Reserves squander chance to win league title

Phoenix Club 4 , Tipton St John 0

D & E Div 1

Tipton faced third place Phoenix Club on a very difficult bumpy pitch which would have benefitted from a cut, and started the game well, writes Richard Williams.

Phoenix had the first chance after four minutes when keeper Dale Strawbridge saved a low shot from the left, but, from then on it was all Tipton with chance after chance til Phoenix took the lead.

It was unlucky for Tipton as Phoenix had a free kick about 25 yards out which was blocked by the defensive wall only for the ball to rebound to a player who lashed it high into the top corner of the Tipton net. Phoenix increased their lead on 40 minutes when they were awarded a penalty.

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Phoenix made the better start to the second half and Dale Strawbridge made good saves on 50 and 52 minutes. Tipton had their first chance of the half on 59 minutes after a decent move saw the ball fall to Neil Gooding whose shot went wide. A minute later Glen Salter had a shot from 20 yards saved and on 64 minutes Tipton had a free kick on the halfway line which was headed down by Jake Freeman to Lee Strawbridge who hit a first time shot over the bar. The game was then put beyond Tipton following two errors on 71 and 75 minutes which allowed Phoenix to score two easy goals to give the score an undeserved and unbalanced look. Tipton didn’t give up and on 87 minutes Glen Salter had another decent shot saved.

Man of the Match for Tipton was Haydn Banfield who had a fine game at right back. Next game is at home to Cullompton Rangers. Kick off 3pm.

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Langdon 2nds 1, Tipton St John 2nds 0

D & E Div 8

Tipton 2nds suffered their first defeat of the season to a well-organised, stubborn Langdon side and, with only two points needed they squandered their chance to win the league, writes Mike Dawe.

Despite having plenty of the possession Tipton failed to make their hard work count. Jonny Beer had an early chance saved, Curt Winchcombe’s free kick found the head of Barry Wood, which parried away into the path of Beer who lashed it against the crossbar. Langdon had a chance early on if not for the composed defending by Dave Fairweather and Matt Daly could have scored themselves. At times Tipton played some clever confident football but could not find a way past the stubborn Langdon defence and their excellent keeper. Wood found space on the left in the 20th minute shooting from 20 yards only to find his shot go wide. Beer played an excellent ball through the middle to Hugh Cort who found himself one on one with the keeper, the keeper making another fine save. In the 14th minute Tipton were shocked when Langdon scored with a long ball into the box, which was passed well to the right winger at the far post for a tap in.

Chance after chance went begging for Tipton, but this was a day when luck was not on their side; the longer the game went on the more frustrated Tipton became and, despite bombarding Langdon’s area could not find a way through. Tipton now need two points from four matches to become league champions, having already been promoted.

Next match is April 14 away to The Met Office 3pm kick off .

followed by a mid week game on Wednesday 18th April away to Offwell 6:30pm kick off.

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