West Midland Regional League
Saturday 23rd March 2019
Tividale 1-1 Dudley Sports
Sports stall Tividale
Tividale were again left frustrated after another decent performance failed to deliver the three points that would have kept them in the box seat in what has now become an enthralling title battle with Haughmond.
Tividale came up against a resilient Sports side who were determined to battle and not give anything away under the Tividale pressure they were put under.
They also had a striker in Luke Green who was willing to do the hard yards up front, keep the Tividale defence occupied and also provide a goal threat.
Before the kick off and in memory of one of Tividale football’s pioneer’s Harry Shaw, who passed away two weeks ago at the age of 93. Both teams laid wreaths on the centre spot, Tividale mascots also laid a single yellow rose each and a minutes silence was impeccably observed by everyone attending.
Manager Dave King just made the two changes to the side that put 6 past Shifnal a week ago. Darragh Bustin moved back to his more familiar left wing back role in place of Jamal Fuller (who dropped down to the bench) and Reece Shilvock came into the central midfield role vacated by Bustin.
Tividale were on the front foot from the off and Dan Smith will feel he should have done better with his header from a Bustin cross after just 6 minutes, but he headed wide. On 16 minutes from a well worked corner Ben Birch’s shot was well saved by Sports keeper Liam O’Dowd. 60 seconds later and Brad Welding tried his luck from distance with one of his trademark dipping long range efforts but it crashed back off the Sports crossbar. From the resulting goal kick Green somehow evaded the Tividale defence and with Sports first attack he slid the ball under Cheshire as he came out to meet him and put the visitors 1-0 up.
Five minutes later and Sports could have been 2-0 up. As Tividale tried to play the ball out from their own penalty Emile Beckford intercepted a pass on the penalty spot and his snap shot fizzed over Ryan Cheshire’s cross bar. Tividale went straight back on the attack and Welding fired a carbon copy of the shot he had 6 minutes earlier with exactly the same results. Again the ball crashing off the Sports cross bar. On 29 minutes Matt Hunt headed a Welding free kick just the wrong side of the post.
Tividale equalised in bizarre fashion when O’Dowd looked to have completely misjudged a Curtis Cocking through ball and his hesitancy left him stranded in no mans land and allowed Dan Smith to calmly take the ball and he escorted it into an empty net.
Half Time:-Tividale 1-1 Dudley Sports
Tividale had a great chance to take the lead a minute after the resumption when Bustin found the left by-line and cut the ball back to Lee Smith but the midfielder lifted the ball over the bar with the goal at his mercy. Then on 55 minutes a quick Bustin throw set Dan Smith on his way but this time it was the forwards turn to fire over the bar. Three minutes later and Dan Smith played in Demetri Brown with a lovely reverse pass but his shot was well saved by O’Dowd.
Tividale were now in complete control but Sports were prepared to defend to the last and were willing to throw there bodies at everything that the home side could throw at them. Shilvock headed a Welding corner over the bar on 63 minutes as Tividale pressed for that decisive second goal.
While Sports defended brilliantly they had Green causing Tividale problems every time that they were able to get the ball up too him and on 67 minutes he was able to control a long clearance and have Cheshire producing a fine save to keep his shot out.
Apart from the sporadic attacks from Sports it was business as usual with Sports keeping Tividale at bay with some excellent defending. With two defenders diving in to block an Alex Cameron shot on goal after 77 minutes. With a minute to go Cheshire again had to be alert to deny Green after he was put through by Donavan Westwood.
With literally the last chance of the game Dan Bryson’s header from a Darragh Bustin corner was blocked and then cleared off the line. Every Tividale player in the Sports penalty area was adamant that the ball had crossed the line just as all the Sports players was just as convinced that it hadn’t. But in the end the ones that mattered (the officials) agreed with the away side.
So Tividale had to settle for a point and though it felt like two points dropped. Credit has to go to a Dudley Sports side that battled for the 90 plus minutes and for the way they defended deserved their point.
Full Time:-Tividale 1-1 Dudley Sports
Tividale Supporters Man of the Match – Brad Welding
Tividale:-1. Ryan Cheshire, 2. Bradley Welding, 3. Darragh Bustin, 4. Ben Birch, 5. Dan Bryson. 6. Matt Hunt, 7. Lee Smith (17. Elliott Hartley 82), 8. Reece Shilvock (15. Alex Cameron 64), 9. Dan Smith (16. Tom Hurdman 75), 10. Demetri Brown, 11. Curtis Cocking.
Unused Substitutes:-12. Jamal Fuller, 14. Karl Gardner.
|10. Demetri Brown|
|3. Darragh Bustin|
|9. Daniel Smith||Goal|
|22. Matthew Hunt|
|16. Bradley Welding|
|11. Curtis Cocking|
|6. Daniel Bryson|
|7. Lee Smith|
|4. Benjamin Birch|
|18. Reece Shilvock|
|1. Ryan Cheshire|
|2. Tom Hurdman||Sub9|
|14. Elliott Hartley||Sub7|
|25. Alex Cameron||Sub18|