Tipton Town spurned a great opportunity to defeat their Shropshire visitors, their wayward and capricious strikes at the opposition goal most clearly allowing them to see out the contest, in reality, unscathed as too often has happened before.
Mark Cartwright’s lofted header in the 2nd minute gave visiting keeper, Danny Hickling, his first contact with the ball, claiming possession comfortably. Scott Broadway then made inroads into the Telford defence, belatedly ruled offside clearly to the home club’s annoyance, this after just 5 minutes action. For Tipton, Scott Broadway made inroads into the visitor’s defence before very belatedly being ruled offside. With Tipton still making headway, skipper, Sam Hesson’s header, following a flag-kick, was capably driven clear by Liam Jones in the 8th minute.
A quite splendid 50 yard run, no less, by young debutante Abdul Abubaker looked almost a certainty to help open Tipton’s account, only to fail at the hands of Louis Jones, with the home club most seemingly on course for an early goal. Still on the front foot, however, Tipton did surge into a 17th minute lead when RICH SMITH converted past a rattled Telford defence, perfectly rounding off clever approach work by skipper, Hesson and Terry Davies. 1-0. Alas, as has occurred much too often this season, Tipton literally found themselves still reliving the moment and after only a couple of more minutes had elapsed, JEFF WATKINS equalised in relative comfort for the visitors. 1-1.
A very heavy collision involving the home club’s young Abubaker and Telford’s Liam Jones in the 23rd. minute left the home youngster clearly the worse for wear and limping considerably, 23 minutes now elapsed. Barely a couple of minutes later, however, Tipton’s joy was most certainly in the ascendancy again, SCOTT BROADWAY rocketing home a quite ferocious header from fellow scorer, Rich Smith’s inviting cross, Tipton again enjoying the lead at 2-1. Most clearly stung by this reverse, Telford renewed their efforts yet again, skipper Hesson, Tom Taylor and Mark Cartwright all combining to thwart any efforts to conjure up another equaliser,
Rich Smith continued to drive the home attack, his positive and unselfish leading of the front line requiring Telford to employ the offside trap more and more to the inevitable displeasure of the watching home fans. On 34 mins. however, Telford came so close to forcing an equaliser, the home club’s Declan Haire pulling off a most worthy save in denying Jordan Hall’s goalbound snap-shot. With half-time now looming home skipper, Hesson’s well-timed intervention negated the progress of the visitors down the right. Still time for just one more foray with Tipton so near to taking an interval lead after Terry Davies forced the ball home, the referee ruling out the strike, reason unclear as no appeals had been launched by the opposition.
On the restart for the second half, young Davies yet again threatened the Telford goal with his clever chip into the depth of their penalty area, Liam Jones clearing at full stretch. A clearance by Telford was intercepted by Hesson, his shot under pressure veering wide of the visitor’s goal however. On 52 mins. Luke Johnson halted Telford’s forward momentum but immediately the visitor’s skipper, TOM WHITE netted in strange and most disappointing circumstance, direct from his own flag-kick ! 2-2. Clearly angered by this awful defensive lapse Broadway and Smith endeavoured to redeem the home club’s lost advantage, making ominous and purposeful tracks down the left before, as a duo, cutting in but just failing in their ultimate quest.
Clearly Tipton were doing the bulk of the pressing, Hesson soon close to restoring their previous lead and, similarly, Broadway too, soon afterwards. Rich Smith was next to be denied by visiting keeper, Hickling on 68 mins., yet another unproductive flag-kick resulting. Two minutes later Smith missed a glorious opportunity to put Tipton back in the ‘box-seat’ again following Abubaker’s clever, mazy run followed by a great cross from the right. Terry Davies saw his tantalising run halted at the expense of another corner on 73 mins., Rich Smith simply unable to force the ball home from close with so many defenders guarding the goal.
On 82 mins. Telford broke away, Tipton keeper, Haire saving a point by beating the ball away before the home club launched another late attack in search of victory, Smith’s subsequent header following a left wing cross, soaring sadly over the visitor’s bar. Again the home club built up a head of steam in search of a winner, Mark Cartwright’s cross begging for a touch, all to no avail, leaving the visitors more than simply lucky to garner a point.
John A. Cross President, Tipton Town F.C.