Deep anger ensued at Tipton Sports Academy after the home club had valiantly fought back against clearly superior opposition boasting just one solitary defeat this season, to equalise only for the visitors to win the spoils in the rapidly closing stages when they forced the ball home from close range, the scorer quite clearly offside, this being immediately signalled by the lady lineswoman. Consternation followed, the referee surrounded and badgered volubly by the visitors after he had initially and rightly disallowed the score. Protestations by the visitors grew louder following which he walked 30 yards or so to speak with his lineswoman and, after a short discussion, reversed his decision. Crucially at the time of the incident the referee was fully 40 yards away, making the lineswoman’s decision absolutely crucial but unaccountably he over-ruled her, creating a potential flashpoint between the two clubs.

 In truth the visitors, riding in third position in the League table were the more positive side for much of this encounter after commencing on the front foot from the outset, Tipton thankful not to concede early. Continuing to call the tune, Worcester forced Tipton to defend with skipper, Matt Tyler and Kyle Belmonte involved very much in orchestrating their attacks. On 14 mins. Paul Smith fired a cracking drive at the home goal, the ball scudding so narrowly past the post.

Tipton’s responses at this stage were just spasmodic, an indicator of the visitor’s continuing dominance. On 24 mins. however Tipton fashioned a worthy retort when skipper, Sam Hesson found Scott Broadway with a dangerous cross, the latter’s header only a shade too high. Undismayed, Worcester surged back into the attack, Gavin Podmore’s goal-seeking header tipped over the top by home keeper, Chris Thomas, the keeper excelling again just a short time later to deny Belmont an almost certain score. TJ Davies thereafter won a midfield challenge for the hosts, advancing with purpose before firing at the visitor’s goal, the ball arcing barely a foot wide. This, however, was just a spasmodic attack, several minutes elapsing before Tipton caused the visitors any concern, Ben Store laying off for Davies to try his luck, his close range effort whistling a yard or so wide, 34 mins having elapsed.

Still battling to try to gain a more positive foothold in the game Tipton won a flag-kick, partially cleared to Store, whose well struck drive was diverted for another corner, this brief spell of home attacking at least carrying some menace. Yet again Tipton forced the issue , at least for a spell, both Davies and Store linking up well to pierce the Worcester defence, the resultant cross from the left, however, summarily dealt with, this after 42 mins. Competing well at this stage, skipper Hesson’s eye-catching through ball to Scott Broadway saw the opening goal of the game beckoning, only for the ball to curl just past the Worcester post. Right on half-time Tipton were at last undone, Worcester launching  a fine cross deep into the home club’s penalty area where Sam Carey’s clever header put Worcester ahead 0-1.

A far more committed Tipton emerged for the second half, the ball finding Davies on 48 mins., the youngster, however, halted by the combined attentions of Gavin Podmore and Sam Carey. On 53 mins an optimistic drive by Kyle Belmonte sailed well over the home bar before Worcester were threatening again, a clever crossfield ball finding Martin Fowler whose effort was well held by home keeper, Thomas, 55 mins. having now elapsed. Just a couple of mins. later and Tipton’s dogged resistance earned it’s reward, a left wing cross forced home by Ben Store bringing parity once more at 1-1. Clearly stung by this setback Worcester surged back with purpose, skipper, Matt Tyler so very unlucky with a stinging drive on the turn.

Just on the hour and Paul Smith set alarm bells ringing for the Tipton camp, his cracking drive just narrowly clearing the home crossbar. TJ Davies’s undoubted artistry was giving the visitors headaches, their robust treatment of him most clearly far more than suspect but the ever-tolerant referee weakly chose not to intervene. Again Davies was in the frame, receiving from Mark Cartwright, before winning a free-kick from which a subsequent header at goal dropped only just over the Worcester bar. On 71 mins however, with Worcester again exerting their authority, substitute, Richard Smith gave them a 1-2 advantage.

Soon afterwards, in full flight towards a retreating Worcester defence, Davies was literally chopped down, the ever-reluctant referee simply awarding a free-kick. Scott Broadway was next to be brought crashing to the floor illegally, no booking given but a penalty kick awarded with Broadway driving emphatically home thus tieing the scores at 2-2. On 86 mins high drama ensued when the visitors forced the ball home, the lady lineswoman flagging frenziedly for an infringement against the visitors leading to the referee having to make 30 yards or so to speak to her. She continued to wave her flag as they spoke but the referee, who had been at least 30, probably 40 yards away from the incident that prompted the lineswoman’s action, simply dismissed her clear signal and awarded Worcester a third goal. 2-3.

John A.Cross

President, Tipton Town F.C.

Next Fixture   WMRL Divn. One   Sat 29th December 2018    WMRL Divn. One    BUSTLEHOLME ( Home )   k.o.  3-00pm.