14Following last weekend’s desperately disappointing home loss to Allscott by 0-1 deep into injury time, Tipton were today pitted against  even more difficult opponents – Shropshire’s Newport Town.

Of course such suppositions do not always ring true, as Tipton’s much less experienced outfit were well worth their point, ensuring their season was now up and running. Indeed, in only the 2nd. minute the Black Country club were denied an opening score when Scott Broadway, in the act of driving for goal, was firmly tackled by Newport’s Jack Davies, a flag-kick resulting but nothing more. Still on the front foot in these early stages, Tipton pressed forward again, skipper, Sam Hesson illegally felled after cottoning onto a smart pass by Jamie Saidler, Newport, however defending the free-kick with alacrity.

TJ Davies next featured for the home club, crossing deep into the visitor’s penalty area where Broadway rose well to head only a foot or so wide. Newport, at this stage strangely reluctant to respond paid the penalty for their lack of attention in the 10th minute when Hesson’s adroit cross was meat and drink for TJ Davies whose fine header was far too good for visiting keeper, Andy Heal. 1-0.

Within a couple of minutes a now buoyant Tipton came so close to doubling their lead , Davies’s wickedly curling cross defying ‘keeper, Heal before arrowing just past the Newport goalpost. Connor Scott’s hefty clearance relieved pressure upon the home club’s goal as Newport at last replied with some well constructed movement, a stark warning to Tipton of their capabilities with Nathan Rooney and Shane Thomas instrumental in their club’s resurgence, But then it all went awry for Newport again for, on 17 minutes, a scrambled goal by Rich Smith put the home club two goals to the good after skipper, Hesson and James Thompson combined to great effect, splitting the visitor’s defence, Smith’s conversion merely a formality. 2-0.

Visibly stung Newport hit back hard via Tom Horton and Rob Millington, home full-back Connor Scott smartly denying them. On 24 mins. with Newport clearly coming much more into the game, Millington forced Tipton keeper, Dale Holloway to save quite splendidly but shortly afterwards the visitors, by now showing the mettle of which they were eminently capable, reduced the arrears, Shane Thomas cleverly outwitting home keeper, Holloway. 2-1 Boiling up now he game began to assume an end to end battle as a result of the visitor’s successful strike. Shane Thomas, fleet of foot, began to bedevil Tipton with his confident surging runs.

On 33 minutes, Rooney’s impressive control threw the Tipton defence, the latter escaping at the death when Connor Scott turned the ball behind for a flag-kick. With 37 mins. elapsed the impressive Tom Taylor cleared the home club’s lines in the very nick of time after Rooney’s eye-catching footwork had clearly unhinged the Tipton defence. Shane Thomas too was by now performing impressively for Newport, the home club hard-pressed to hold onto their slender advantage. Just a couple of minutes later Newport hauled themselves level when Craig Edwards tucked away Horton’s perfectly placed ground cross. 2-2. With the interval so very near Newport looked certain to take the lead, a tremendous interception  by Tom Taylor robbing Millington with a third Newport goal on the cards.

The visitors began the second half on the front foot, Hesson’s well-judged interception stifling the scoring opportunity. Tipton fought back, Rich Smith glancing a header from a right wing cross only just wide of the Newport goal. On 51 mins. Hesson’s dominant play helped open up a gap in the visitor’s defence, keeper Heal equal to the subsequent drive, splendidly beating the ball away. Back surged Newport, Horton’s cross into the home penalty area turned aside for an unproductive flag-kick. Further fine work by Hesson bolstered Tipton’s spirit as the contest assed the hour mark.

But on 63 mins Newport  came very close to taking the lead for the first time, Jack Martin’s splendid effort at goal bettered only by home keeper, Holloway’s magnificent save when fisting the ball clear in mid-flight. Tarrike Thomas now joined the fray for the home club, his impish skills very quickly of concern to the visitors.

Rob Millington broke clear for the visitors but was well marshalled and eventually dispossessed by Lleyton Gould, the home club still holding fast. Again the visitors attacked with purpose, Tom Taylor thwarting them yet again. Tipton sub. Chris Price was next to halt the visitor’s progress down the flank before putting Tipton on the charge again. As the final stages unfolded it was virtually all Tipton knocking on the door, TJ Davies jinking in and out in the Newport penalty area perplexing the by now harried visitors rearguard but the winning goal remained elusive.

The game was played in a fine spirit and new Team Manager, Neil Perks could be well satisfied with his charge’s efforts all round.

John A.Cross

President, Tipton Town FC

Next Fixture    WMRL  Div One    SIKH HUNTERS  ( Away)  Sat  18th August  2018   k.o.  3-oopm