Tipton saw off the doughty efforts of their Solihull visitors courtesy of a barnstorming display in the 2nd half, thus propelling them further in the Competition. Indeed, the home club, in their familiar Tipton Sports Academy surroundings were first to flex their muscles, Ben Shore’s curling goalbound drive palmed away by Moor’s keeper, Bobbie Biddle, before the visitors responded, Charlie Jones’s incisive through ball, however, spotted far too late by his striker colleagues.

The home club were soon on the front foot again, however, TJ Davies finding colleague, Shore, whose subsequent effort on goal was forced away by Biddle yet again. The bitterly cold wind, laden with rain too, was a most uncomfortable medium in which to operate, both clubs simply having to endure it and try, as best they could, to take any advantage at opportune moments. Still making most of the running, Tipton threatened in the 7th minute, Davies’s curling cross finding skipper, Sam Hesson, whose drive for goal was bravely charged down by Ben Kendrick. Moors, suddenly picking up the pace with Keziel Martin and Cain Thomas making worrying inroads towards the home goal, the move nipped in the bud by Max Pashley’s well-judged interception following which, Davies, for Tipton, was blatantly felled again, breaking Tipton’s forward momentum.

Moors Academy were now becoming more adventurous and enterprising, Ruben Pill firing at the home club’s goal, Chris Thomas remaining unbeaten, but soon afterwards another Moors attack, impressive in it’s build-up, required stout defending by Tipton’s back line. On 16 minutes visiting skipper, Ethan Sephton helped launch another attack, Max Pashley interceding for the home club and effectively keeping Moors at bay. Clever screening of the ball by home skipper, Sam Hesson, enabled him to weave past two defenders before linking up with Davies, the move stifled in no-nonsense fashion by Reiss McNally. On 22mins. Tipton’s defence was stretched, Keziel Martin and Jordan Clarke creating a worrying situation, negated by the combined efforts of Lleyton Gould and Luke Johnson.

Back stormed Moors, Mikel Mbuti was brought down just shy of the home penalty area and towards the right wing, Martin’s free kick quite expertly met by Jordan Clarke who rocketed the ball home via a stunning header. 0-1. TJ Davies was becoming involved in the lion’s share of Tipton’s possession, his colleagues supporting him admirably. On 29 mins however, with Moors still forcing much of the pace Jamie Saidler’s ground-hugging effort might well have brought Tipton the equaliser, the ball at the death being scooped clear by keeper, Thomas.

Home skipper, Hesson’s finely judged ball down the left wing on 34 mins. unhinged Moor’s defence, little more time elapsing before TJ Davies literally whipped the ball home following fine build-up play by colleague, Ben Store. 1-1. On 41 mins, a sad defensive lapse by Tipton let in Clarke who nonchalantly slipped the ball home to record his brace and, in so doing, helping Moors enjoy a 2-1 interval lead.

The incessant rain, which had fallen for much of the encounter was, by now, even heavier and more troublesome too, particulary for the visitors who had no alternative but to face it as staunchly as possible and endeavour to defend their hard won lead. A re-invigorated  Tipton commenced the 2nd half, heavy rain and squally wind still the bugbear, but now in the faces of the visitors. Davies all but squared up the scores shortly after the restart, his rasping drive skidding barely a foot wide, visiting keeper, Biddle, almost certainly unable to intercede. Connor Scott joined the action up front for the home club, his speculative drive for goal, however, gaining a little too much height.

Suddenly Moors, en bloc, were streaking through the middle in the 52nd min,Tipton reeling for a spell but danger man Clarke’s drive for goal was carried wide by the gale-force conditions. Six minutes later Tipton were level at 2-2, Scott Broadway’s glorious header, following an inch-perfect Davies cross simply too good for keeper, Biddle. Stung into some positive response, Moors attacked the home club with skill and passion, despite battling the strong wind and, by now, even heavier rain with more than an hour of the tie concluded.

Gradually, however, Tipton, with the unceasing wind and rain at their backs, began to exploit the conditions wisely, Store twice so unlucky not to find the opponent’s net. A valiant counter-attack on 72 mins. resulted in Clarke, clearly the visitor’s most gifted forward, going so very near. Quickly afterwards Moors again battled through the elements, almost taking the lead once again, Chris Thomas’s brilliant save from Martin’s cracking drive assuredly deflating the visiting club’s spirits.

A clever lob by skipper, Hesson again tested Moor’s resolve, the latter defending again desperately in the face of the squally rain which had surely become somewhat heavier. Moors gained some respite in the 77th minute, a long range effort by Clarke, raking across the home goal. Another notable effort by Moors in the 79th min.saw Mark Cartwright intercept and clear the danger for Tipton. On 81 mins. TJ Davies’ quite brilliant 25, maybe even 30 yard, direct free-kick – a veritable pile-driver – whistle rapidly past the flailing arms of keeper, Biddle, a quite stunning effort which he will surely never surpass leaving the visiting keeper absolutely incredulous on seeing the ball zoom  over his flailing but helpless hands before ripping into the visitor’s net inches under the crossbar. 3-2.

John A. Cross

President, Tipton Town F.C.

Next Fixtures  Sat. 22nd December 2018    WMRL  Divn. One     WORCESTER RAIDERS  ( Home)  3-00pm

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