Freeman nets to make sure Tipton St John get a deserved share of the spoils at East Budleigh
East Budleigh 1 -1 Tipton St John Tipton played their first game for four weeks on a very muddy, slippery East Budleigh pitch which both Teams did well to cope with, writes Richard Williams.
Tipton started the brighter of the two Teams and went close on 13 minutes when Barry Wood played a fine ball to Johnny Beer who saw his shot beat the keeper but cruelly hit the goalpost and then out of play.
They again went close three minutes later following a good move on the left before Curt Winchcombe played the ball to Jody Freeman, whose shot was saved.
Tipton continued to play the better football and ten minutes later a good passage of play was rounded off by a shot from Neil Gooding which went too high. On 29 minutes, against the run of play East Budleigh broke away on their right wing where a fine low cross was tapped in from close range to give them the lead.
Straight after the restart Hadyn Banfield did well to win the ball in midfield, advance with it before his shot was saved. Both sides then battled until half time without creating any clear chances. Tipton came out positively at the start of the second half and created three decent chances in the first five minutes. Jody Freeman saw a shot go inches wide, Barry Wood had a header saved and Neil Gooding headed just wide. On 61 minutes East Budleigh did get the ball in the net but it was chalked out for a clear offside. Four minutes later Johnny Beer hit a well struck direct freekick which was saved by the keeper. On 70 minutes Dale Strawbridge pulled off a fine save when the East Budleigh striker broke through the Tipton defence. Tipton were finally rewarded for their endeavours on 71 minutes when Kevin Sexton played a fine ball from the centre of the pitch out to Jody Freeman on the left. He did brilliantly to cut in and strike the ball into the far corner of the net past the advancing keeper. In the last ten minutes East Budleigh had a long range shot which went high over the bar and at the other end a fine run and cross from the right by Barry Youlden ended with a Johnny Beer shot being saved by the keeper.
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The match ended in a 1-1 draw but Tipton can count themselves unlucky not to have won. Once again there was great effort from all the players but Man of the Match went to Kevin Sexton for a fine display at the centre of defence, not only for his defensive work, but also for a number of fine passes to his midfield and attack.
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