Current League leaders, Worcester Raiders, were exposed to as hard a test as they have faced so far this season, winning all three points most fortunately as the home side made most of the running and goal chances too in a frenetic second half. Tipton began brightly, forcing the issue often in the early stages after good defensive work by Lewis Worsey and Jon Patrick had helped set up the platform for a fine attack upon the visitor’s goal in the 5th minute, Nigel Penney’s goal-bound header so very close to ringing the bell before a brave header by Worcester’s Joel Hobbs diffused the home assault.
Launching their first meaningful attack in the 7th minute, the visitors took the lead when young keeper, Archie Alatalo erred badly by flapping at the ball near his own goal-line which was then planted into the Tipton net by Martin Fowler. 0-1. Sensing further riches Worcester were quickly to the fore again, Tony Smith extending Alatalo, the home keeper,on this occasion claiming the effort with aplomb .Tipton may well have fallen further behind as the visitors took full advantage of the linesman’s quite incorrect decision in failing to flag Fowler offside, a second goal against only just avoided by Tipton.
On 14 minutes Tipton were re-energised after skipper, Paul Henley fed Sam Hesson whose chip-shot into the Worcester penalty area produced alarms but, unfortunately, no equaliser. Tipton were now clearly competing as well as their visitors, Matt Payne’s 16th min.free-kick diverted at the expense of a corner by Glen Sitch but Worcester keeper, Dan Stephens claimed the cross despite some aerial pressure. Immediately afterwards, however, Tipton won possession once more, Zico Agyemang’s fine goalbound effort cleared with difficulty by Aston Gunter.
Ebey Marango was now having some notable influence up front for the home club, frequently an outlet for Hesson and Penney, the former’s 29th minute effort careering only just off-target with visiting keeper, Stephens quite helpless. Romario Reid next fashioned an effort towards the Worcester goal without sufficient menace, however, to trouble keeper, Stephens. Back came Worcester, however, Matt Andrews only just failing to better home skipper, Henley as the Tipton defence came under pressure again, this on 35 mins. Immediately afterwards Tipton were ruing their ill-fortune when Penney’s point blank range effort was denied by Stephens’s splendid work in the visitor’s goal.
However, the tide quickly turned in favour of the visitors, firstly home keeper, Alatalo saved well from Chris Cornes on 43 mins before Worcester immediately won possession again with Cornes in the very nucleus of the attack volleying supremely home. 0-2. On the stroke of half-time Glen Smith was laid out cold when bravely defending Zico Agyemang’s ripping drive. Immediately upon the resumption Tipton’s Lewis Worsey too was forced to receive lengthy attention after being illegally felled in full flight.
Tipton were now in a far more determined mood, to a man utterly dismayed when Penney was quite blatantly chopped down on the very edge of the visitor’s penalty area, the offence simply waved aside by a most forgiving referee. On 52 mins Penney featured strongly again, curling a cross from the right touchline, the ball only just arcing over the visitor’s cross-bar. Hesson next engineered a more than likely forward thrust by Tipton, intercepted cleverly by the watchful Joel Hobbs.
Worcester struck back, Matt Andrew heading for goal but gaining a flag-kick only. On 58 mins, however, joy at long last for Tipton, a fitting reward for their second half resurgence in taking the game by it’s throat, Nigel Penney squeezing the ball home eventually from close in. 1-2. Agyemang and Hesson then combined to great effect , pressing the visitors right back but, unfortunately for nil reward. When the occasion demanded home skipper, Paul Henley remained indomitable at the heart of the Tipton defence.
Romario Reid’s impish movements were now clearly a growing concern for Worcester whose bullish tactics far too often remained unpunished by an overly lenient referee. Skilful defending on 68 mins by the visitors ensured their narrow lead was preserved. However, Agyemang and Reid combined quite eye-catchingly soon afterwards, their efforts only just failing to tie up the scores. Quickly switching to attack mode Worcester threatened in 73rd min.Worsey’s challenge so perfectly timed to the home club’s advantage. Mark Cartwright now joined Tipton’s cause, his goalbound header on 76 mins so near to equalising the scores.
The visitors, pegged back and defending in numbers for so long to protect their narrow lead, came alive as the final minutes ticked away, home keeper, Alatalo saving well to deny visiting skipper, Matt Tyler before Chris Cornes rattled the home crossbar with a fine snapshot with keeper, Alatalo well beaten.
John A. Cross President, Tipton Town F.C.
Sat 18th November 2017 WMRL Div. One TEAM DUDLEY (Away) 3-00pm