Tipton Town’s resilience, not always in vogue this season, thankfully returned to help stave off a most spirited challenge from their equally lowly League visitors. Ian Guy’s charges edged the contest, albeit not by a great deal, with the final outcome most certainly in some doubt very late in the game. Swirling pockets of mist or fog also played their part adding to the concern of all as any further deterioration would probably have triggered an abandonment.
A frenetic opening, in misty conditions even at that early stage, saw both sets of charges almost open their accounts, Tom Taylor halted after progressing ominously towards the visitor’s goal, rapidly countered by Ryan Whardley for Wyrley, whose worthy effort, too, was not far away. Recent defeats at the hands of Champions-elect, Wem Town, Wren’s Nest and, most recently, Telford Juniors had clearly dented the home club’s confidence, a positive response now a telling issue.
TJ Davies, for Tipton, was quick to showcase his wiles, twists and turns, forcing Andy Lee to seemingly upend him well into the visitor’s penalty area, Tipton’s bellicose screams for an early penalty, however, ignored by the referee triggering catcalls of derision from many of the watching attendance. Responding quickly with vigour, Wyrley soon threatened too, Sam Hesson’s sterling efforts winning back the ball before despatching it well into the visitor’s half and to safety.
On 12 minutes Wyrley were most fortunate to remain on level terms, home skipper for the night, Mark Cartrwright, in Dan Patrick’s enforced absence, so narrowly driving just inches shy of their post. However, refusing to be cowed, Wyrley struck back through Jack Braid and Nick Lee, the home defence clearly thankful to force the ball into touch. On 14 minutes Desean Martin motored down Wyrley’s left flank for Tipton, cutting in neatly before launching a fine cross into the penalty area, thankfully for the visitors, bundled clear by the alert, Grant Winwood.
Midway through the half young Davies for Tipton was soon at the forefront in a strong reply, his splendid crossfield ball setting up David Kabanda, visiting keeper, Joe Williams, astutely denying him, before Hesson then pounced, the visiting keeper again up to the task rendering the game still scoreless. End to end stuff now, the 25th minute seeing Archie Alatalo in the home goal, deny Wyrley’s Joe Dace with the opening goal seemingly in the offing. On 28 minutes it was the home club calling the shots once more, Taylor opening up a pathway for Keith Ndlovu to exploit before cutting in for goal, the visitors at full stretch to deny the attack.
The increasingly misty conditions were now becoming a little more than an issue, any further deterioration of note likely to spark an abandonment. Hesson,as usual, was often in the thick of things for Tipton, and soon bested two challenges from the visitors enabling him to fire for goal, visiting keeper, Williams, yet again denying him. On the counter-attack Wyrley were proving mighty dangerous, most certainly belying their lowly League position and eye-catching efforts courtesy of Chris Geldart and Whardley were certainly an issue for Tipton to deal with.
On 36 minutes, Tarrike Thomas’s jinking run unhinged the visitor’s defence, seemingly certain to herald the opening goal of the game, but Wyrley countered splendidly through the combined efforts of skipper, Reis Nadat and Ryan Wilkins only for home skipper for the night, Cartwright to foil the dangerously developing reply. On balance, however, Tipton had just about shaded the first half and, in bolstering this, forged ahead on 42 minutes, will-o-the-wisp, TJ Davies impishly drawing visiting keeper, Williams, out of his goal before deftly slipping the ball home. 1-0.
Patches of mist were by now becoming much more ominous as the second half commenced, clearly any further deterioration almost certain to trigger an abandonment. Thankfully this failed to arise but the murky conditions, although still acceptably playable, hardly helped anyone on the park. Clearly anxious to counter Tipton’s narrow lead Wyrley began the second half in all-out attack, the home club’s Sam Armstrong, however, besting Jack Braid as he ominously forced his way into the home penalty area.
On 56 minutes, Tipton spurned the opportunity of moving further ahead, poor control by Kabanda just a few yards from the visitor’s goal spoiling a great opportunity for the home club. Undeterred, Wyrley countered hard, sub. Ben Marklow’s ground shot only just careering past the Tipton post, a serious let-off for the home club. Tipton quickly rallied, however, raising the stakes again as they put more pressure on the visitor’s goal but lack of composure proved their undoing.
Refusing to be outfought, Wyrley were soon knocking on the door again, home keeper, Alatalo having to save smartly to deny Joe Dace.Conditions were again visibly deteriorating, and although play could still be seen, the foggy conditions were most clearly worsening. The home club slowly regained the initiative, however, almost doubling their advantage on 73 minutes with Davies and Keith Ndlovu defying tackles to threaten the visitor’s goal once more.
On 76 minutes Wyrley only just failed to level the scores, both Ryan Wilkins and Nick Lee witnessing accurate strikes upon the home goal beaten away. Seeing conditions occasionally improved but quickly deteriorated again as further banks of mist impacted upon the murky conditions. Tipton, however, at last made the game safe for themselves, conditions relenting a trifle in the 88th minute when TJ Davies’s trademark shimmy and sprint down the right flank bedevilled the Wyrley back line before playing in Ebey Marango who punctured the visitor’s defence helping give his club a hard-earned 2-0 victory.
President, Tipton Town F.C.
Next Fixture Sat. 14th April 2018 WMRL. Divn. One BROMYARD TOWN ( Home) k.o. 3-00pm.