A swirling, wickedly blustery wind failed to dampen or suppress the efforts of both clubs in this tightly fought encounter. An early foray upon the home goal, following a 2nd minute free-kick set the home club’s hearts a-racing, young Abdul Abubaker heading firmly clear to blunt the visitor’s ambitious opening. Still calling the tune in these early moments, Mark Cartwright’s smart anticipation helped shepherd the ball away from it’s intended target, James Weaver, with the Castlecroft outfit showing up so positively in this fine opening.

On 9 minutes Jake Pearson’s clever shimmy opened up a channel towards the Tipton goal, home keeper, Chris Thomas remaining unbowed however. Sam Hesson, Tipton skipper, replied with a drive at the visitor’s goal from range, the incessant strong wind a major factor behind the ball curling wide of the visiting club’s goal. However, it was clear that Tipton were most certainly the side endeavouring to break the deadlock and, impressive link-up play featuring, in the main, Scott Broadway and Teejay Davies on 16 minutes saw the latter’s well struck effort curl just shy of the visitor’s goal.

Still in the ascendancy for a spell, Broadway soon featured strongly again, heading only a foot or so off target on 18 minutes, the home side now pressing ever forwards. Keeping up the pressure upon the visitors, Luke Johnson’s fine work culminated in an effort upon the Old Wulfs goal, beaten away by Louis Harper. Still enjoying the lion’s share of the contest, at this stage, Teejay Davies, receiving smartly from young Abdul Abubaker, disappointingly saw his drive at the visitor’s goal turned aside for a flag-kick, visiting keeper, Jamie Bostock gathering confidently although most certainly under pressure.

Old Wulfs surged back, close to catching Tipton off-guard before being repelled down the left where young Abubaker hared through the suddenly unbalanced visiting defence, driving well for the target, his prize unfortunately for Tipton, a flag-kick only. Still making much of the running, Broadway played in Davies in the 27th minute, the latter’s strong drive whistling over the Wulf’s bar, but only by a smidgeon. A smart interception by visiting skipper, Tom Ray suddenly became ominous for the hosts, an impressive move down the left flank creating an opening for James Weaver, the visiting striker’s resultant drive, however, a foot of so too high.

Charlie Turner then took up the reins for Old Wulfs on the half-hour, Tipton’s Leyton Gould deftly robbing him, helping set up another home attack, Teejay Davies so very close to opening the scoring for Tipton, his speculative drive barely drifting over the top with visiting keeper, Jamie Bostock clearly helpless. All the home club’s good work was soon to be undone however, for on 42 mins JAKE PEARSON drove spectacularly home, putting the visitors in the driving seat. 0-1 In reality few could really argue that it was not hard on the hosts, Tipton quite clearly having made much of the running at this stage.

Just prior to half-time Broadway hit back for the home club, most certainly on target, but thumped well clear by Harry Warburton. Commencing the 2nd half home skipper, Sam Hesson’s fine crossfield ball put the visitors under pressure straightway, Louis Harper thumping clear. Battling with increased fervour now, Jamie Saidler tested the visitor’s resolve with an awkward swinging cross on 50 minutes into the visitor’s crowded penalty area where it was splendidly defended with alacrity.

It was most clearly a different Tipton now, twice shots at the visitor’s goal cannoning just wide with 56 minutes played before Jake Pearson responded , so close to doubling Wulfs lead. Another over-the top challenge home centre-forward, Broadway finally and so belatedly saw the Match Official take some action to quell the visitor’s strong-arm tactics, Adam Holliday most fortunate to simply receive a yellow card after his wild, over the top challenge on Broadway. Just shy of an hours play, with the home side most clearly forcing the issue, Leyton Gould hooked only just over the visitor’s bar. Tipton skipper, Hesson, continued to set a fine example to his colleagues, his great reserves of energy of immense value to his team.

Young Abubaker, who had done really well, now gave way to Harry Reuben’s fresh legs and following several attacks,Tipton won a penalty kick, Teejay Davies blatantly felled in mid-flight leading to SCOTT BROADWAY emphatically driving home the spot-kick, 1-1.

Revelling in his sinewy movement, Tipton’s Davies was soon also quite shamefully brought crashing to earth in mid-flight, a weak referee somehow seeing this as a booking only eliciting howls of derision from most of the watching spectators and which were rightly deserved too ! Undeterred, but in actuality, spurred on young Davies was soon leading the home charge again, foiled at the death after a sparkling, twisting run, this on 73 mins.

The visitors responded just three minutes later, Charlie Turner’s on-target drive turned aide for a fruitless flag-kick. Back with Tipton, Broadway to the fore again, his ground-hugging drive unable to defeat ‘keeper, Bostock. Classy defending by Adam Holliday on 84 mins. kept the home attack at bay, before the home club made impressive strides towards goal, courtesy of Alex Norris and Davies once again, the latter foiled at the death and, in the closing seconds, no less, Broadway too.

John A, Cross

President, Tipton Town F.C.

Next Fixture   Sat 10th November 2018   WMRL Divn. One    GORNAL ATHLETIC  (Away)  k.o. 3-0pm