Tipton St John bank three precious points to strengthen bid to avoid bottom three Fresha League One finish

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Football generic picture - Credit: Archant

Tipton St John 4, University 3 Tipton went into this game against a Team that beat them 6–1 earlier in the Season knowing that only a win was good enough for them in their fight to retain their Division 1 status, writes Richard Williams.

They started positively and, as early as the third minute, Lee Strawbridge, with his back to goal, turned and shot wide. Five minutes later Strawbridge was through on goal when he was floored by the gloves man who was booked for his troubles and Kev Sexton tucked away the resultant penalty.

On 25 minutes Strawbridge had another shot which went high and wide. Ten minutes later, left back, Hadyn Banfield ventured forward and smashed a shot from 30-yards which forced a great save from the keeper, tipping the ball round his post for a corner.

From the set-piece Nick Feeney headed home from close range to double Tipton’s lead.

On 42 minutes Tipton again went close when a Neil Gooding shot was blocked by a defender, the ball rebounded to Strawbridge who hit a powerful shot which the keeper did well to knock away diving full length to his right. A minute later the University were awarded a penalty when keeper Jack Walker brought down a striker. He then did well to save the penalty, but the ball bounced out into play and was hit on the volley by a player on the edge of the six-yard box into the back of the net to make the score 2–1.

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This spurred the University on and a minute later Walker initially did well to save with his feet, he then got up and did brilliantly to palm away a cross which was going in under his bar, but it went straight to a University player who headed in from less than a yard out to send University into the half-time interval all square .

Tipton made a really positive start to the second half. A Banfield run won a corner which saw a Phil Paddison header blocked on the line and then Strawbridge saw a shot suffer a similar block!

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On 53 minutes Curt Winchcombe hit a direct free-kick from 25-yards which was saved by the keeper. Four minutes later Winchcombe abnd Strawbridge traded passes before the former powered the ball home.

On 65 minutes Tipton went close to extending the lead when following a nice move on the right, Feeney hit a great cross to Strawbridge who controlled the ball and hit a crisp shot which was blocked away by a defender.

Three minutes later Gooding nearly scored direct from a corner, but the keeper did very well to tip the ball away just as it was going in under his bar. On 72 minutes Gooding was put through on goal and as he went to shoot a last ditch tackle by a defender took the ball off his toe. A minute later Strawbridge did brilliantly to control the ball in the area before laying it off to Gooding, whose shot was blocked away for a corner. On 79 minutes Gooding again went close when, following a great ball up the left wing from Banfield, he did well to control the ball, cut inside and shoot just wide of the far post. Two minutes later Tipton had a free kick just outside the area but lost the ball and within seconds the University had cut through the whole Team with a counter attack and scored an equaliser. This still did not deflate Tipton and on 86 minutes Winchcombe had a shot which went inches wide from about 20 yards. A minute later Tipton, who had had no luck all Season finally got some when Strawbridge saw his cross from the left drift over the keeper and into the far corner of the net to once again give Tipton the lead. (He was later heard to say that he had seen the keeper off his line!!) A minute later Strawbridge again went close with a shot that was blocked away. Shortly after the final whistle went, with the game ending 4–3 to Tipton to give them a vital three points.

Man of the Match for Tipton was Hadyn Banfield who was rock solid at left back, but also got involved in some fine attacking play.

On Bank Holiday Monday Tipton travelled to high flying Bow and despite a second half come back they could not take anything from the game and lost 3-0.

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