Worcester Raiders, tussling with Darlaston Town for the Division One League Title, were hardly the preferred side for Tipton to embattle as the Black Country club’s final League fixture proved too much. Most certainly the home side generally forced the pace, particularly in the opening half, their ultimate victory, however, tarnished somewhat in their visitor’s eyes when Scott Broadway’s second half effort most certainly appeared to be over the home goal-line with the referee and linesman still trying to catch up with play, the Match Official unsure and opting to rule out any score.

After Broadway’s initial break, on commencement of play, had seen him forced wide of the home goal, the home club responded strongly, Kieran Smith denying Matt Tyler at the expense of an early flag-kick, the same home forward driving the cross well over the bar. Another corner-kick quickly followed for Worcester from the right, only partially cleared by Tipton before yet another cross into their penalty area in the 6th minute, simply resulted in Roland Krol’s header flying way over the bar.

For Tipton, Connor Garrett responded by playing in Broadway who was quickly picked up and crowded out. Broadway, however, featured again quickly afterwards, intercepting a chip to the left flank where Martin Fowler, for the home club, had taken up a dangerous position, 11 minutes now elapsed. Still Worcester drove forwards, Paul Smith blotting his copybook in the 13th minute by ballooning high a direct free kick. Tipton responded, a foul on Teejay Davies leading to a free-kick just outside the home penalty area, Lleyton Gould’s subsequent header for goal carrying insufficient venom to be of real concern for home keeper, Lewis Pinches.

Similarly, Tipton launched another free-kick curling into the Worcester penalty area, Broadway only able to glance a header at goal which was summarily thrashed clear by Worcester with the midpoint of the half now reached. Paul Smith soon forced visiting keeper, Thomas, to turn the ball aside for a corner, Tipton rebutting this attack and remaining, at this stage, generally on the defensive. On 25 mins. however, the visitor’s doughty resistance was broken when another home flag-kick saw Worcester defender, SAM CAREY, squeeze the ball home. literally through a ruck of legs. 1-0.

Surely Tipton’s resilience would now simply collapse and, in truth, additional pressure followed upon their goal, keeper, Chris Thomas starring in the main to quell any more significant progress for the Worcestershire side. Becoming ever more dangerous, however, as the half wore on, the home club were close to netting again on 36 minutes, Martin Fowler’s effort curling just a shade wide of the Tipton post. On 39 mins.visiting keeper, Thomas, under mounting pressure, punched clear allowing his club to break away, Broadway subsequently hauled to the floor as he bore down on the home goal, the resulting direct free-kick driven well clear.

Shortly after the interval, Tipton were indebted to Harry Reuben after Worcester quickly broke through on goal, the visiting defender triumphantly winning a last-ditch tackle for the ball. The visitors, however, were making much more of a mark themselves now, Lleyton Gould’s aerial forward pass only just too strong for the swift-footed Davies to profit from, this after 53 minutes.

Goal-scoring hero from last time out for Tipton, Andy Dicken, was now involved as a Tipton sub. on this occasion, but sadly for both him and his club, the Gods eluded him this time. The visitors, truth be told, were clearly making a game of it now, the long-striding Broadway cutting in from the left just a couple of minutes later, home stopper, Lewis Pinches in need of two efforts before able to grappled the ball to safety. Back came Worcester, however, Luke Johnson heading clear for the visitors in the 58th minute before their keeper, Thomas, denied Kyle Belmonte with his feet. Soon afterwards Thomas starred again for Tipton, clinging on expertly to Tony Smith’s goal-seeking header.

Lleyton Gould’s superbly placed outstretched foot denied Matthew Tyler from inflicting any more damage to the visitors, turning the ball well aside before the game was almost turned upon it’s head in the 64th minute, Broadway most clearly seeming to force the ball over the home club’s goal-line before it was so hastily bundled clear with the referee unable to award a goal as, most importantly, his linesman was lagging well behind play ! Rough justice indeed !.

On 72 mins. sub, Josh Weatherby cut inside for Worcester, his more than reasonable effort on goal held under pressure by visiting keeper, Thomas, the latter starring again a couple of minutes later when denying Belmonte in the 74th minute. Dicken’s direct free-kick at the Worcester goal most clearly had power and direction but was simply unable to defeat home keeper, Pinches.

So Tipton Town’s WMRL Divn. One season finally closed for another season, containing many bright and worthy moments but too many under-performances too which Team Manager, Neil Perks will assuredly endeavour to redress next Season. In the meantime Tipton Town still have an important fixture to contest namely,

The Birmingham Saturday Vase Final  versus ENVILLE ATHLETIC on Saturday 11th May 2019 at B-ham County F.A. Headquarters, Ray Hall Lane, Great Barr, B-HAM  B43   KICK OFF  2-00p.m.

John A.Cross

President, Tipton Town F.C.