Tividale Football Club
Season Review Part Two
25th August 2018 to 26th December 2018
This was going to be an epic encounter in front of a bumper crowd the two sides did not disappoint. Black Country went ahead on 40 minutes and despite having a player sent off they doubled their lead in the second half. Tividale huffed and puffed but could not get into the game until a Dan Smith goal with 10 minutes to go but they never looked like getting anything out of the game. So, the result put Black Country clear with a 6 out of 6 winning start. Tividale then met Hereford Lads Club in a fixture that was always going to be tough, but a rare Lee smith goal, an even rarer Tom Hurdman goal and an own goal ensured we picked up the points in a 3-1 win.
We followed that performance with a disappointing one against Chelmsley Town in the F.A. Vase 2nd Qualifying Round, having had a 1st Qualifying Round bye. With players unavailable due to stag weekends, holidays and weddings we had to make a number of changes but we started well for the first 5 minutes but once Chelmsley had gone ahead with a 30-yard screamer we were second best all over the park. The hosts went even frsther ahead before the break and added a third on the hour before we got a consolation through Dan Smith in the last 5 minutes.
It was refreshing of the Boss Dave King to hold his hand up for this defeat in regards to the changes. But this Tividale squad, management, staff and supporters are one and we win together and lose together.
With our participation in the national competitions at an end we needed to get back on track and Haughmond away on a Tuesday night was just about the ultimate test. In a fairly pleasant evening, we went 1-0 up against the run of play through Dan Smith assisted by Bustin in his 100th appearance for Tividale. As the drizzle began to fall Brown extended Tividale’s lead before Haughmond pulled one back on the stroke of half time. The second half ushered in a monsoon of biblical proportions as Storm Ali hit Shrewsbury and credit must go to both set of players who still tried to get the ball down and play. But Tividale extended their lead through Smith again on the counter before Haughmond hit back again but with both teams tiring due to the conditions Tividale held on for a win that would eventually mean a lot come the end of the season.
We then disposed of Shawbury 6-0 and then won the return fixture against Casuals 3-2 in another titanic battle. Our final game of September was a trip to Malvern Town. We arrived at Longland Stadium top of the league as Black Country Rangers had been held a couple of times.
In another poor performance Malvern went 1-0 up just before half time after missing a host of chances and despite going down to 10 men 5 minutes into the second half never really looked troubled until the 6 minutes of injury time that the officials added. As the 6 minutes came to an end Tividale won a corner. Bustin took it, Birch met it and Malvern must have thought Dick Turpin had rocked up. As we escaped with a point, that left us 2 points behind Rangers as we went into October
The first game in October was the start of a brilliant winning streak where we won 10 out of 10 league and cup fixtures. In the league we beat Bewdley 2-0, Dudley Town 3-0, Wednesfield 8-0, Pegasus 3-0, Pershore 6-0, Shifnal 5-0, Wellington 3-1 and Wem 4-0. Scoring 34 goals and conceding just the one. With Dan Smith, Demetri, Darragh and Brad who was getting a regular run in the side due to Tom Hurdman’s knee operation contributing with the majority of the goals. We also beat Lye Town and Hawkins Sport in the JW Hunt Cup competition in that run. This put us 13 points ahead of Rangers but they had 2 games in hand. Haughmond were now 15 points behind with 3 games in hand. We signed young James Welch a Stourbridge youth team player at the beginning of November. We also lost Matt Hunt who had to go into hospital for a bowel operation
The run ended in November with a 3-0 home defeat against Sutton Coldfield Town in the Walsall Senior Cup (a game that would have further ramifications later in the month). In the game that Dan Smith made his 100th appearance for us we then beat Wednesfield in the return fixture 5-0. Giving us a ridiculous aggregate of 13-0 against a very good side who had no luck at all against us in over 180 minutes of football. We then beat Dudley Town 3-0 in the WMRL Premier Division Cup and followed that up with a 1-0 win away at Bridgnorth curtesy of a Darragh chip over the keeper, but again we made it difficult for ourselves by having Ben Birch dismissed.
The day after the Dudley Town cup game we were informed by the Birmingham County FA (BCFA) that Dan Smith had received a booking against Sutton that was his 5th of the season and he would have to miss the next game. Now as we had already played Dudley we informed the BCFA and the WMRL that Dan would serve his ban against Bridgnorth which he did.
We then faced Coton Green of the MFA Division 1 away in the BCFA Floodlit Cup and beat them 3-2 (including another Brad Welding wordy). Before losing 2-1 at home to Bilston Town in what is Crohn’s & Colitis awareness week, one of the illnesses that Matt Hunt was diagnosed with so it was close to the Tividale squad. All of the Tividale’s staff and players wore special T shirts highlighting the two illnesses that have no cure at present.
This game preceded a letter from the WMRL that we were being charged with a “breach of rule” regarding the playing of Dan in the Dudley Town game. We met 2 members of the WMRL on the 17th December and explained the situation. The 2 then said they would report back to the rest of the committee and inform us of their decision which could mean expulsion from the WMRL Premier Cup competition.
On the pitch the Bilston defeat meant that Rangers were now 13 points behind and with 3 games in hand. talented striker Alex Cameron joined us at the beginning of December and Dudley Sports were well beaten 5-1 before we went to Bewdley and were out played and lost 3-1. But with all our rivals not playing due to waterlogged pitches. the lead stayed at 13 but the games in hand was growing. We then had a bit of revenge in beating Paget Rangers 5-1 in the Floodlit Cup. this after they knocked us out of last seasons JW Hunt Cup. We ended the year hammering a very poor Smethwick 11-0 and a not great Cradley 6-0. The Christmas period not only brought the addition of Jamal Fuller from Black Country Rangers but also news of the WMRL’s decision regarding Dan. Well their was none! As we were informed that we would have to go before the BCFA before the WMRL could make a decision. So another wait.
Season Review Part Three – Tomorrow