Fine display as Tipton draw

Tipton St John 2, Phoenix Club 2

Tipton’s loyal fans were treated to a fine display of football in this top of the table clash against second placed Phoenix Club, writes Richard Williams.

They started well with Lee Strawbridge shooting just over the bar in the first minute, but within a minute found themselves behind when Phoenix played a long ball out of defence over the Tipton defence for their striker to run onto and score.

Both teams then knocked the ball about well without creating a clear chance until the 23rd minute when Tipton put together a great move on their left with interpassing between Adam Connett and Ashley Small which culminated with Connett passing across the box for Small to hit a close range shot which was superbly saved by the Phoenix keeper.

Five minutes later Phoenix broke quickly from defence on the right and their shot at goal went just wide of the far post.

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On 38 minutes Tipton again put on a great passing display from box to box which again saw the Phoenix keeper make a fine save from Ashley Small’s shot.

Two minutes later Jamie Connett went close with a header from a corner which went just too high.

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Three minutes into the second half Phoenix went close to increasing their lead but Dale Strawbridge made a great save diving full length low to his left forcing the ball out for a corner.

From the corner Strawbridge caught the ball off a defensive header from Jake Freeman and then kicked it long to Ash Small on the left who beat the full back before crossing to the far post for Adam Connett to fire home an equaliser.

On 57 minutes Jake Freeman again went close with a header from a long throw .

Three minutes later Phoenix went close at the other end firing into the side netting from the left edge of the area.

On 64 minutes Jake Freeman again went close with a header from an Ash Small free kick on the left but the keeper did very well to tip it over for a corner.

Tipton continued to put the pressure on and Adam Connett went close to scoring a great goal on 79 minutes but was unable to get a good connection from a fine cross in from the left.

A few minutes later Ash Small went on a great run on the left and his powerful shot was well saved and parried to substitute Ade Carpenter who did well to control the ball and shoot from close range only to see the Phoenix pull off another fine save.

Two minutes from the end of normal time it looked as if Tipton would end up with nothing for all their fine football and effort when Phoenix scored a scrappy goal, when the ball was allowed to bounce in the area and their striker snuck in to score.

Tipton refused to accept defeat and continued to battle and on 90 minutes following great play on their right Adam Connett’s shot went too high.

As the match went into added on time the ball was played out to Ade Carpenter on the right. He beat the full back and put in a great cross to the far post where substitute Haydn Banfield headed home from a narrow angle.

Tipton weren’t ready to sit back and accept a point and continued to attack. This almost paid off when Ash Small went on a great run beating three defenders before seeing the Phoenix keeper make another fine save from his shot to keep the scores level.

This was a fine all round display from the whole Team but Man of the Match honours went to Ash Small who had a magnificent game in midfield.

Tipton can consider themselves unlucky not to have got something out of a fine game away to second placed Exmouth. In the first half both Teams played well without creating many clear cut chances. After 10 minutes Dale Strawbridge made a fine save from an Exmouth free kick on the edge of the area and on 34 minutes an Adam Connett long range shot was saved. Tipton created the first chance of the second half with a Jody Freeman back header from a long throw which was saved. Five minutes later Dale Strawbridge made another fine save from a free kick, diving full length low to his left.

A minute later Exmouth took the lead when a cross from the left went over the keeper and into the net. Both Teams continued to battle and Strawbridge again did well on 84 minutes to save a close range effort. A couple of minutes later Tipton should have scored but their effort was cleared off the line and despite appeals for handball, no penalty was given. Tipton continued to pile on the pressure and again went close when a towering header from Jack Collins smashed against the inside of the post but bounced out. This was a superb performance by all the players but Man of the Match honours went to central defender Jake Freeman who was magnificent throughout the game. Tipton are at home to Wellington on Saturday. Kick off 2.15PM

Tipton St John 2nds 5, Newtown 4ths 1

Tipton’s 2nds 16th game in the league without loss came when they played Newtown on Saturday. Despite the Christmas break and not having played since December 10, Tipton started this game strong and continued with their confident, good passing football, writes Mike Dawe.

Nick Roberts (Man of The Match) connected from a Ben Dawe cross In the first few minutes only to have the ball cleared off the line. Five minutes later Tipton showed great teamwork when George Biggs took a long throw up field finding Barry Wood, whose flick found Jonny Beer down the left wing, Beer, who could have shot himself, unselfishly crossed the ball finding Nick Roberts in the area, who easily stroked the ball into the right hand side of the goal. The second goal soon followed courtesy of an own goal, following a well taken corner by Curt Winchcombe.

Tipton then lost their way for the remainder of the half, losing their concentration and structure (a reminder to all of the players that they need to keep the concentration and organisation levels high to win any game of football). This gave Newtown the self belief they needed, and deservedly scored ten minutes from half time, following a misunderstanding in the Tipton area.

Following the half time interval Tipton re-grouped and started the game with much more composure and confidence and started to play the good football that they are accustomed to playing and dominating in all areas on the pitch.

Wood was unlucky when he saw his header hit the bar early on, but the third goal soon came when Winchcombe delivered an excellent cross to find Beer, who connected giving the keeper no chance to save. Confidence now high Tipton were hungry for more goals and didn’t disappoint when both Roberts and Wood chipped the keeper from distance.

Tipton 2nds next game is away to Offwell on January 14 with a 2:15 kick off.

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