Tividale Football Club

Season Review Part One

1st May 2015 to 25th August 2015

You never know what you’re going to get at the start of any season, especially at this level as managers and players come and go, and there’s always an apprehension and hope that things will turn out okay.

What we had to endure was a whole different story when losing all our management, coaching and playing staff at the end of the 2014-2015 season. The reasons have been well recorded so we will not go into it now, just suffice to say we wished them all the very best in their new ventures.

Well we went into May with the whole of the football side of Tividale FC consisting of General Manger Leon Murray, Communication’s Manager Steven Beech, Creative Guru Caz Wells, Match Secretary Mick Preston, Physio John Cotton and the star of the previous season, Queen of Hospitality Liz Harrison. No manager, coaches or players.

What was new, was our new shirt sponsor Buildbase. For which we have to thank our own Steve Beech, Cradley store Manager and friend of Tividale FC John Gouge and all at Buildbase for putting together what is the biggest single sponsorship deal in our club’s history.

Our first job was to appoint a manager and due to our finances and competing in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League it ended up a case of the best fit all round and we all agreed that Ross Thorpe and Philip (Spiller) Male as Joint Managers was the best combination. Ross was a top coach and had management experience while Spiller had just ended a brilliant career at this level and was also coaching.

The first job for the management duo was to assemble a squad and start preseason training. This in itself was fairly successful with a healthy turn out for all the sessions. The job then became a little trickier as the manager’s whittled the hopefuls into a workable squad for the friendlies.

The first pre-season friendly was away at the impressive Bedworth United’s 3G stadium and on a beautiful day the newly formed squad were defeated 3-0. The good news was that in the cricket England were murdering the Aussies in the first Ashes Test in Cardiff.

The second friendly was again away this time to Midland Football League (MFL) side Heath Hayes and the boy’s gained their first win. They followed that up with a midweek win 2-0 at West Midland Regional League (WMRL) side Tipton Town and then a 6-3 win on a scorcher of a day at Studley against another MFL side Hampton FC. We continued our pre-season with wins against WMRL side’s Willenhall Town and Bilston before losing at another WMRL outfit Gornal Athletic and then having our final game abandoned against Evo-Stik Premier side Halesowen Town with the score at 1-1 after a nasty clash of heads between Tividale forward Joel Ayettey and Halesowen keeper Dan Platt.

So onto the 15th August and our first league game of the new NPL Division South season against new boys Shaw Lane Aquaforce. That first squad consisted of Lewis Wright, Aaron O’Neill, Craig Milligan, Jesse Race, Anton Caines-Powell, Martin Hill, Jason Chilton, Ashley Jackson, Jahmel Taylor and Cameron Burns plus the ten players who would be with us all season Goalkeeper Tom Turner, Defenders Phil Male and Jacob Barnes, Midfielders Scott Devlin, Shane Grainger, Shaquille Whittingham, Desean Martin and Chris Rabone and strikers Chris Sterling and Demetri Brown.

The game itself just about summed up our 2015-2016 campaign. The visitors had all the possession but could not break through and then against the run of play Chris Rabone opened the scoring. The visitors threw everything at us and just as we thought we was going to get over the line we conceded two in the last two minutes to lose the game. We then lost in midweek at Newcastle Town 2-0 and then lost by the odd goal in 3 on a beautiful day in Spalding.

Tividale were now bottom but notched up their first points of the season with a 4-3 win over Rugby on a balmy Tuesday night.

Tividale Football Club

Season Review Part Two – Tomorrow