|March 5, 2022||3:00 pm||MFL Premier||2021-22|
Midland Football League
Saturday 5th March 2022
Whitchurch Alport 2-3 Tividale
Alport’s lead to Tivi win
Sometimes in football you will feel you are not at your most fluent but if you work hard, you may still get something out of it. This was the perfect example. The home side possibly had one eye on the following weekends FA Vase Quarter Final. The away side hoping to build on last week’s injury time equaliser.
The buzz at Whitchurch was all about the Quarter Final and could you blame them. To reach the last 8 of a national competition is no mean feat. But although we were absolutely delighted for them, there was a vital three points to play for here.
Once again Manager Dave King had to shuffle his pack. With Brad Welding serving the first of his 4-game ban and Joe Burroughs unavailable. Dan Bryson came straight back into the heart of the defence. Tom Hurdman moved back to his familiar right back position. Darragh Bustin moved to left back and Lewis McPike came into midfield.
Today’s game was also Darragh Bustin’s 200th appearance in a Tividale shirt and has been said before at the age of 23 that is a staggering achievement. There was a little presentation before the game and I am sure there was a tear in his Dad Kieran’s eye.
It was a quiet opening to the half and the first threat to either goal came after 8 minutes. When Jimmy Garlick received the ball from Alex Hughes and his shot from outside the box swerved in the wind and crashed off the cross bar with Tividale keeper Peter Hawk well beaten.
With 12 minutes on the clock. Darragh did what Darragh has done numerous times in his 200 appearances. He picks up the ball in the wide left position, cut’s in onto his right foot and then gives the Alport keeper Elliott Hall no chance with a 20-yard drive that whistles past him and into the bottom left-hand corner of his net.
Alport worked Hawk for the first time in the 25th minute, when after a neat passing move the ball came to Jud Ellis but his shot was comfortably fielded by Hawk. The play then switched to the opposite end and on 28 minutes after a nice interchange between Bustin and McPike the latter’s shot was held by Hall. Back came the home side and a corner by Joe Mwasile was headed over by Dan Skelton
Alport were level in the 37th minute. Hawk makes a great save to deny Skelton but can only parry the ball out into the path of Ellis who’s shot goes in via the underside of the crossbar.
That looked to be the end of the first half action, as the game seemed to meander to the half time break. Only to be broken up by a couple of injuries and some petty fouls. Just as everyone was wondering where the additional time had come from. Ethan Muckley intercepts an Alport pass just outside their area in the 5th minute of added time. He in turn plays in Elliott Hartley in space and he fires past Hall to put the visitors back into the lead and the planned half time talks are all change.
Half time: Whitchurch Alport 1-2 Tividale
Alport had the first chance of the second period in the 50th minute, when a Joe Mwasile shot took a massive deflection but Hawk was down smart enough to push the ball wide. A minute later and it’s Hall’s turn to have to push the ball around the post as McPike tested him from distance.
Tividale extended their lead in the 55th minute when the hard work of Muckley earned him a well-deserved goal. Again, he presses the Alport defence into an error he wins the ball and drives into the box before calmly placing the ball wide of Hall and into the net.
Tividale conceded a free kick on the edge of their box on the hour mark and fail to clear the initial effort, the ball comes back out to Sean Griffiths, who’s shot goes wide. A minute later and a Mwasile free kick is deflected over the bar for a Alport corner and the resulting corner is put into a crowded box. No idea who gets a head to it, the ball goes wide and the visitors are awarded the goal kick.
On 72 minutes Curtis Cocking found Muckley with a deep cross but the striker could get no purchase on his header and Hall took it quite comfortably. As the game moved into the last 15 minutes both sides made changes and Alport sub-Jacob Farleigh had a great chance on 76 minutes but he also failed to trouble Hawk with his header.
With eleven minutes to go. It looked like Alport’s Hughes goes down under a challenge. The referee immediately points to the spot. Tividale’s Hurdman races over to the assistant remonstrating that the incident took place outside the area. After consulting with his assistant, the referee sends the Tividale full back to the sin bin and awards the fee kick outside the Tividale area. From the resulting free kick sub-Ivan Urvantev has his effort saved.
With Tividale down to 10 men and Alport still looking a major threat going forward it was going to be a nervous last 10 minutes for the visitors. In the 80th minute Mwasile had an attempt on goal but with the angle against him he again failed to find the target. Urvantev then tried his luck with 6 minutes of normal time left but again Hawk watched it sail wide. As he did with another Mwasile effort on 87 minutes.
As the game moved into injury time and Tividale back up to the eleven men, Urvantev scored the goal of the game. As did Bustin in the first half he picked up the ball on the right side of the Tividale area and hit a screamer that Hawk could only watch flash past him and into his top left-hand corner.
In the end it was a hard earned three points and we wish Whitchurch Alport all the very best next week in what is possibly the biggest game in their history.
Full time: Whitchurch Alport 2-3 Tividale
Tividale: – 1. Peter Hawk, 2. Tom Hurdman, 3. Darragh Bustin, 4. Luke Carter, 5. Dan Bryson 6. Matt Hunt, 7. Lewis McPike, 8. Curtis Cocking, 9. Dan Smith (15. Cameron Milne 72), 10. Ethan Muckley, 11. Elliott Hartley
Unused Subs: – 12. Lucas Muckley 13. Louis Connor 14. Owen Waterfield. 15. TJ Munthali