( Away)   K.O. 7-45 PM.

                                                                                                          The above fixture to be played at STOURPORT SWIFTS F.C.