|September 27, 2022||7:45 pm||MFL Premier||2022-23|
Midland Football League
Tuesday 27th September 2022
Tividale 1-5 Highgate United
High Five for The Gate
There is a well-known saying that “we did not see that coming”. Even during the first quarter of this game nobody expected what the last 22 minutes of the half would bring. Take nothing away from Highgate, but as good as they were. Tividale in that second quarter of the game were woeful.
With Zac Kourouyianni out injured and Cameron East out with a long-term injury. Joe Burroughs was moved from his centre back position to right back with Brad Welding left back. Debutant Ryan Grant came into partner Louis Ezewele.
Jakob Burroughs returned from holiday and went straight into a midfield four alongside Taylor Townsend, Curtis Cocking and Jamie Hunt. With Dan Smith and Alex Cameron starting up front. In what was a 4-4-2 formation.
The first few minutes were a quiet affair with neither side creating a clear-cut chance. The first decent chance fell to the home side on 6 minutes. From a free kick the ball takes a couple of deflection and looped safely into the arms of Highgate keeper Ben Maxwell. Then on 11 minutes came Highgate’s first goal threat. A cross from Charlie Shaw was met on the volley by Connor Mooney but he could not hit the target.
On 17 minutes Tividale will wonder how they where not ahead when Smith fires in a low cross that hit’s a Highgate defender and the ball cannons off his own crossbar. There then follows a bit of pandemonium in the box with both Townsend and Cocking both failing to get a shot on target.
Highgate then get a flurry of corners and in the 23rd minute Jack Till has too much room and he makes no mistake hitting it on the volley and firing Highgate into the lead. Two minutes later and Highgate keeper Maxwell is in the right place at the right time as a Welding long throw falls into his box and he scoops up the ball with no Tividale body in the vicinity.
Highgate doubled their advantage on the half hour when Hawk did well to block a fierce drive from Mooney, but Till was first to react and beat the keeper. Highgate where now rampant and Tividale give away a needless foul on 36 minutes. The ball is played into the box and Ryan Harkin can steer his header past Hawk for number 3.
Tividale are now at 6s and 7s in defence and it is no surprise when they concede a 4th before half time. This time Highgate’s Shaw can run at the heart of the Tividale defence literally unchallenged before lashing the ball into the roof of the net.
Half Time Tividale 0-4 Highgate United
If we thought Highgate would take their foot off the gas in the second half, we were wrong because 10 minutes into the second period it was 5-0. Again, Hawk can only beat away a Mooney shot. Again, Tividale fail to clear their lines and Wilcock can clip the ball to the back post where Mooney is able to head home unchallenged, with the Tividale defence appealing in vain for an offside.
It was now looking like this could be a double figure defeat as Highgate kept up the pressure but in fairness to Tividale they encouraged each other on and off the field and you sensed they may be going down, but they are not throwing in the towel. Highgate on the other hand were still creating chances. But out of the blue the home side pulled a goal back. A Welding free kick was headed home by Smith for his 99th Tividale goal.
In the 70th minute another Harkin cross into the Tividale 6-yard box goes begging. Hawk then denies Mooney again with a good save in the 76th minute.
For the last 15 minutes Highgate had most of the possession but the Tividale defence had by this time cleared their heads after the pre interval battering and saw the rest of the game out with no great scares.
Full Time Tividale 1-5 Highgate United
Tividale: – 1. Peter Hawk, 2. Joe Burroughs, 3. Brad Welding, 4. Jakob Burroughs, 5. Louis Ezewele, 6. Ryan Grant, 7. Taylor Townsend, 8. Curtis Cocking (17. Ryan Snape 76), 9. Dan Smith (16. Tom Cottam 82), 10. Alex Cameron (15. Jack Downing 54), 12. Jamie Hunt (14. Jack Fletcher 54)
Unused Sub: 13. Roman Davies